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Old 02-24-2009, 02:08 PM   #1
jawats
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Default Overall Plan - Anyone spot potential issues?

I used the following recipe for an apple cider:

1. 5 gallons of Meijer (Indiana store) apple juice, with only ascorbic acid in it.
2. 2 cups commercial / store clover honey, boiled in 2 cups of water to kill off anything in it.
3. Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast

Dropped it on Feb. 18. Made the newb mistake (which I will not make again) of not taking an initial gravity reading. By Feb. 19, I had my initial fermentation bubbles. Last night, it had slowed greatly - although there was still a bubble every three seconds, they were not as insistent.

I am hoping for a higher ABV, so I plan to leave it for 3 weeks, then bottle. I will bottle with 2.5 oz honey and 2.5 oz of sugar based in apple juice (whatever the amount is will depend on the juice), given the 5 gal volume, for a slightly sweet flavor. I'd like to have a fairly intense carbonation, but would also like to avoid bottle explosions.

Any recommendations / problems spotted?



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Old 02-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawats View Post
I used the following recipe for an apple cider:

1. 5 gallons of Meijer (Indiana store) apple juice, with only ascorbic acid in it.
2. 2 cups commercial / store clover honey, boiled in 2 cups of water to kill off anything in it.
3. Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast

Dropped it on Feb. 18. Made the newb mistake (which I will not make again) of not taking an initial gravity reading. By Feb. 19, I had my initial fermentation bubbles. Last night, it had slowed greatly - although there was still a bubble every three seconds, they were not as insistent.

I am hoping for a higher ABV, so I plan to leave it for 3 weeks, then bottle. I will bottle with 2.5 oz honey and 2.5 oz of sugar based in apple juice (whatever the amount is will depend on the juice), given the 5 gal volume, for a slightly sweet flavor. I'd like to have a fairly intense carbonation, but would also like to avoid bottle explosions.

Any recommendations / problems spotted?
when you say high ABV what are you looking for?


http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/average-sg-apple-juice-101592/


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Old 02-24-2009, 03:32 PM   #3
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You probably won't get much if any flavor out of the honey, as boiling it pretty much drives off the delicate flavors and smells associated with honey. don't boil honey.

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Old 02-24-2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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You'll need to kill off your yeast if you're wanting the honey/sugar/juice you add at bottling to give you sweetness, otherwise the yeast will just eat it up in the bottles and make things dryer.

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Old 02-24-2009, 04:38 PM   #5
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You probably won't get much if any flavor out of the honey, as boiling it pretty much drives off the delicate flavors and smells associated with honey. don't boil honey.
Freeze,

If I avoid boiling the honey, what risks do I have of wild bacteria in the honey contaminating the entire batch?

--Jonathan
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:40 PM   #6
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You'll need to kill off your yeast if you're wanting the honey/sugar/juice you add at bottling to give you sweetness, otherwise the yeast will just eat it up in the bottles and make things dryer.
Cat,

That would then pretty much end any carbonation I would like, would it not?

--Jonathan
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #7
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Freeze,

If I avoid boiling the honey, what risks do I have of wild bacteria in the honey contaminating the entire batch?

--Jonathan
Low risk, especially if you're adding honey to the fermented apple juice. The alcohol in the drink will kill anything that could be in the honey before it starts growing.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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There are a number of options.
You can do what you did, all you loose is a little of the honey fragrance.
You can mix the honey and apple juice before hand and treat with 1 camden tablet per gallon, wait 24 hours then pitch the yeast.

You can start the fermentation, and add the honey, the active yeast will overpower any wild yeast.

Just throw it all in and pitch the yeast, the yeast 99.99% of the time will overpower anything wild.

I heat up some water to around 150F, remove from heat and add any spices/orange rinds/juice etc, then as it is cooling below 110 I mix in the honey. Once it is fully cooled I add to the juice and pitch the yeast.

As you can see, it is actually kind of hard to do it wrong, and if you end up with an infect batch you get a lambic cider that will most likely taste fantastic after a few years.

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Old 02-24-2009, 06:05 PM   #9
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Cat,

That would then pretty much end any carbonation I would like, would it not?

--Jonathan
You can't have it both ways with sugar. If you put sugar in with live yeast, the yeast will eat the sugar. If you want both sweet and carbonation, then you're going to need to sweeten with something the yeast can't eat. There's no way to tell the yeast to eat this sugar, but not that sugar. Honey and sugar added at bottling will carbonate it, but won't sweeten it.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
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You can't have it both ways with sugar. If you put sugar in with live yeast, the yeast will eat the sugar. If you want both sweet and carbonation, then you're going to need to sweeten with something the yeast can't eat. There's no way to tell the yeast to eat this sugar, but not that sugar. Honey and sugar added at bottling will carbonate it, but won't sweeten it.
What would you use as an unfermentable sugar? I've read that lactose or Splenda will work, but I also detest the flavor of raw Splenda. Does that flavor go away when used in bottling cider? Malto-dextrin? Some other sweetener?

It also seems like I should add any unfermentables in to a secondary fermenter, before bottling, to allow them to evenly distribute. Thoughts?


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