New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Questions from a new brewer!




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
Wonderjojo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Grand cayman, Cayman
Posts: 5
Default Questions from a new brewer!

I'm a day into my first attempt at cider and I am VERY excited and can't stop looking at the 5 gallons of juice sitting quietly in the corner!

I do have some questions though and I was wondering if anyone could help me. I've read a lot in the last couple of days about the best ways to carbonate and backsweeten your cider, which is what I want to do. I have 32oz back ez-cap bottles that i wanted to use and I was hoping for a sweetish fizzy cider.

The recipe I chucked in was:

4 gallons organic apple juice
1 gallon organic pear/mango - was a bit unsure of the mango-anyone done this?
3 cups brown sugar dissolved into juice
Cider Activator Wyeast ACT4766- 4.25 oz (which I just read isn't that great - good start)

Its sitting in the dark in a corner and I'm in the caribbean so it will be at about 74-75 degrees hopefully.

It hasn't changed yet. I'm just waiting....

Questions:

Do I HAVE to rack to a secondary? Can this be my 5 gallon bucket with airlock?

Racking - leaving behind the lees? Just getting the juice?

If I wanted to make carbonated cider in the bottles can i use priming sugar - most people seem to say to add it to the bottles before bottling? How much? A teaspoon?

As you can see I'm still trying to get my head round it and I'm slightly afraid of blowing up cider bottles in my house. What do ya think?
I forgot to add that I live in a country where you can't go out and buy home brewing equipment. We had one place selling beer kits and then they went under and sold off their old stock from the backroom of a lingerie shop.

THANKS! Jo



__________________

Last edited by Wonderjojo; 02-03-2011 at 04:36 PM.
Wonderjojo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2011, 06:08 PM   #2
BrothersBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: concord,NH
Posts: 159
Default

It may take 24-72 hours to start fermenting, did you take a gravity reading before you pitch your yeast? If you did, you could check it and see if theres a difference. Thats the only was to tell definitively. You cant always go by looking at your airlock, your lid mite not have sealed tight.

when yeast has consumed all the suger i will become 'dormant" and fall to the bottom of the container. Racking to secondary is a matter of preference its not needed all the time.

Bottling, add priming suger to fermented 5 gallons and fill bottles. Basically repeating the same process but in a bottle producing bubbles in beer.



__________________
BrothersBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
CidahMastah
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
CidahMastah's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: , New York
Posts: 4,264
Liked 31 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderjojo View Post
Do I HAVE to rack to a secondary? Can this be my 5 gallon bucket with airlock?

Racking - leaving behind the lees? Just getting the juice?

If I wanted to make carbonated cider in the bottles can i use priming sugar - most people seem to say to add it to the bottles before bottling? How much? A teaspoon?

Racking to a secondary is good practice after 3-4 weeks of fermentation (it removes a majority of the lees from the cider and helps allow for clearing and prevents autolysing, which can produce off flavors). That all said I know an old guy who leaves his cider on the lees all year, but his cider tastes like crap and he wonders why.

Racking is just the liquid.

For priming I would do about 1oz per gallon of priming sugar (4-5oz per 5 gallon batch). Get your cider into a bottling bucket, add primming sugar and mix gently without aeration. let sit 15 minutes, then gently mix again and bottle and cap. Store bottles at about 65F-70F for a few weeks and test them once a week until you get teh carb you want, then you can pull back and refridgerate.

Don't worry about the yeast I am sure you will turn out just fine. I used that same yeast this year and after a natural malolactic fermentation it has produced a cider/wine that is in my top 2 for the season. i.e. that yeast does a good job when used correctly.


I would try to get your fermenter in a swamp cooler, get your temp to 65-68F to start 70-75F is borderline too high in my opinion. With the internal fermentation temps you might accidentally push into 75F+ and that is not a good heat range for the yeast, you will get funky things happening.
__________________

Man,... That's a lotta hooch!
Steel rig in progress
ebuild info

CidahMastah is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
Wonderjojo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Grand cayman, Cayman
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CidahMastah View Post
I would try to get your fermenter in a swamp cooler, get your temp to 65-68F to start 70-75F is borderline too high in my opinion. With the internal fermentation temps you might accidentally push into 75F+ and that is not a good heat range for the yeast, you will get funky things happening.
I may have to take it to the office where there's AC! But then I'll just be watching it all day - I reckon its gonna be too hot - its getting pretty hot here now.

