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Old 10-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #1
CrazyCranium
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Default Quick and easy first cider

I am relatively new to homebrewing and I just finished making up my second batch of beer (Copper ale kit from Midwest Supplies). It should be ready to bottle in roughly two weeks. My roommate and I are fans of hard cider and I was thinking about trying to brew one for my next batch.

On another forum, I came across the idea of simply adding store-bought apple juice and apple juice concentrate (to bring up the SG) right on top of a leftover yeast cake and letting it ferment. This seems like a quick and easy way to get a basic cider going as it saves the steps of cleaning and resanitizing the fermenter and saves the cost of a new pack of yeast. How would a cider made this way compare to a regular cider?

I am also slightly intrigued by the idea of a graff, which from my understanding is kindof a hybrid of beer and cider. I came across Brandon O's popular recipe on this site and it seems that a graff has more body and tastes better sooner than a more traditional cider. Could a similar result be obtained by saving the yeast cake and maybe a gallon of the previous batch of beer and adding apple juice on top of it?

Right now, my plan is to try this once my copper ale is ready to bottle. Worst case I am out a few gallons of apple juice and a small portion of my copper ale. I don't currently own a secondary fermenter, so I would probably just ferment in the primary for two weeks then bottle condition.

Has anyone here tried something like this? How did it turn out? Any suggestions or ideas of things to change?

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Old 10-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
Justibone
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I haven't tried that, but I have fermented frozen concentrate, and it worked great.

Remember that apple juice is more fermentable than barley malt, so the result will be pretty dry, unless you kill off the yeast, stabilize, and then back-sweeten. A whole yeast cake is going to attenuate your cider to the max.

The other problem with yeast cakes is that they give color, but in case of a cider that could be a good thing.

As for just leaving some of the beer in there, I don't know about that -- I think following a true graff recipe would be better. As that recipe says, hop balance is critical to graff.

Good luck in your experiment! I think it will go well.

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Old 10-25-2011, 12:33 AM   #3
CrazyCranium
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So I decided to go ahead and try this experiment. When my copper ale was done fermenting, I racked 4 gallons to the bottling bucket leaving about 1 gallon behind in the fermenter. I then vigorously poured 4 gallons of store bought apple juice (preservative free) and 4 cans of apple juice concentrate (to boost abv) into the bucket. About 12 hours later, fermentation has already restarted and the airlock is bubbling away.

SG was about 1.055, but there is already about 1% abv in there from the 1 gallon of already fermented ale.

I will update again with the results of my experiment.

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Old 10-25-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
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Sounds good!

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:47 AM   #5
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So how did your experiment work out? good result or not?

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