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Old 01-11-2011, 03:17 AM   #441
CvilleKevin
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SNO - glad to hear that the Youngs worked out for you!

Thanks for the info - I didnt realize that pectic enzyme could be added after fermentation. I'll try adding some after the crash to one of the batches that doesnt already have it. It would be a lot more useful to add the enzyme at the end of the process, because that is when it is apparent whether the cider needs some help to clear or not. I'd rather not add anything if I dont need to. Did the batch where you added enzyme before fermentation get as clear?

I'm wondering if the weather might have had some effect on how the juice cleared because earlier this year I did some batches that were a Cortland, Gala, Mac mix, which are all low pectin and almost identical to a similar mix that I did last year - but last year they all got nice and clear, whereas this year some of them are still hazy.



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Old 01-11-2011, 01:57 PM   #442
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Yeah, I'm excited to see what it tastes like after I bottle carbonate. It's definitely got some tang but I believe there is a good amount of apple flavor and nose and the yeast is reasonably priced, even with shipping from UK.

I had never tried adding the pectic enzyme after fermentation but read that this could be done in some of the forums. I am assuming that there is a reason it is generally added prior to fermentation but have not been able to find any discussion of the affect on flavor, etc. I think you'll be pleased with the clarity provided by using the enzyme after the crash. Like you, I hate using uneccesary additives but do prefer a clear cider, especially for sparkling. The batch that I added enzyme before pitching is still clearing at the moment. I transferred to secondary at about 1.005 so there was still a bit of activity but I believe it will clear nicely as the yeast activity dies down. I'll let you know in about 3 weeks.

The weather could have had an effect, I guess my expertise as far as effect of weather on pectin production is limited. I know the weather had an effect on the juice I got, but only because the press had limited availability based on low production. They are done for the season and I've got a fridge full of yeast that I purchased for experiments. I had to fight over the five gallons for this last batch with the Young's yeast with some guy down at the Fareway. I won but I know they were holding out on me... I did manage to find another press that can supply me the 20 gallons I need for the experiments in late January. Unpasteurized; the blend is 50% Jonathon, and 50% blend of some or all of the following Wealthy, Gala, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Cortland. Sounds like a strong cider, I'm hoping it will work nicely for the experiments. I'm now struggling over whether I'll add pectic enzyme prior to pitching since I've had issues with all the batches I've made this year but I guess I'll decide on the fly. I will definitely be adding yeast nutrients as I have come to the conclusion that my earlier issues with off smells during fermentation were related to yeast health, particularly because I use honey to increase SG. I don't think there is much effect on flavor and it's a small price to pay to ensure a good end product. I noted from my reading through your posts that you don't add any nutrient and I wish I could get the same effect without the addition but now I've got about 15 gallons that will have to age for longer than I had hoped (no cider until at least February...damn).



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Old 01-18-2011, 08:13 AM   #443
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Default Best Cider Yet

I got apples from a local orchard for my cider. The orchardist is an old time cider man, and the mixture he provided was based on: Mutsu, Winesap, Jonathan, and Cortland. S.G. of the juice was 1.070, and it fermented out to O.G. 1.002. I sterilized with campden tablets(1 per gal). Additives used were: 1tbsp pectic enzyme, 2 tbsp yeast nutrient, 1 tsp citric acid. This was a 6gal batch. Yeast was Lalvin DV-10.
At bottling time it was dry and tart, with a bitter taste from the seeds because I was using a fitness juicer to express my juice. I primed with 3/4 cups of raw local honey heated in a cup of the cider to 150degrees for 5 mins. Backsweetened w/1 tbsp per gal "Stevia In The Raw. Chilled a bottle at 2 weeks after bottling, and opened the next day. Great carbonation, great apple flavors, and all the bitterness gone. Tasted quite similar to Original Sin. Can't wait for next season. Thanks, Mack

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #444
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Kevin, Thanks for all of the work and research you have done with all of this. I started two one gallons of pasteurized apple cider about one year ago based on your postings. I didn't really keep good records and I did not have any idea what I was doing. I think I used an addition of honey in one and turbinado sugar in the other one. I used SO4 yeast. I racked it a couple of times and then it has sat in my basement for the last twelve months. Well, about two weeks ago, I got one of the gallons, racked it into a bottling bucket with 3/4's of a can of apple concentrate in an attempt to backsweeten it and hopefully bottle condition it. As you can imagine, it was really, really dry after a year.

After about 10 days, it started to carbonate and it has turned out to be one of the finest tasting drinks I have ever had. I didn't think it would carbonate after a year, but it did. Kind of sweet but tart and amazingly refreshing. I can't wait to bottle the other gallon and then make a tremendous amount more. Thanks.

