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Old 10-12-2009, 03:59 PM   #171
ThatGuyRyan
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Got them all going. As for the apples I don’t know what the mix is. Finding a apple orchard around Chicago is not easy these days. All the ones we went to as kids are gone. Or the barn and store is still there but the orchard was sold and is now houses. So the cider I got was made in Michigan and sold at the Goebberts Farm. I did find a orchard that presses their apples in house but its a 3 hour round trip! I did call and ask if they do bulk discounts and they said yes but not until the end of the season so I am going to call them in mid November and if they will give me a deal I will make the trip with all my empty carboys!

But anyways here is what I did. And yes I know about the Nottingham recall and my local shop pulled that a few weeks ago and I got a fresh pack. The juice itself had a gravity of 1.042 and I tried to get these all in the 1.060-1.065 ball park.

s-04 just honey
Nottingham / pure maple syrup
s-23 Sugar corn/cane
s-05 Brown sugar/corn sugar mix 70/30
Windsor nothing just juice

All are silent but the S-04 that one filled the air lock 3X and is going strong. All fermenting at 68 degrees.

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:35 PM   #172
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Sounds good! I've got a S04 batch with honey that I just started and I had to use a blow off tube. First time I've ever needed to do that with S04. Fermentis must have put out a real healthy batch of the S04.

I drive about 2 1/2 hours round trip to get to Showalters orchard. Its worth it though. There are closer orchards, but none that can match the quality/price ratio.

When I was at the orchard last week, I asked them about nitrogen fertilizers. It turns out that they dont use any nitrogen once the trees start producing, because the apple quality isnt as good. I was really impressed to hear that because that is the same thing that Jim Koan (JK Scrumpy) says, and a lot of European cider makers dont use nitrogen either. A lot of the big US commercial orchards use nitrogen to pump up their juice yields. Its good to know that there are still some producers who care more about quality and even better that there is one within driving distance.

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Old 10-14-2009, 04:12 PM   #173
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Default Interim report on the wheat (and one pilsner) test batches

Here is some preliminary info on the test batches that were made with six wheat yeasts and one pilsner yeast.

All of the batches were made with juice that was 50% Staymans, 25% York and 25% Empire, pressed on 10/8/09. Starting sg 1.054, pH 3.9, no k-meta:

The 1010, 3056 and 2001 smack packs took forever (about 6 hours) to puff up at room temperature. Supposedly, that is somewhat normal, but the 3068 and 4184 smack packs are ready much faster. The 3942, 3333 and 3638 packs puffed up in the usual 2-3 hours

Temps in my basement were 60-68 throughout the fermentation.

All of the batches, except for the White Labs 380, had started fermentation withing 24 hours, with airlock activity within 36 hours – a little slower than most of the dry yeasts I use. The WLP380 took 48 hours to start fermenting, with airlock activity at about 60 hours. All of the batches, except for the 3942, pushed some foam up into the airlocks. For the 1010 and 380 batches there was so much foam that I replaced the airlocks with blowoff tubes on those.

I checked out the seven batches with no sugar last night, five days after pitching the yeast:

WY1010 – 1.034, very smooth, SWMBO likes more than 3068
WY3056 – 1.026, also very nice and smooth, SWMBO likes more than 3068
WY3333 – 1.010, has a sour apple taste and a little yeasty, SWMBO didn’t like it at all. Cold crashed
(at this point SWMBO had enough of the tasting, so following impressions are my own)
WY3638 – 1.028, tastes very similar to 3068, but without as much of a sour note
WY3942 – 1.010, a little sour and yeasty, will probably be OK when yeast drops out. Cold crashed
WY2001 – 1.012, a little stinky, decent apple finish. Cold crashed
WLP380 – 1.030, nice and smooth with a mango taste.

So three are crashed and the others I’m planning to let go till about 1.020 or so and see how they taste. The wheat yeasts are nice for a sweet cider because they can be sweet without being sticky sweet tasting. The ale yeasts that I use would be very sticky sweet at sgs of 1.026 – 1.034, but with the wheat yeasts, its quite tolerable

At this point, the batches that I crashed, I probably wouldn’t use again, even if they end up tasting great, because they fermented out so fast. One of the nice things about the 3068 batches is that they take a little longer than the ale yeasts to ferment out, so I can take my time crashing them. It seems that several of the other wheat yeasts have this same property

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Old 10-15-2009, 07:00 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mZnthebend View Post
CvilleKevin

Thank you very much for your timely response and depth of information. I'm sure looking forward to trying something new. I think in light of pitching into the Sankey and only doing a single batch at the moment I will rehydrate the yeast in some boiled (Cooled to 100F) water before pitching.

Thanks again.
Thanks AGAIN CvilleKevin!

