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Old 10-20-2009, 05:09 PM   #191
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@thatguy--Before I threw away $40 worth of juice I think I'd make up a healthy starter with an aggressive yeast, get my temp just right and re-pitch. A little bit of time & money for some more yeast and a chance at rescuing the batch versus tossing the whole thing seems like worth a try. Most preservatives in AJ aren't poisons, just growth inhibitors. If you can get your yeast all worked up into a feeding frenzy you might be able to plow on through.
You know I just got 4 more kegs in yesterday and I was thinking about moving all of the juice out of the 1 gallon jugs into a keg and pitching a butt load of yeast last night but I just drank my sorrows away! At this point I am ready to try anything. The samples still taste fine to me so its worth a shot. I also have three beers that are ready to rack I wonder if I should just pull some yeast from them and pitch. So pitch more and more yeast to the 1 gallon jugs. Or mix all the juice together and pitch all of the 5 different yeast mixed together. Or ix all the juice and get one kind of yeast and pitch again. And the final option would be to pull the yeast cake off a beer and pitch that!. So many options!


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Old 10-20-2009, 09:05 PM   #192
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I've been able to get juice with preservatives to ferment out on several occasions, but it never tasted very good. Probably because since the yeast were not reproducing, the ones that were left at the end of the ferment were old and probably demented as well

I'd go ahead and mix all the juice together because at this point you are no longer trying to find the optimal recipe for your juice - just trying to salvage the juice - and it will be easier to manage in one carboy.

Since you have beers that are ready to rack, I would definitely use those cakes, unless you were planning to use them for something else. They will be strong and healthy. Rack one one of those beers into the keg now, pour the ciders into that carboy and use the yeast cake to give your cider a kick. When that batch starts to die off, rack the next beer and add that cake to the cider. If you need to, you can do the same with the third keg. You will probably want to stop the cider fermentation on the sweet side to mask any weird flavors that you might pick up from the preservatives, but hopefully you can end up with something that is drinkable

Here is a link for some orchards in your state. Hopefully you can find one that is closer and get some good juice for your next batch
http://www.allaboutapples.com/orchard/il.htm



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Old 10-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #193
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If I've lost too much of the apple flavor during fermenting can I add some sweet cider to the carboy after racking and let is age for a while? Will it keep alright when bottled?

Thanks!

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Old 10-22-2009, 10:56 PM   #194
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If I've lost too much of the apple flavor during fermenting can I add some sweet cider to the carboy after racking and let is age for a while? Will it keep alright when bottled?

Thanks!
If you can find a way to stop the wild yeast in the sweet cider from fermenting then that will make it sweeter for sure. I know k sorbate is one way to kill off wild yeast/bacteria.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #195
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Sorbate is effective, but it leaves a very discernible taste. Some people are OK with the taste. Most not. I'm not crazy about it. Also you must use k-meta before the sorbate or it will really taste bad.

Cold crashing can be used remove the yeast if you use an ale or wheat yeast. Search on cold crash, or read the whole sticky for more info on cold crashing.

You can backsweeten with sweet cider or concentrate, sugar, agave, etc. In my experience, the best sweetener to use depends on how your batch turned out. Pour some 4oz glasses and experiment to find out what is the best sweetener for the batch you have. However - you must either remove the yeast with cold crashing or stop it with k-meta/sorbate or else your cider will not be stable

The key to getting really good cider is not to let all of the natural apple sugar ferment out in the first place. Backsweetening is OK to salvage a failed batch so that it is drinkable, but it wont be as good as if you had stopped the cider when it still has the natural apple sugar

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:28 PM   #196
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For the first batch I used Coopers - not sure what kind of yeast that is.

Sweet cider I'm using has run through UV so there is no concern for wild yeast.

Are their any ways to maintain natural apple sweetness and raise the alcohol above 6%? Add extra juice from very sugary apples?

BTW - thanks for your help. Not many people here in Cincinnati are interested in cider - despite our Johnny Appleseed history - and I've had a heck of a time getting my questions answered.

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:52 PM   #197
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you could always try it and let us know how it turns out. I'll let cvillekevin handle your apple sweetness plus ABV quesion but you can search this very thread and find some info on what type of sugars work well to maintain the apple taste. IMHO people, myself included, worry about ABV way too much. In theory if it tastes good it'll go down faster, resulting in about the same level of drunkness. I guess I'd rather have an outstanding tasting cider at 4% ABV than a so-so tasting cider at 6%. anyone second that?

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Old 10-23-2009, 12:52 AM   #198
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Thanks, rjschroed! I'm not looking to get stupid quick. I thought I had read somewhere that ciders under about 5.5% or so did not age well. About 6 months or so. I'm hoping to save some for a year from now or so and see how the aging changes the flavor. I've got a batch at about 5% right now and if I'm wrong on the aging thing I'll go ahead and rack it right now because the taste is about where I want it.

Do you happen to know much about the requirements in longer aging?

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Old 10-23-2009, 02:14 AM   #199
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I'm not sure what you meant by get stupid quick but I wanted to clarify that I wasn't implying that you were stupid. This brewing thing we do requires constant experimentation or else we wouldn't ever find new things or what we like best. Don't know much about aging cider under 5.5% but I think I remember reading somewhere that you were alright for at least 6-9 months.

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Old 10-23-2009, 04:01 AM   #200
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Some mills sweat the apples to increase the sugar content. You can also freeze concentrate before you ferment it.

Higher ABV cider does seem to keep a little better in my experience, but thats not really an issue until late next spring. 4 percent will keep fine til then.

The easiest way to bump the ABV and not affect the apple taste is to use a small bit of sugar. I've found that a mix of 2/3 turbinado to 1/3 dextros is the closest to the original apple sugar taste. You will lose a bit the apple taste, but as long as you dont use more than a couple pounds of sugar in 6 gallons and dont go over 1.070 regardless (if you are starting with sweet apples, cut back on the sugar) it will be hard to notice unless you have two batches side by side.

I'm pretty sure that if you dont add real heavy sugars, the yeast will go to work on the added stuff and not go after the longer chain apple sugars until the very end of the ferment. The season still has a ways to go so you could do one with just the apple sugar now to drink on and then make another one with the sg bumped up a little bit for keeping.



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