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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Pumpkin cider too alcoholic
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
GAHokie
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Default Pumpkin cider too alcoholic

So, when my gravity measured over 1.1, I thought I'd made a mistake, but yesterday when I moved it to the secondary (after sitting I the primary for 2 weeks), it measured out at 1.05 and it smelled like alcohol. I tasted a little and it tasted very strong. I dropped a cinnamon stick in the secondary, but I don't know if there is a way to salvage it. I think I just made an apple whiskey. Suggestions?

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Old 10-02-2012, 10:45 PM   #2
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Add 2 - 3 gallons of apple juice at bottling time.

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Oh, and get a hydrometer. Psychic brewing is great and all, but hard numbers get rid of MUCH of the guess work.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." ~ 1 Timothy 5:23
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:22 AM   #3
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Upstate Mike, thanks for replying. I appreciate your posts. In fact, earlier this week I bought some Nottingham ale yeast (I usually use EC 118 or 116) because I'm going to try to brew your Caramel Apple cider.

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:58 AM   #4
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Personally, I'd rack it onto some oak of your choice and age it for a while. It'll be smooth with some age and oak.

Just my 2 c

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Old 10-06-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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My first ciders were very alcoholy and undrinkable right out of the fermenter however aging them for a month did wonders. I have some saved for 6 months and a year from now to see how they turn out. I definitely wouldn't worry too much and would just wait them out.

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Old 10-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #6
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Cider is always harsh coming straight out of primary. There is more going on than alcoholic fermentation. There is malolactic fermentation, where acids are converted from harsh types to more mellow ones, as well as other ester changes. Just wait it out, especially if you are using spices. Spiced ales take months to develop their flavor profiles, and they don't have all of the fruit complexities that wines and ciders have to work out. Six months is the minimum, a year is better.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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So I've had my cider in the secondary for three weeks. While I can tell its mellowed a little, I'm faced with a problem. Should I bottle it now--so I can use the carboy--and let it age in the bottle (I can let them sit for months, even a year if need be) or should I leave it in the secondary for a few months? I have absolutely no clue.

P.S. I' would love to age my cider in oak barrels, but since I lack oak barrels, it is not feasible.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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I wouldn't bottle yet and you will see a big difference if you can bulk age. If you really need the carboy for other projects (a good problem to have), simply rack into 5- 1 gal carboys and let time do it's magic.

As for oaking...we'd all love a few barrels laying around. But for practicality, you can get oak chips or cubes at your LHBS or online.

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Old 10-22-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAHokie View Post
So, when my gravity measured over 1.1, I thought I'd made a mistake, but yesterday when I moved it to the secondary (after sitting I the primary for 2 weeks), it measured out at 1.05 and it smelled like alcohol. I tasted a little and it tasted very strong. I dropped a cinnamon stick in the secondary, but I don't know if there is a way to salvage it. I think I just made an apple whiskey. Suggestions?
That cider is pretty green yet, especially considering that it might have still been actively fermenting when you racked it. Alcohol flavors are common in green booze. Give it some time in secondary and then backsweeten.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:16 AM   #10
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One thing that is done for spirits is to oak them with American white oak charred cubes. The surface area allows you to oak very rapidly ( you have all 6 sides exposed to alcohol as opposed to 1 side). My cider is sitting for 4 wks and I haven't tasted but was thinking of throwing some cubes in there.

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