I have been tasting my first Cider over the last few days and have been extremely impressed with it. 10 gallons with 1 gallon of boiled water and 4# light brown sugar. O.G. 1.071 ( I little higher than I wanted, but heh!) 15 Gallon Sankey with CO2 purged headspace and three packs of Nottingham rehydrated and fermented around 68F. It took a little longer to ferment than I expected, but I stopped it at 1.010 since the OG was so high. Kegged and crashed and have been serving from the keg that I crashed. I understand I'll be getting a little sediment, but I'm a little limited with Keg or fridge space right now. I'm very impressed and am looking forward to making more in the future.

Quick question, do you or have you ever serve from a keg that you crashed in?

Thanks again for the wealth of information.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:20 PM   #175
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I always crash in carboys and dont move to kegs until its clear. You could probably crash in kegs as long as you keep it cold, because the yeast will still be there at the bottom of the keg

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Old 10-17-2009, 12:09 AM   #176
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Well 5 days later and we have issues. All only went down .004 points or so! What the hell!

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Old 10-17-2009, 12:28 PM   #177
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What kind of temps do you have? 0.004 in five days would not be unusual if your temps are 55-60. My last batches of the season in December/January go that slow and they are usually the best batches.

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Old 10-17-2009, 02:17 PM   #178
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They were at 66 degrees. I pitched some more yeast and gave them a shake and raised the temp to 71 last night . Will the juice still be good? I just don't understand how even the one with just juice and yeast went from 1.042 to 1.038 in 5 days with activity.

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Old 10-17-2009, 05:39 PM   #179
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That does seem like a slow ferment for 66 degrees. Did you let your yeast rehydrate slowly? Check out bottom of page 15. Best practice would be to use a starter. I skip this step to save time, but you still have to be careful with the pitch. I usually pitch in my kitchen, which is a warm room, so it is about 70, then move the jugs to the basement about an hour later.

The juice should still be fine. I've had natural ferments take up to a week to get started. Next time you take a sg reading, you could take a taste just to make sure. You should be seeing pretty good activity on all of these if you pitched more yeast last night. When they get going fairly strong, you can drop the temps again.

When you said that the one with S04 filled the airlock three times, do you mean that it pushed foam up into the airlock? Did that batch also drop only 0.004? Once an S04 ferment gets going, it likes nice low temps, so that would be strange. I would expect something like 4-8 points a day for several days once it gets to the point of foaming the airlock. Did it ever get real cold in the past 4 days?

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Old 10-19-2009, 03:54 AM   #180
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Default Progress report on batches from 2nd pressing

I just cold crashed the first batch from the Oct 8th pressing. Temps have been nice and cool - around 60-65 for the past 10 days.



From left to right, status of keg batches is as follows:

Two batches from the 9/14 pressing which are clearing in secondaries,

Wild yeast batch – This one started fermenting hard, so I moved it to the back porch several days ago. Now its fermenting slow and steady at about 45F. Havent checked sg yet

Wildflower Honey, S04 yeast. 1.024 still too sweet, honey/apple balance is good.

Turbinado/Dextrose, US05 yeast. 1.020, has nice sweet/sour taste. This would be good with raspberries, which I’m planning to add before crash, so I can get rid of the raspberry pulp at the same time as the crash

S04 yeast, no sugar, crashed at 1.010, could have maybe gone a little earlier, like 1.012 or 1.014. Has good apple taste and a sour dry finish. Since none of the others will need to stop for a while, I’ll give this a full 48 hours in the fridge.

Turbinado/Dextrose, Nottingham yeast. 1.030 , very smooth but too early to say how its going to go

No sugar, 3068 yeast. Still only at 1.040. Tastes good. I’m pretty sure that it’s the wild yeast that gives the 3068 a signature sour taste – probably because the 3068 takes so long to get going, so the wild yeast has more expression before the 3068 takes over

The two carboys on the right in the foreground are from a cider pressing party last weekend. The apples, in order of quantity in the mix are Cameo, McIntosh, Fuji, Gala, Jonathan, Grimes Golden, Winesap, Granny Smith, sg is 1.052, ph was 4.1 which is surprisingly high, because the finish is tart on this mix. The carboy in the foreground has no sugar and S04 yeast. Its at 1.018 and tastes a little sour. The one next to it is another wild yeast ferment, which so far has been nicely slow and steady havent checked the sg yet.

I’m really happy with the wheat yeast test batches. It’s a little early to say for sure, but I think several of these are going to be as good or better than the 3068 for a sweet style. The 2001 pilsner doesn’t really work for a sweet cider, but its really good in its own right – more of an apple beery sort of taste. Probably would work well for a graff style, although it did put out a little more of a stink than the others. The only one that I’m not crazy about is the 3942, which was a little too sour and not much apple taste compared to the rest.

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