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Old 01-27-2011, 09:20 AM   #445
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Default Yeast Experiment

I pressed cider that had a s.g. of 1.070. I added nothing and used DV-10 yeast. Backsweetened with "Stevia in The Raw" at 1 tbsp/quart, and primed with 3/4 cup raw honey for a 5 gal batch. Excellent carbonation, and the taste is very similar to 'Original Sin". When you open a bottle the aroma is like someone just crushed tart apples under your nose. I agree with your evaluation of Cotes de Blanc. Cider made with the same juice as above came out dry and almost tasteless.

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Old 01-27-2011, 12:18 PM   #446
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Originally Posted by CvilleKevin View Post
This year my favorite was a Gold Rush, so I'll be looking for that one next year.
Just planted a standard goldrush last year and have two more on semidwarf rootstock that I am planting in the spring - great to hear the positive work on this cultivar!

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I thought I could compensate for the lack of finish by adding some acid blend so I added ½ teaspoon of LD Carlson Citric, Malic, Tartaric blend to a test gallon, but it didn’t give me what I was looking for. It dropped the pH by a couple tenths and made the juice taste more tangy in the mouth, but didn’t add anything to the finish and it stomped on the spicy part of the flavor. The juice was already tangy enough in the mouth, it just didn’t have any tang in the finish. Not really much finish at all. Since the acid blend didn’t really help that, I didn’t use it. So lesson learned – acid blend can provide more tang in the mouth if the juice is missing that, but it wont give you a nice finish if the juice doesn’t already have one. It retrospect, I wish I had paid full price for a couple bushels of pippens to throw in the mix, but I think it will be OK. I’m planning to let these go a little drier than usual, so that the little bit of acid that is in the juice will be more prominent. Time will tell if that works.
Have you ever tried using just malic acid? I find that as a apple tartness addition it works way better than acid blend. Malic acid is the acid found in apples. Acid blend is citric (citrus fruits), Tartaric (grapes) and malic.

If you need to bring in an appley tart - give malic acid only a try - you will be impressed far beyond the results you get from acid blend.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:34 PM   #447
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Thanks for this great thread Kevin, along with all the effort you have put into this labor of love

I am about to kick off my first batch of cider and I would like to hear your favorite yeast for a cider finishing semi-sweet with a good fruity/apple flavor, is S04 still your choice?

Thanks

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Old 01-29-2011, 02:48 PM   #448
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Have you ever tried using just malic acid
No - the blend was something I've had on my shelf for years so I used that. If I have to deal with low acid juice again, I'll probably get some MA, but the main lesson I took away from that was dont leave out the tart apples in the mix, even if they cost extra.

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yeast for a cider finishing semi-sweet with a good fruity/apple flavor, is S04 still your choice
I'm really liking Brewpaks Ale yeast. I havent used it as much as S04, but I've had really good results with it this year. Its hard to find though. I have to get it from UK. Wyeast 3056 is another favorite. Its hard to beat S04 though. Keep in mind that its all somewhat subjective. SWMBO likes Wy3068 and a batch I made with that took first at the Dominion cup last year. I didnt think it was as good as a couple others that I entered, but the judges really liked it.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:06 AM   #449
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Default interim results from lastest experimental batches

This past week was fairly busy for ciderin'

I got all 22 of the latest experimenatal batches crashed and have bottled 10 of the new yeast experiments. The clarifier experiments are still crashing in the fridge.

I had to go out of town for work for a few days and a few of these got more dry than I wanted them to, but given the overall low acid, that was probably a good thing, because none of them were overly harsh, even though they've had zero aging.

The new yeast batches were all with unpasteurized juice. If these were keg batches, I would normally rack them again into another carboy and let them sit for a week or two after the crash to continue to clear before kegging, but for gallon batches, its generally not worth cleaning another bunch of jugs, so coming out of the fridge, I racked these right into botttles. Some of these have already cleared fairly well, but they will all likely continue to clear in the bottle and drop some sediment. The S04, Wy1084, Brewferm wheat and Wy1728 were the most clear after a few days of crashing. Its still early days, but they all tasted at least decent, and some fairly good going into to the bottle and will hopefully continue to improve. Here are some preliminary notes on the new yeast experiments, which left to right are as follows:



