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Old 10-30-2013, 04:48 AM   #1
Houdini0001
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Default QQ When is it drinkable/Done?

I am sure this question has been answered a million times before.
But I am new and humbly ask to be mothered lol. It never seems to be a question that is answered in fullness in any of the threads, I'm going to assume from reading a lot of them that it is because there is just not telling with cider, like wine it takes its own sweet time??? <-- that's a question!

I started my Cider on the 23rd at Midnight. Airlock in both has slowed down, one of them I have opened 3 times to let the wife and my daughter(35yrs old) smell, I was the first opening, had to smell it OMG yumm, smelled wonderful! Its a treetop gal of Cider pasteurized, ascorbic acid only. Its very cloudy, not much sediment in the bottom and what there is, is the dark spices I put in it. allspice, cinnamon and brown sugar. a bit of yeast buildup.

OK now the airlock is virtually nothing. It was cold a couple of night and a brrrr kinda morning feeling..

I do NOT have a hydrometer <-- HAH spelled corrected for me NICE!
(I am not a wealthy person by any means, wife is disabled and needs new equipment) This is my first hobby in years. I usually stick to the computer games lol. I know cry me a river.. ok So No hydrometer,

So is it done? is it done enough to drink?
I'm thinking to myself ok "Houdini" it's not rocket science, well kind of it is - that's why I like it.
So maybe take a pinch out and sample it I'm thinking? I already opened that damn thing.. couldn't hurt, if it tastes bad I can spit it out right? not a bad idea to get the full affect out of the ferment for learning purposes.
OR is it??

Help any motherly/fatherly advise would be greatly appreciated.
And thanks, I hope in the future this will help other newbies of cider making as well...

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Old 10-30-2013, 05:22 AM   #2
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OK so after I wrote this I went downstairs and took off the airlock again (#4).
Pulled some out with a turkey baster. about 1/3 cup 2-3 shots worth.

It was not Apple cider anymore. More like a really nice smooth tart beer.
(Definitely a beer though) a bit bitter, with definite spice flavors. definitely has alcohol in fact its pretty potent. Warmed the cockles of my heart! lol
umm at first a small tang on the tongue. I'm betting cold this would be excellent for a nice beer.

I was really hoping to have something sweeter for the wife to sample on Halloween but alas not going to happen.. I got into this with no idea of time tables. I'm still real excited and will continue, will save up and get the proper equipment I need for proper measurements.

I'm not a deadbeat, I just had a heart attack 2 stents, lost my job because of it and I'm in a rural area, jobs are hard to come by, but I am so ready to go back to work now.

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Old 10-30-2013, 12:53 PM   #3
hallerobin
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You can look at the threads on backsweetening for some ideas about how to sweeten it up now that fermentation has slowed, though it's hard to say if the slowing is due to it being done fermenting or if it's too cold. From what you're describing about the flavor, it might have converted almost all of the sugar.

What yeast did you use?

And are you planning to bottle it or leave it in the fermentation vessel?

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Old 10-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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I used the Red Star Pasture Champagne, I was going to second it, and leave it in the jug and just toss it in the fridge.

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Old 10-31-2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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my understanding is, if you want it sweeter, you can back sweeten with:

- table sugar or dextrose, or apple juice concentrate, if you want to carbonate in the bottle. be careful how much you put in, you can make bottle bombs out of glass bottles. or you can use soda bottles that are made to handle some pressure.

- non-fermentable sweetener like splenda, but you'll get no carbonation.

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Old 10-31-2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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Red Star Champagne is a beast--it will eat and eat until there's nothing left. So, you will likely need to backsweeten as aellis suggests.

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