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Old 12-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #711
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Thanks for response & I'm looking fwd to results of your expts

Regarding malic acid I found this quite useful.

http://www.polynt.it/user/download.aspx?FILE=OBJ00357.PDF&TIPO=FLE&NOME=Broc hure_Acido_Malico

Maybe it could help you get consistency with flavors since it seems to affect taste a lot?

I am not bothered to use it is is natural product but yes 13 table spoons way too much. Tasted ok when I added it but its like making curry. Once you've put some malic acid on your tongue everything tastes a bit limp afterwards.

The manufacturers suggest 1/2 % for jams. I was using nasty cheap store juice. 13 spoons at a guesstimate 15g per spoon puts me at 0.8% Assuming juice had say double. . I'm guessing im at about double or three times. I had the brain wave to use calcium supplement pills to neutralize. Tried one it fizzed nothing bad happened to taste. So I need to remove about 90g of malic acid which according to my back of envelope calculation will take about 60g cal carb.
However calcium malate has solubility of 0.3% at room temp at cold crash could easily be half that then id expect most of the calcium malate will precipitate out so I might save it. Right now it has a metallic aftertaste from the acid afterburn. It will be hard to drink without adjustment. However the apple note is much stronger after adding it.

Follow up
2tsp sodium bicarbonate
18g cal carb
Taste vastly improved. Feint metallic taste will see if ferment helps that

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Old 12-02-2012, 08:45 PM   #712
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CvilleKevin,

I picked up 5 gallons of cider to take another shot at this. I'm going to grow my yeast (Cotes de Blanc) culture tomorrow and pitch with a tablespoon of yeast nutrient and no addition of sulfites or pectic enzyme. The cider has been sitting in the refrigerator at 40 F and will be there till tomorrow (48 hrs total) and is starting to build up a thick lees on the bottom of the carboy. Would there be any benefit in racking off that lees before pitching my yeast?

Also, once you finish your primary fermentation and are racking to secondary, do you top off your secondary vessel with something? if so, with what and how close to the top?

Thanks!

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Old 12-03-2012, 09:30 PM   #713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CvilleKevin View Post
... [snip] the cider I made from pasteurized juice was all gone by the end of March and it tasted fine until then... [snip] But the unpasteurized stuff was stored in the same place and survived just fine.
I just bottled my first cider, so this pricked up my ears. By "unpasteurized" do you mean "with sulfates" or untreated at all?

Thanks for the great info, you just saved me years of experimenting!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:19 AM   #714
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Quote:
Would there be any benefit in racking off that lees before pitching my yeast?
Maybe. Depends on juice/process. I've let the juice clear and siphoned off the lees on a few batches and did not notice much difference. Not worth the extra effort for me. OTOH I have a friend who does this with great results.

Quote:
once you finish your primary fermentation and are racking to secondary, do you top off your secondary vessel with something?
I start with about 5.5 gal in a 6 gallon carboy, so if everything works out, it will just fill a 5 gallon secondary after the crash. If not, I fill any head space with CO2

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By "unpasteurized" do you mean "with sulfates" or untreated at all?
At the time I wrote that, I was treating unpasteurized cider with k-meta to kill wild yeast before pitching yeast. The recommended dose for k-meta is more than is needed for most reasonably acidic apple juice and ends up functioning as preservative, which is why those unpasteurized batches lasted longer

When I stopped using sulfites, four years ago, about half the batches that were still around started turn after about 6 months and I made a few kegs of vinegar. Since then I've been more careful to reduce oxygen contact. Last year I only had a few batches start to turn. Now I can recognize when its starting to turn and pitch sulfite if necessary, which I did on a couple batches (an advantage of storing in kegs).
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:05 AM   #715
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Two batches of cider into the primaries, the first with 5 lbs of honey, lavlin 71B 1122yeast in 2.5 gallons of juice from the apples on the property (SG 1.050 prior to honey) and 5 gallons of macintosh with Nottingham yeast, no added sugar and SG of 1.048 to start. Plum wine I secondaries and strawberry wine in bottles......a good year so far.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #716
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When I stopped using sulfites, four years ago, about half the batches that were still around started turn after about 6 months and I made a few kegs of vinegar. Since then I've been more careful to reduce oxygen contact. Last year I only had a few batches start to turn. Now I can recognize when its starting to turn and pitch sulfite if necessary, which I did on a couple batches (an advantage of storing in kegs).
So you're saying, with responsible oxygen handling (airlock, top off as high as possible after the initial fermentation), i shouldn't have a problem with these keeping for > 6 months? New ciderererer, trying to find the differences between beer and cider.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:24 PM   #717
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Quote:
So you're saying, with responsible oxygen handling (airlock, top off as high as possible after the initial fermentation), i shouldn't have a problem with these keeping for > 6 months?
Right - with good oxygen handling, you should be able to get 12-18 months without preservatives. I just did a tasting last weekend where we opened a bunch of bottles that were over 2 years old, no preservatives. A couple had started to get the vinegar tang, but none had completely turned and most were fine. This was from filling bottles from keg tap. Using a counterpressure filler should extend shelf life even further.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #718
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This has been a feast of a thread to read over the past few days. I've taken a lot of notes and I'm about ready to start.

