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Old 04-09-2011, 02:31 AM   #1
Blanchy
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Default Results of first cider- suggestions for improvement?

Hi all- tried the results of my first gallon of cider tonight. Verdict: drinkable, but rather thin and watery. I tried to keep it as simple as possible, and just used a gallon of organic apple juice and a packet of Nottingham ale yeast. Fermented and let it sit for eight weeks. I don't have a hydrometer, but from the taste I suspect the alcohol level is around 5 or 6%.

The apple aroma is good, and the alcohols are a bit harsh (which I know would benefit with aging), but what I really want to do is get a bit more body into this drink next time. This batch has turned out pretty watery.

Any suggestions to this end? Right now my strategy is to keep making gallon batches until I really have it dialed in, and can pull off a quality five gallon batch.

Thanks!
Graham

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Old 04-09-2011, 03:50 AM   #2
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Are you drinking it still? You could backsweeten with concentrate or cold crash to keep some flavor and sweetness. If your drinking it dry you might want to find some tannins that you like. IMHO that would be the simplest steps towards improving your recipe.

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Old 04-09-2011, 03:53 AM   #3
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You could try making a graff if you want more body. Adding lactose would add body and just a hint of sweetness. Aging is definitely called for.

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Old 04-09-2011, 08:14 PM   #4
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What is a good way to get tannins into the recipe? I think I've heard of oak leaves being used in mead, but aside from that, I don't know of any other sources.

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Old 04-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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For tannins I use raisins (with no preservatives) and strong english breakfast tea. I put these in during the primary, but I don't know if you could just cut your cider with some strong black tea?

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Old 04-09-2011, 11:15 PM   #6
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Hmm. This cider is fairly drinkable as it is, but I will definitely try the raisins/black tea method on my next batch, and some oak leaves once summer gets into full swing up here.

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Old 04-10-2011, 03:55 AM   #7
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You may want to try this recipe scaled down to a gallon batch:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/grah...2/#post1178634

It's very close to what you have been trying, but has some tannis and acid added.

I am going to do this for my next batch.

P.S. You have the added benefit of calling it your own cider

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Old 04-10-2011, 05:47 AM   #8
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Try a cup with a small amount of lemon juice, then scale it for your batch.

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Old 04-10-2011, 03:46 PM   #9
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Since your on the east coast I would start looking for orchards near you to visit this fall. while a good drink can be made from the store, it will never compare to what you can make using local, fresh pressed, properly blended juice.

I can tell you have a good attitude about this by keeping it simple. I actually don't like it when somebody wants to make their first cider and they follow a "recipe" and then puts a bunch a crap in it. You don't learn that way.

I press my own juice and use crab apples for body and tannin. Since that is not an option I would raise the gravity of you juice with one can of froze cranberry concentrate. It's cheap and simple.

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Old 04-10-2011, 10:54 PM   #10
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DoctorWho- that recipe sounds awesome, I think I will try that next (or at least elements of it). The limes sound intriguing. I'm not sure I could in good conscience pass it off as my own though... maybe just to the gf

Oldmate- just tried with some limeade- definite improvement.

Wildman- my goal is to keep my initial recipes as simple as possible, so I can figure out how all the ingredients work together. I actually have a friend with a small (and ancient, probably colonial era) orchard, I might try to rent/borrow a cider press this fall. Crab apples are also an idea; do you press them as well, or just add them to the primary?


Graham

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