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Old 10-28-2009, 01:27 AM   #211
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Hey there, I'm also a first time cider guy... I'm gonna get 5 gallons of unpasturized cider in a couple days from Michigan. I think that I'll just try the S04 with honey as that seemed to work well for you. I read through this entire thread (phew!) and I just wanted to see if I got something right.

I know that I could add the campden tabs to kill of wild yeasts prior to pitching the yeast, but were you saying that you didn't think that that was necessary? I'm planning on cold crashing it at 1.008 or so and then force carbonating.

Thanks for all the info!

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Old 10-28-2009, 02:13 AM   #212
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Right - If the unpasteurized juice you get is fresh, and the press has good sanitation practices, then you dont need to add campden before the ferment. You will get more apple taste and be able to drink it sooner.

If you want to save it for more than 6 months or so, then you will want to add a little bit at the end, after fermentation - however most of the time it gets consumed way before long term storage becomes an issue

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Old 10-28-2009, 02:25 PM   #213
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Yeah, it's bubbling away pretty fast now, got home yesterday and was very thankful i used a blow off tube instead of an airlock. The sanitation water now looks like cider... (the current temp is 73 or so) I'm going to check sg tonight.

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Old 10-28-2009, 02:49 PM   #214
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If you can lower your temps, it will do better at 60-65. At 73 Coopers will ferment out in no time - like 3 or 4 days. Even when temps are cool, Coopers goes pretty fast.

If you use a deeper container for your blow-off vessel, you will keep more of the cider in your carboy - a taller water column will take more pressure to bubble and that will keep the foam down so it doesnt get into the blowoff tube. Empty wine bottles are good for this

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Old 10-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #215
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I'm in an apartment, so the carboy just sits in my closet. I may eventually modify a mini fridge for lagering, etc. but for now it's not really an option. Just gonna have to deal with a quick ferment. Well, i might have an option. Does light adversely effect cider like it does beer? or can i leave it near a shaded window?

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Old 10-29-2009, 12:17 AM   #216
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Yeah, try to keep the light off it. you can always wrap a towel around it. This time of the year, I just set the thermostat as low as SWMBO can stand it and layer up.

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Old 10-29-2009, 02:59 AM   #217
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haha, swmbo is already complaining, and i'm still sweating... sg is at 1.040 or there abouts, whole lot of bubbles, shaking/twisting moved it from 1.050 to 1.040 so it might be a bit lower. Temp on carboy therm. is now 75/77, in room is @ 73 :-/

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Old 10-29-2009, 03:18 PM   #218
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Been reading through this thread for the past couple of days as I get ready to pick up some cider from an orchard north of Atlanta. I've got a fair amount of experience on the beer side, but the cider homebrew world is new to me. I know I like the Normandy styles of ciders, and for still I prefer it dryer. I dropped off 6 carboys last week and am picking them up today. Any thoughts on the following setup would be helpful, particularly things like goal ranges for SG & FG or if some of my suggestions on yeasts look like poor choices.

All are in 5 or 6 gallon carboys. I'm planning on cold crashing all, blending after secondary, kegging & using carbonation stone on 2, bottling the others. On the 4 I'm bottling, I wouldn't mind it if some were sparkling.

Thanks a bunch.
Ivano

Batch # Yeast SG after goal FG goal for cold crash
Granny #1 Wyeast 1968 1.06-1.065 ?
Granny #2 US-05 1.06-1.065 ?
Pink Lady #1 Wyeast 3068 1.06-1.065 ?
Pink Lady #2 S04 - Sarfale 1.06-1.065 1.01
Gold Rush #1 N/A - Wild 1.06-1.065 1.02-1.025
Gold Rush #2 S04 - Sarfale 1.06-1.065 1.01

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Old 10-29-2009, 03:32 PM   #219
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Crap. My girlfriend just got back from Michigan with 5 freshly filled gallons of cider. Unfortunately, it has been UV filtered, but worse yet it has 0.1% potassium sorbate added. Am I screwed? Will this just kill the yeast that I put in?

Not that drinking 5 gal of fresh cider is necessarily a bad thing, but I wanted hard cider!

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:35 PM   #220
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Ivano - looks good! You might want to consider mixing a couple of those Granny smith and pink lady batches. Granny smith juice is crazy sour by itself - not just "sour apple finish" sour, more like "makes your jaw lock up" sour. A couple of years ago I did some batches with 50/50 Granny smith and Pink lady and they came out really good. OTOH, I have a few friends who have been trying to talk me into doing a batch of all Granny smith because they like the crazy sour. I'm not familiar with Gold Rush. Once you get your ciders, I would suggest tasting and maybe mixing some of these together so that you get a good balance of taste in the juice.

I like all of the ale yeasts finished out at around 1.006 to 1.010. Exactly where in this spectrum is a matter of personal taste and the acid balance in the cider, so maybe try to start checking for taste around 1.015 and make the decision of where to crash then. Wheat yeasts are good for a sweeter cider - I usually crash these around 1.020 - 1.025 as they are more juicy and not as sticky sweet as an ale yeast in this range. You can go lower on the wheats if you want, but they seem to be real popular at 1.020 or so.

If you like the normandy ciders, you might want to do another 3068 batch, or another wheat batch like 1010 or 3056. All three of these are slow fermenters, which gives the wild yeast a little more time to do its thing before the wheat yeast dominates and they are easier to manage than wild yeast batches.

Pavelump - the sorbate wont kill the yeast, but will keep them from reproducing. I've got a few batches to ferment out with sorbate but they never tasted very good. I think the key for success may be to keep pitching new yeast every few days and you'll probably want to go with starters when you pitch

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