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Old 07-17-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
Brewskii
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I did my first cider last fall as an augmented fermentation, bottled, and then pasteurized.
It was awesome fast and easy.

Looking to jazz it up this year and was wondering what all you cider folk think are good add-ins I can throw in the fermenter to give it some character.

Any advise is good. Addition technique info would be helpful. So what have you tried that worked?

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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I am new to cider making. My list isn't very long. So far I have tried the following add-ins with good results.

piloncillo oscura (unrefined dark sugar)
coffee
fresh mango with apple-mango concentrate in the secondary
liquid smoke
cascade hops

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Old 07-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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I've added a cup of cooled, very strong, black tea to my ciders. Gives it a tannin boost. Also, if you're adding sugar, you can dissolve it in the tea when it's still hot.

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Old 07-17-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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I've been on a quick & easy cider kick this year. Love it... and it fills gaps in my pipeline.

Back-sweetening:
Blueberry-pomegranate concentrate
Mango-strawberry concentrate

"Dry-hop":
Habanero
Serrano
Clementine peel (without the pith)
Citra

I find that the heat of the peppers work especially well with a sweet to semi-sweet cider. Citrus (and Citra) work well with lower ABV ciders (in my personal opinion) and more carbonation.

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Old 07-17-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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I've been thinking about adding cloves to a test batch soon. Partially backsweetening with molasses is also good. A small amount of lemon and/or lime juice works well.

And of course, my favorite is copious amounts of fresh ginger.

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Old 07-17-2013, 09:09 PM   #6
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I've got a 5 gallon batch on the go right now to which I added 1.5 kg of frozen and thawed blueberries in the primary. I'll probably have to add more blueberries in secondary to freshen up the flavour.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dog_gone View Post
"Dry-hop":
Habanero
Serrano
Clementine peel (without the pith)
Citra

I find that the heat of the peppers work especially well with a sweet to semi-sweet cider. Citrus (and Citra) work well with lower ABV ciders (in my personal opinion) and more carbonation.
I would like to make a "hot" cider for some friends who think scotch bonnets are candy. Do you use dried, smoked, roasted or fresh chilis?
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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Some constant comment teabags in the secondary for a couple weeks or so to add a bit of tannin (boil in a tiny amount of water first to sanitize the teabags and then add all of it to the cider) ... frozen concentrated apple juice (FCAJ) to sweeten and add flavor ... and some malic acic (available at the brewers/vintners suppy), carefully "to taste", to make a bit brighter.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda View Post
I would like to make a "hot" cider for some friends who think scotch bonnets are candy. Do you use dried, smoked, roasted or fresh chilis?
<snip>
When using serranos, I generally use 2-4 per 5-gallons; habs are generally 4-8, depending on taste and heat of the specific peppers for that particular batch. The sweeter the cider, the more heat I'm comfortable adding.
<snip>

[/quote]

So, I'm going to qualify my earlier statement regarding habanero peppers. TEST your peppers for heat prior to adding them to your cider!

I was originally sourcing my fresh habs from a local store. The habs in my garden are starting to ripen, so I used those the last couple of batches. Since I was getting consistent results earlier, I just went ahead and added them without tasting. Not a great idea.

It turns out, my habs were/are hotter for some reason. I ended up mixing two 5-gallon batches - one with habs and one without - to make a drinkable brew. On the bright side, I now have 10-gallons of cider goodness to share with my brave friends.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob_Marley
Some constant comment teabags in the secondary for a couple weeks or so to add a bit of tannin (boil in a tiny amount of water first to sanitize the teabags and then add all of it to the cider) ... frozen concentrated apple juice (FCAJ) to sweeten and add flavor ... and some malic acic (available at the brewers/vintners suppy), carefully "to taste", to make a bit brighter.
Constant comment sounds positively delightful in a cider! What's malic acid?
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