I was hoping to run my basic approach past you guys to get your thoughts...

1. First off, this will be small batch stuff for my wife and I. I have a small corny keg setup with two 2.5 gallon kegs (although I recently discovered 1.75 cornys...very tempted)

2. I intend to use a mix of commercial juices from local retailers. It can aid in the development of a more consistent final product. I expect the juices to be fruity, as you've said they are designed to be drunk as is. Maybe WF and a 1.5 liter Martinellis unfiltered. I intend to juice some tart fresh apples to supplement the jug juice, hopefully a better rounded start.

3. Sweeten with sugar to 1.06 or so. Probably start with Kevin's cane/dextrose mix ratio. In the end, we're talking 2 gallons in 2.5 gallon ferm bucket.

4. Try several batches of same mix with different yeasts to see what I like and see difference. Figuring S04, Notty, a Belgian, a wheaty, etc.

5. Once I get a feel for it, I'd like to branch out to other flavors...
Branch out from there...honey, brown sugar, fruits, grains, nuts.

Sound like a fair approach?

when I eventually get to fruits, when is a good time to add? Before ferment, midway as was described at least once? Experiment with the timing?

As far as cold crashing, I have a monstrous, circa 1960 freezer and a decent size bar fridge (for cornys and shelves for bottled beer/growlers). Would a first stop in the freezer be acceptable? Prior to freezing, move to the fridge?


Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:11 PM   #719
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Quote:
Sound like a fair approach?
yep

Quote:
when I eventually get to fruits, when is a good time to add?
A couple days before the crash has worked best for me. That gives enough time for the flavor to permeate and the pulp usually comes out fairly easily during the crash. If you add too early, the fruit flavor tends to dissipate a bit. If you leave it in the secondary, you get more flavor, but the pulp tends to dissolve and make the cider take longer to clear. YMMV so probably wont hurt to experiment a bit with the timing

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Would a first stop in the freezer be acceptable? Prior to freezing, move to the fridge?
I've never tried that, but it should work. Generally, the faster you can chill the juice, the more likely it is to stay stable after the crash. Just be careful not to let the juice actually freeze. In my experience, if the juice freezes, then the cider takes longer to clear and is less likely to stay stable after the crash.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #720
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My efforts have been good so far.

Last Sunday, I mixed up a bit over 1.5 gallons of juice, including what essentially ended up as a fine pureee (3 Jazz apples and 3 Gr.Smiths that were run through a ninja blender). OG was 1.045. I sweetened with 2/3 cane & 1/3 dextrose to OG 1.06.

I split the mixture between two 1-gallon carboys. I was happy with my sanitation efforts. I put 1/2 a pack of S-04 in one and 3/4 of a pack of Wyeast 1010 (American Wheat) in the other. The S-04 took off within 6 hours (it was put in dry in multiple shakes, letting it settle in each time). The 1010 took a good 60 hours to visibly start. I have them in a steadily cool place. They've been 61F-63F for the past week. I took a few SG's of the S-04 batch only (since it was visibly more active):

OG 1.06
4-day SG 1.03 (took SG cuz krausen starting to fall, very sweet)
5-day SG 1.024
7-day SG 1.02 (7-day SG of 1010 yeast batch 1.03)

1010 has slight sulfury smell. Taste is sharp, not tart, but still sweet. S-04 is simply sweet apple, like good applesauce.

But today I think I might have made a mistake on my OG readings. I pitched at 73F. The OG was 1.06 at 73F. I'm at work and don't have my hydrometer on hand but I'm betting if I check the OG vs. the calibrated temp my OG might have been much higher. Hence my fear that the S-04 batch might be finishing up at a higher FG. Based on the taste, I'm sure I'd like to get it to 1.01-1.005. (The 1010 batch is pleasingly complex as-is, to be honest).

Any thoughts?

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