Other comments are very helpful though, Thanks!
__________________
Wonderjojo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-04-2011, 02:49 AM   #5
Wonderjojo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Grand cayman, Cayman
Posts: 5
Default

Ok. Stage 2 and I'm in a bit of a pickle. It's been very hot here even though I've had my cider in the coolest spot. I never took a reading before I pitched either. Whoops!

So it fermented away for about a week - not very very bubbley though but I got sediment on the bottom; about an inch or two of it. I then left it for another couple of weeks but it went a bit darker rather than clearing at all.

I racked to my bucket tonight and tasted the liquid but it tasted a bit yeasty and not that good. I added a gallon more apple juice and dissolved about half a pound of brown sugar into it (not enough?). It wasn't very alcoholic at all and I THINK i got a gravity reading of 1.12 which seems quite high.....

I think this may be a waste of juice but I don't mind waiting to see what happens with my secondary.

What do you think- funky apple juice?

__________________
Wonderjojo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #6
CidahMastah
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
CidahMastah's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: , New York
Posts: 4,264
Liked 31 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Describe "not that good". remember, ciders need some time to age out the yeasty smell (will go away) and any cidery harshness.

Describe to us the flavors, but I think the plan will be to leave it under air lock for another week or two at a minimum.

That cider yeast should ferment out dry (.098-1.000)

__________________

Man,... That's a lotta hooch!
Steel rig in progress
ebuild info

CidahMastah is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2011, 11:07 PM   #7
Wonderjojo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Grand cayman, Cayman
Posts: 5
Default

So, months later and my cider hasn't cleared. Its kind of a darkish apple cider colour. A month or so ago I racked it again and added a little artificial sweetener and it's been sitting in the dark for months forgotten about. Today I'm planning on bottling it; for better or for worse!

My plan is to add Apple Juice to backsweeten it after testing to get the right amount for taste. A few I will put straight in the fridge to be had still and a few I will leave out for a couple of days whilst monitering a plastic bottle to check carbonation and when there is a gentle pressure I'll put them in the fridge too.

Can anyone foresee any problems with this? Once these ciders are in the fridge they should be alright, right? No bottle bombs?

__________________
Wonderjojo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2011, 05:33 AM   #8
Hopleaf11
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sun Prairie, WI
Posts: 29
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

The darkish color could be from the brown sugar. I would stop adding ingredients at this point and concentrate on getting the fermentation right. My first cider (and only to date) was super simple: 5 gallons juice that I pastuerized, chilled and pitched a cider yeast. I let it ferment in the primary for three weeks and then moved to a secondary where it sat for 8 more months. Temp was consistently at 68 degrees F (I'm blessed with a great basement for fermenting homebrew). Then I racked into a bottling bucket over a solution of priming sugar and bottled. Bottle conditioned for a month. It drinks great, clean crisp good carb. Just a good cider.

Maybe you should try another batch that is a bit simpler, take accurate gravity readings and control your fermentation temp.

With you current effort, get a solid gravity reading. If it's anywhere near 1.010 I'd bottle it and see what it's like in a couple of weeks. Then start formulating a recipe for that next batch.



__________________
Hopleaf11 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A few quick questions from a noob cider brewer... wdtunstall Cider Forum 4 12-04-2010 06:40 PM
First time brewer. LiamRick Cider Forum 3 03-16-2010 07:01 PM
Cider questions from a first-time brewer Calavera Cider Forum 9 10-15-2009 03:16 AM
help!! new brewer crusty Cider Forum 2 10-22-2008 04:39 PM
First time brewer notsosober Cider Forum 7 06-10-2008 10:20 PM