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Old 10-15-2011, 12:05 AM   #561
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Last Sunday we had a party here and I tapped 8 kegs. Six were from this year, plus the last sweet one from last year, and a real dry one from 3 years ago. The most popular was the WLP041 keg from this year, with the Wy3333 keg a close second. I didnt break out the Brupaks or Wy3056 kegs, cause those are still my favorites from the last round and I want to make them last a while. I plan on using WLP041 a lot more this year. Real easy to work with and folks liked it a lot.

We did another juice run for the brew club yesterday. 176 gallons of Stayman, Fuji, Gala and Winesap apples. sg was 1.058. I got 51 gallons for myself - 8 six gallon keg batches and 3 one gallon jugs to test some new yeasts from Mauribrew

For the keg batches, I pitched yeast in 4 of the carboys. Wy3056, Wy3068, Brupaks Ale and US05. I put the other 4 carboys in the fridge to clear for a few days. After they clear, I'm going to rack the clear juice off and pitch the same yeasts for comparison. The guy who runs the press clears his ciders like this and they always come out looking and tasting great. Last pressing I tried this with a test gallon. I didnt ferment it, just wanted to see the difference in raw juice between cleared and cloudy. The cleared juice was nice and smooth, with a silky mouth feel and good flavor, although I liked the cloudy stuff better. It started sweeter, with a heavier mouthfeel and more aroma. So my expectation is that the cleared batches are going to look better, but the cloudy ones will taste better. Should know for certain in a few weeks.

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Old 10-16-2011, 10:31 AM   #562
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[QUOTE=CvilleKevin;3390775]I didnt realize that there were so many different answers to this question. I've always used the formula in Anne Proulx's book, "Cider", which says 4.5oz sugar per gallon for 10 points. Ben Watson's Cider book has the same formula. So 18 points would be 8.1 oz per gallon. That works out to a little over 3 pounds or 1.38kg - which is somewhere in between what dinnerstick and jlem got. I have no idea which of these numbers is the 'right' one, but 3 pounds plus or minus ought to get you in the ballpark.



I went with 3 pounds and that put me at 1.068. Thats ok though, it's bubbling away with an S04 starter.

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Old 10-17-2011, 02:54 AM   #563
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Great Post! This is the way you do trial and error! :-) This is what makes brewing a science.

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Old 10-18-2011, 04:41 PM   #564
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Now the challenge will be to find enough friends who are willing to drink 12 different liters of essentially the same recipe with various clearing agents, to pick out off flavors.
If they drink the 12 liters all in the same evening please record it and put it up for viewing. I may occasionally drink too much but drinking a case and a half ought to make for some fantastic video fodder.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:56 PM   #565
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That's 12 liters cumulatively - not apiece! That's actually a fairly light evening. I generally try to have about twice as many tasters as liters, otherwise things could get sloppy.

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Old 10-18-2011, 07:19 PM   #566
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Very cool progress. Looks like we are pressing this weekend and we are getting 80 bushels, 20 of each Northern Spy, Gala, Jonagold and Red Delicious. I am really looking forward to seeing how the N. Spy plays into this cider this year. A bunch of this will be sent home with family and friends... but not before we fill the fermenters. I think i am going to do a large vat of L1118 for draft cider, and I might play around with notty, 3068, and dry mead yeast. I am also considering a cyser with some buckwheat honey or orange blossom - just found a local source!

I may try to serve a live actively fermenting cider during the ferment. Low ABV, something I start a couple days in front for gimmicky value. I have done this before and it is fun because you get a carbonated live cider that is good tasting if you don't let it get too far. But the last time I did it was in college... so I can't remember the lead time...

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Old 10-19-2011, 04:11 AM   #567
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we are getting 80 bushels, 20 of each Northern Spy, Gala, Jonagold and Red Delicious
Nice! You might want to get some tarts to throw into that mix. Jonathan, Winesap, York, etc. Around here there is only one orchard that has Northern Spys and they hardly had any #2s. I was happy to get 3 bushels last weekend. I'm hoping to blend them with some Albemarle Pippens, but they are even harder to find this year. We have a bunch of new commercial cideries in the area and they are buying up all the pippins.

