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msarro 10-05-2012 11:46 PM

Question about what to do next
 
Hey everyone! I'm midway through brewing my very first cider. I happened by our local orchard the day that they were pressing apples and couldn't help myself. I brought home 5 gallons, added ~1.5 lb of dark brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite and let it sit for 24 hours.

Then I added two sachets of ec-1118 champagne yeast, and let it do its thing. It worked fantastically well. Three weeks later fermentation has finished as far as I can tell (it appears to be hovering around .99 SG). It has a fantastic clean, tart flavor that will be incredible once it's sparkling.

Based on the sample I pulled it appears to be largely cleared up, but there's still some grogans floating around. Should I rack it to a secondary for awhile? Can I let it sur lie age for a little bit since champagne yeast tends to be ok with such a thing? Can I go ahead and bottle it?

I've never really made a cider before and since it's turned out pretty much exactly as I hoped it would (by this point anyway) I'd hate to do something that screws up the batch. Any suggestions on next steps would really be appreciated.

Yooper 10-06-2012 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by msarro (Post 4474186)
Hey everyone! I'm midway through brewing my very first cider. I happened by our local orchard the day that they were pressing apples and couldn't help myself. I brought home 5 gallons, added ~1.5 lb of dark brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp of potassium metabisulfite and let it sit for 24 hours.

Then I added two sachets of ec-1118 champagne yeast, and let it do its thing. It worked fantastically well. Three weeks later fermentation has finished as far as I can tell (it appears to be hovering around .99 SG). It has a fantastic clean, tart flavor that will be incredible once it's sparkling.

Based on the sample I pulled it appears to be largely cleared up, but there's still some grogans floating around. Should I rack it to a secondary for awhile? Can I let it sur lie age for a little bit since champagne yeast tends to be ok with such a thing? Can I go ahead and bottle it?

I've never really made a cider before and since it's turned out pretty much exactly as I hoped it would (by this point anyway) I'd hate to do something that screws up the batch. Any suggestions on next steps would really be appreciated.

I"d probably rack it, top up, and let it sit until completely clear before bottling. I'm of the "less is more" camp, and I'd get it off of the lees, and bottle when it stops dropping new lees (so you have a clear cider, and less crud in the bottles).

msarro 10-06-2012 03:46 AM

Dang! I was hoping to be able to let them sit on the lees for awhile because I kind of went brew-crazy, and have 5 gallons of mead and 5 gallons of cider that both need to get racked to a secondary, and only one secondary. And I still have more to brew :X

Looks like I need to find some more 5 gallon carboys.

UpstateMike 10-06-2012 03:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by msarro (Post 4474786)
Dang! I was hoping to be able to let them sit on the lees for awhile because I kind of went brew-crazy, and have 5 gallons of mead and 5 gallons of cider that both need to get racked to a secondary, and only one secondary. And I still have more to brew :X

Looks like I need to find some more 5 gallon carboys.

Pick one (cider), rack it to secondary.

Now you should have a container that you can clean, and it will become the secondary for the other one (mead).

:mug::tank:

roadymi 10-06-2012 04:00 AM

I wouldn't stress over it, I typically start my ciders in late October, primary until February, Rack to secondary and add secondary flavorings, Let clear until March or when I have time to keg and or bottle. If you leave on lees for awhile it probably helps to keep in cooler location. I primary through the winter in my garage. It stays right around freezing.

msarro 10-06-2012 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UpstateMike (Post 4474833)
Pick one (cider), rack it to secondary.

Now you should have a container that you can clean, and it will become the secondary for the other one (mead).

:mug::tank:

Lol, is very much love to however both are in buckets right now. I've never had good luck using buckets for a secondary. I have a 5 gal carboy I can use for one.
Though, you do raise a good idea. I also have around 5 gals of pale ale brewing in a 6.5 gal carboy. I could bottle that soon, and pour over the cideralong with enough fresh Apple cider to top it off.

UpstateMike 10-06-2012 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by msarro (Post 4475058)
Lol, is very much love to however both are in buckets right now. I've never had good luck using buckets for a secondary. I have a 5 gal carboy I can use for one.

Ahh, I see. I don't use buckets for primary, I like to see what is going on in there.

msarro 10-07-2012 02:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UpstateMike (Post 4475312)
Ahh, I see. I don't use buckets for primary, I like to see what is going on in there.

Yup, I started with buckets, so I have two of those, a 6.5 gal carboy, and two 5 gal carboys. The buckets have mead and cider in them, the 6.5 gal carboy is primary for my pale ale, one of the 5 gal carboys has a second batch of mead going, and the other is empty. So I'm going to shuffle some stuff around tomorrow... bottle the pale ale, clean out the 6.5 gal, rack the cider into it, and top it off with more fresh cider. Musical fermenters!

Are there any concerns with not pasteurizing the cider prior to using it to top off the carboy? I guess the only real worry would be acetobacter but at 9% abv already it shouldn't be able to get much of a foothold.


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