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Old 01-22-2010, 08:26 PM   #1
tkellymd
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Default Rapid Cider Question

I am trying to get a rapid cider recipe as my wife does not want to wait several months to start drinking it. I added some honey to 3/4 gallon of pasteurized unfiltered apple juice and nottingham yeast. Currently fermenting away. The last batch I made (5 gal) dried out way too much over 3 months and had to be backsweetened with apple concentrate when poured out of the bottle. My plan with this batch is to aim for a sweeter cider by cold crashing it when the SG is around 1.003 or so and sweetening it up to SG 1.006 and then bottle. Hopefully this process will take around 1-1.5 months.

1. Does this sound like this will work?
2. Will this create a bottle bomb and so I should use cambden tabs to kill the yeast instead? (I will then have uncarbonated cider and do not have a CO2 system)
3. Am I nuts to think I can make this happen this fast?

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Old 01-23-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
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1. sure

2. not if you are reasonably careful not to suck up any yeast on the racks. On the second rack especially, dont let anything that's not clear cider go up the syphon, even if that means you have to leave a glassful behind. Notty is great because it flocs very compactly at low temps. You are only making a few bottles worth, so if you drink one every few days you will know if any carb is starting back up. Its probably a good idea to make sure you have the process down a few times before storing glass bottles for long periods of time.


3. Whats your fermentation temp? If you ferment at warm enough temps, you could do this in 8 or 9 days if you want to. Thats a week to ferment to 1.006 at ~70F, then a couple of days to crash and bottle. I like to ferment a little lower and slower - 60 degrees for 3 weeks for a gallon batch ideally.

It will probably taste better if you crash it at 1.006, rather than 1.003 and backsweeten. That way it is all natural apple sugar. You may want to start tasting it earlier, because the best final sg is very much dependent on the juice you are starting with. Usually you can drink a sweeter cider sooner because the sugars balance any strong acid flavors, wheras a dry cider tends to be dominated by acids that take a while to mellow.

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:09 AM   #3
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Default Fermanted too long

After 8 days the SG is down to 1.000 at 70 deg F so that should be corrected to about 1.003. It tastes a little dry and is not very sweet. I think I will crash and backsweeten for now and next time take your advice and test after 4 or 5 days to try allow for less fermentation.

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Old 01-27-2010, 03:17 AM   #4
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Well I got a little impatient with the backsweetening. I had no idea how much sugar to add so I started with 2 tbs. turbinado sugar in 1 cup H20 with no change in SG. I then added 3 tbs. turbinado in 1/4 cup still with no change in SG. I then went for broke and added 10 tbs. in 1/2 cup H2O and the SG jumped up to 1.010. Oh well. Now to cold crash and taste.

This could be awful!

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Old 01-27-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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It's all about trial and error, then trial and perfection. It's hard to snag that gravity at the right time before it dries out too fast haha. Good luck on the tasting!

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:23 PM   #6
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I guess I am kinda confused, as Cider is already a pretty fast brew... and many people drink it relatively "Fresh"... especially if you like "Sparkling" cider that has a good strong apple taste...

My own batch using Nottingham ran from 1.070 to 1.020 in 1-week in a chilly basement (55-60F)

I cold crashed it at 1.020 -- as I like the apple flavor that is left behind, and it has plenty of Alcohol for my tastes...

It is already in bottles 2 weeks after pitching yeast! Tasty stuff.

Thanks

John

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Old 01-29-2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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Default I didn't know

I suppose you're right. From my reading on this forum I was initially under the impression that cider needed to age for around 3 months. Clearly this is not so and probably the reason my first batch turned out so dry and "unsweet." Live and learn.

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Old 01-29-2010, 10:05 PM   #8
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If you let it go all the way dry, then it will need some time to age. That is because when all the sugars are gone, mostly what you have left is the acids and they take a while to mellow. Sometimes a dry cider will take even more than three months to be drinkable. But if you leave some residual sugar, it balances the acids and you can drink it much earlier

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Old 02-08-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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Well the batch didn't taste too bad but my wife thought it was too sweet. So I guess I'll try another one gallon batch and crash after 3-4 days when the SG is around 1.020. Thanks for all the help.

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Old 02-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #10
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Try Brandon O's Graff. It's got a little malt to keep things sweet, I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.

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