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Old 04-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default Oztops perfection

Hi, I'm sorry to start a new thread as my first bit of activity on this site, but I have looked through a lot of posts and still can't find any recent posts on the topic. I recently bought a pack of Oztops which have already given me 6L of very tasty cider at an estimated 4-5%. I've searched the site and only found a few old threads mentioning these amazing little caps, so I'm trying too see if anyone has improved on the basic recipes.

The ones I've made haven't cleared up very well and leaving them for 2 days in the fridge doesn't seem to let them settle either. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get a good looking cider? I'm thinking about having people around to drink from bottles that aren't old juice bottles, ie brew it, transfer into another bottle (s) and let the brew clear. I'm willing to muck around to get a presentable cider.

My latest cider was a pure apple juice start, with vanillin sugar added, plus half a stick of cinnamon, inspired by a store bought flavour that is currently selling very well. It's just finished and has been in the fridge for a day - very refreshing!

Has anyone else got a twist on the basic recipes? Such as honey or raisins in the mix?

Any help offered will be greatly appreciated. I've dabbled in home brew before but these Oztops have definitely re-sparked my interest again as they so easy and seemingly easy to modify.

Thanks!

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Old 04-29-2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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Never used oztops myself, I just used regular crown bottle caps when I used to bottle. I've never really made a very clear cider either but I've also never really strived to make them clear. You could try some fining agents like sparkeloid to help with the clarity. I know some people use gelatin, but have never used that method before so I can't offer much there.

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Old 04-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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I've only done 2 batches of cider to this point. Neither used Oztops, just regular crown caps, but by experience in both cases is that the cider took several months to clear completely. In both cases by cider was crystal clear at the end.

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Old 04-30-2012, 03:06 AM   #4
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Quick google of OZtops brings up a homebrew kit of sorts, basically just a pitch kit to throw into a bottle of juice.

My recommendations to clear up your cider is pectic enzyme. I use it after my primary fermentation is done according to the recipes. You can pick it up pretty cheap at your local homebrew shop; like 2 bucks for enough for 10 or more batches.

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Old 04-30-2012, 03:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

Neovox, did your cider change in flavour or alcohol content much in that time? I'm impressed with the flavour I'm getting now and was hoping to keep it if possible but would sacrifice a bit of flavour to get the clarity.

I'll grab some of the additives today and see how they go too. Will post the results.

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Old 04-30-2012, 03:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

Neovox, when you left it for months, did that change the flavour or alcohol content? My understanding was that during the fermentation in the juice bottle, the yeast will use as much sugar as possible and will turn itself into a very dry (and also highly alcoholic) wine. But if you interrupt the fermentation by putting the juice into the fridge, you can control the sweetness and alcohol content and keep the brew to a nice cider. I am looking for about 4-5% and fairly sweet so the missus will drink it. Did you store yours in the fridge for months or use another way to stop the fermentation?

I will buy a few additives from the home brew shop on the way home today. Will post the results.

Cheers!

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Old 04-30-2012, 04:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dookie82
Thanks for the replies.

Neovox, did your cider change in flavour or alcohol content much in that time? I'm impressed with the flavour I'm getting now and was hoping to keep it if possible but would sacrifice a bit of flavour to get the clarity.

I'll grab some of the additives today and see how they go too. Will post the results.
Sorry for the double post, my phone said this didn't post...
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dookie82 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Neovox, when you left it for months, did that change the flavour or alcohol content? My understanding was that during the fermentation in the juice bottle, the yeast will use as much sugar as possible and will turn itself into a very dry (and also highly alcoholic) wine. But if you interrupt the fermentation by putting the juice into the fridge, you can control the sweetness and alcohol content and keep the brew to a nice cider. I am looking for about 4-5% and fairly sweet so the missus will drink it. Did you store yours in the fridge for months or use another way to stop the fermentation?

I will buy a few additives from the home brew shop on the way home today. Will post the results.

Cheers!
It will make the juice dry, how high the alcohol get is depeneding on the amount of fermentable sugar. Having your original gravity (OG) and final gravity (FG) will let you figure out how much alcohol you have, The length of time will not really affect how much booze is in you cider. Once you reach your final gravity, time will not make more alcohol for you. The yeast will ferment to dryness since fructose is 100% fermentable. If you want sweet, then I recomend that you back sweeten and pastureize (use this link to learn how http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/). However this may be difficult because that kit looks like you are placing the cider into plastic bottles. Putting the cider in the fridge and cold crashing it will stop the yeast, and make them go dormant, but once it warms up again they'll try to go back to work.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:46 PM   #9
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Thanks that has given me a good place to start!

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Old 05-05-2012, 01:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dookie82 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Neovox, when you left it for months, did that change the flavour or alcohol content? My understanding was that during the fermentation in the juice bottle, the yeast will use as much sugar as possible and will turn itself into a very dry (and also highly alcoholic) wine. But if you interrupt the fermentation by putting the juice into the fridge, you can control the sweetness and alcohol content and keep the brew to a nice cider. I am looking for about 4-5% and fairly sweet so the missus will drink it. Did you store yours in the fridge for months or use another way to stop the fermentation?

I will buy a few additives from the home brew shop on the way home today. Will post the results.

Cheers!
The first one I did was the Johnny Jump Up. The stuff was pretty harsh young, but after 6-12 months aging it was awesome. It was a dry cider. A lot of folks are used to something more sweet, particularly in the US, but the apple character didn't really present itself until it had aged. In the end, it was fantastic and I would make it again in a heartbeat.

This year I did one of my own recipe that was closer to 7%. It didn't take as long to age but I still found it was better later than earlier.

Both times I let it ferment out completely in the fermentor, but let it age in the bottle.
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