I just racked the 4 carboys from the last pressing that I had set clearing in the fridge. They didnt clear very much. The raw juice from the first pressing cleared after a few days sitting in the fridge. This juice has been in the fridge 5 days and its still as cloudy as the day it was pressed. There was some consolidated solids on the bottom of the carboys, but not much. Tasted kinda gritty and chalky. Now I'm waiting for the carboys to warm up enough to pitch the yeast. Not sure I really accomplished anything by letting them settle, other than giving the wild yeast a 5 day head start. Time will tell I suppose.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #568
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Yeah I wish I had some of those I could grab. Unfortunately the only apples I could get aside form those listed are cortland, empire, mac, and a few others at reasonable prices. I had one jack wagon tell me he could sell me a 20 bushel bin of golden delicious for $300!!! I was like... no thanks a-hole...

The spys have some tartness, but man it would be cool to have a bunch of crab apples. Those are the breaks when you are at the whim of your supplier (hence why have have planted my own mini orchard with about 35 trees - now the wait).

Turns out that the orchard was running low on red delicious and subbed in some spygolds and empires to fill the last 1/8 of the bin. Man spygolds are a really nice apple too.

Last year I couldn't get any spy's besides my own trees, but this year I was thrilled to get a bin. They say spys make a good single varietal. I have never done it on its own, but the orchard near me makes a nice spy wine.

The plan for this year is, make a good drinking fresh cider and then make a lot of draft cider. When you can't get certain apples (tarts) you are really limited. Still makes good cider, just not vintage.

I did plant some Kingston blacks, yarlington mill, bulmars norman, roxbury russet, frequin rouge and cox orange pippins for english and french cider apples this spring (among others). I can't wait until they start producing. probably at least 3-5 years for those.

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Old 10-19-2011, 01:06 PM   #569
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I just racked the 4 carboys from the last pressing that I had set clearing in the fridge.
I am interested to see how this turns out. It sort of goes against my thought that keeping all the gunk in the ferment helps somehow - but I have never tried the other side of it.

Under normal circumstances (even when I drink fresh pressed) I shake up the sediment to bring it back into suspension and drink it, or add to the fermenter like that. I know I read articles in the newspaper that claimed that the sediment from fresh pressed cider is very healthy, though not sure if that is the case when it starts fermenting. I assumed it might have nutrients to help the ferment though. Purely conjecture though!
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:38 AM   #570
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The spys have some tartness, but man it would be cool to have a bunch of crab apples.
Will Hewe's Crab grow in your area? They would be a great addition to your orchard. Good tanin, acid and high sugar. Also large for a crab so you can pick a bushel in a reasonable amount of time.

Quote:
Those are the breaks when you are at the whim of your supplier (hence why have have planted my own mini orchard with about 35 trees - now the wait).
I've been tempted to do that as well, although I dont have much space. Fortunately several of the local orchards are picking up on the popularity of cider apples and planting more varieties. Hopefully within a few years they will be able to keep up with demand.

Quote:
I am interested to see how this turns out. It sort of goes against my thought that keeping all the gunk in the ferment helps somehow
Yeah, clearing the cider beforehand is counter-intuitive to me as well, but having seen the results I figured I'd give it a shot. Not sure if I accomplished anything on this round tho, because they didnt clear much after 5 days in the fridge.

It will be interesting to see how well the ciders from the most recent pressing clear compared to the previous pressing. All of these apple types (Stayman, Gala, Fuji and Winesap) are ones that I've used before and they've cleared well after fermentation, although it occurs to me that it is relatively early in the season for all of these apples except for the Gala. For the last pressing, most of the apples I used were later in their respective seasons and probably riper, which may have been why they cleared so well.

OTOH, while ripeness may account for some of difference in clearing, the amount of water they got while ripening could also make a difference. Last year the ciders were tougher to clear than usual, even with similar apples, picked at about the same time. That summer ended a lot dryer than normal, which may have had effect as well. This year we had good rains at the end of the summer so hopefully that will bode well for clearing of the cider post-ferment.
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