S04 (the control on this batch of juice) - crashed after 14 days at 1.006 tastes good, a little on the dry side, but good balance
Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale - crashed after 14 days at 1.002, a bit bland but nice finish
Wyeast 1272 American Ale II - crashed after 14 days at 1.004, starts dry but finishes nice, the jug swelled a bit during the crash, so may be a little harder to crash
White Labs WLP023 Burton Ale - crashed after 14 days at 1.006, smooth, nice appley finish, the jug swelled a bit during the crash, so may be a little harder to crash
Brewferm Blanche (dry wheat yeast) - crashed after 14 days at 1.002. Tastes sweeter than 1.002. I wish I had caught this one sooner, but overall I'd say this is the best tasting dry wheat yeast that I've worked with. Probably still not as good as the liquid wheat yeasts, but time will tell. Also came out the most clear after the crash, which I would not expect for a wheat yeast
Wyeast 2112 California Lager - crashed after 14 days at 1.008, tastes OK, although not as appley as I expected, considering fg was 1.008
Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale - crashed after 14 days at 1.002, tastes sweeter than sg would indicate, nice finish
White Labs WLP775 English Cider - crashed after 14 days at 1.002, a bit bland but balance is OK
White Labs WLP810 San Francisco Lager - crashed after 16 days at 1.010, smells good, has a lot of citric acid up front, a bit yeasty and maybe some fusel alcohol taste. A little sweet in the finish, but the acid/sugar balance works
White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale - crashed after 16 days at 1.008, smells good, big flavor up front, nice finish

still in the fridge:
White Labs WLP041 Pacific Ale - crashed after 21 days at 1.022, the fermentation seemed to be stuck for the past week. At first it was overly sweet, but then started slowly picking up a Malic Acid taste in the finish, which gave it enough zip to balance the sweetness, although SG didnt change. This could be an interesting one to experiment some more with
British yeast mix - crashed after 14 days at 1.000, decent flavor for so dry

Also still crashing in the fridge are the 10 UV-pasteurized batches that I am going to use for experimenting with different clarifiers. These 10 batches I will rack again before adding the clarifier.

Even though I havent added any of the clarifiers yet, there were some interesting differences between the 5 batches with pectin enzyme added ahead of time vs the 5 batches without the pectic enzyme:

The 5 batches with the pectic enzyme were a lot lighter in color, which I expected. What I didnt expect is that they also fermented quite a bit faster than the batches without the enzyme, and even a little bit faster than the gallon of unpasteurized juice, even though all 11 batches used the same S04 yeast. After 14 days, the 5 UV pasteurized batches with pectic enzyme were all at 1.004, while the 5 UV pasteurized batches without the enzyme were all at 1.008. The unpasteurized batch was at 1.006. I crashed all the batches with the enzyme, but it took another 4 days for the 5 batches without the enzyme to ferment down to 1.004 (I liked the taste a little better at 1.008, but wanted to crash these all at the same point so that when I added the clarifiers, the other factors (yeast, juice and FG) would be as consistent as possible).

I suspect that what is going on is that when the pectic enzyme breaks down the pectin, the result is extra nutrients which speeds the fermentation. Pasteurizing the juice sets the pectin, making it less available as nutrient, hence UV pasteurized juice with no pectin enzyme is a little slower than unpasteurized, but adding the pectic enzyme breaks down the pectin, making nutrients more available, hence the faster fermentation.

The pectic enzyme may also make the juice harder to crash, because all 5 of the jugs with the enzyme are noticably swollen after being racked and crashed for several days, while the batches without the enzyme seem to have stopped dead without any additonal swelling in the fridge - although to be fair, the batches with the enzyme have been in the fridge longer, so I'm going to let them all go a while longer to see if the batches without the enzyme eventually swell.

Finally, when I racked the pasteurized batches before the crash, the sediment in all 5 of the batches without the pectic enzyme was much more compact than the 5 gallons with the enzyme, and also much more compact than what I normally see with unpasteurized juice. All of the batches looked about the same from the outside, with about a half inch of sediment on the bottom and clear juice on top. For the batches with the enzyme, the sediment layer was similar to what I normally see with unpasteurized juice - a muddy but still somewhat fluid layer that you have to be careful not to syphon up with the clear layer into the fresh jug. The sediment in the untreated pasteurized juice was much more solid and I was able to get almost all the clear juice out without sucking any sediment up. When the jug was empty, the sediment on the bottom looked like a solid rubbery mass, with little craters and holes in it - sorta like a pancake looks before you flip it. The trub left in the jugs with the enzyme, looked more like muddy water. The net result was that on the pre-crash rack, I was able to get a good bit more clear juice from the jugs without the enzyme. I'm not sure why this would be the case, but something about the way the UV sets the pectin also makes the sediment much more compact and rubbery - even though the clear juice on top is not quite as clear. Strange.

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Old 02-07-2011, 05:42 PM   #450
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CvilleKevin, Do you have some of your best recipes listed somewhere?



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