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Old 10-29-2013, 05:28 PM   #811
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Originally Posted by CvilleKevin View Post
Another option is to just leave a hydrometer floating after the krausen settles
This is what I ended up doing. Funny thing though, that damn thing always seems to be facing the wrong direction for me to see the SG scale. haha



I'm trying a crash at 1.020. It seems a little sweet, but I think that once I carb it up, that might give it a little "zing" to offset the sweetness. It's in the JK Scrumpy range right now.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:09 PM   #812
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I've only had a few Basque ciders, which were not all that dry, but the acidity made them seem more dry than they were. You might want to try a wheat yeast with no sulfites. The ones I've made have a tendency to go through a weird stage after 6-9 months, which often tastes somewhat like a Basque style to me.
Interesting method - thanks for the tip. Most of the Basque ciders I've had struck me as very dry, although I suppose I could be wrong. You're right that the acidity (and typically high tannins) could be covering up more residual sweetness than I imagine. Anyway, if I have any luck at all, I'll be sure to post back.
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:37 AM   #813
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This thread might be the most useful source of information on fermenting hard cider anywhere. Thank you for all the work, CvilleKevin and others. I'm only ~40 pages through and my head is spinning.

I'm new here and to brewing generally, but I'm getting into cider because I love it and I'm planning a hobby orchard on land I recently purchased. While my wife and I wait to plot out and plant trees and let them come to fruit-bearing age, I figured I better start learning the art of fermentation.

I love JK's Orchard Gate Gold Scrumpy, as many do. My goal, at least initially, is to attempt to clone this style without keeving (as such an advanced technique, I will come to it in due time).

My question: What yeast would you recommend for a long, cold/cool fermentation that I could stop at a moderately sweet SG?

I have a chest freezer that I will temp. control, and I am *not* over-eager to drink my cider - in other words, I'm happy to let it age. It seems like most of the ale and wheat yeasts ferment quickly while wine and champagne yeasts go all the way dry.

I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere.

Thanks so much for this wealth of information!

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Old 10-31-2013, 01:53 PM   #814
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My goal, at least initially, is to attempt to clone this style without keeving (as such an advanced technique, I will come to it in due time).
If you are fermenting juice from your own orchard then you dont need to worry about keeving. Just dont use any nitrogen fertilizers once the trees start bearing apples.

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My question: What yeast would you recommend for a long, cold/cool fermentation that I could stop at a moderately sweet SG?
I'd use wild yeast or a wheat yeast for a JK Scrumpy clone. For more info, see here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/anyo...-clone-125852/

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I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere.
No worries - dont forget you can use the search function to search a thread or the whole cider forum. For more info on JK Scrumpy, search on "Scrumpy" and "Koan"
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:14 PM   #815
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Thanks for the quick response, Kevin! I'll give the search function a workout soon.

One further question. Cold crashing has been an integral part of almost all your experiments. If I choose to ferment at 50F, say, is cold crashing still warranted? Or could I simply rack off to a new carboy at the desired gravity and replace it in the 50F chest freezer?

Thanks again.

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Old 11-01-2013, 02:28 AM   #816
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If I choose to ferment at 50F, say, is cold crashing still warranted? Or could I simply rack off to a new carboy at the desired gravity and replace it in the 50F chest freezer?
If you have good control of your own juice, then you may be able to stop the fermentation via nitrogen reduction - which is what JKS and some of the French cider makers use. In that case you may be able to shut the ferment down by repeat racking, ie removing the old dead yeast hulls as a source of nutrients. I've had some success with stopping ferments just by racking, but cold crashing is more reliable, especially since I only have limited control over my juice.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:31 AM   #817
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If you have good control of your own juice, then you may be able to stop the fermentation via nitrogen reduction - which is what JKS and some of the French cider makers use. In that case you may be able to shut the ferment down by repeat racking, ie removing the old dead yeast hulls as a source of nutrients. I've had some success with stopping ferments just by racking, but cold crashing is more reliable, especially since I only have limited control over my juice.
Looks like I have some trial and error in my future. Looking forward to it! Just want to say thanks a million for taking the time to answer questions like these for *years* in this thread.

Cheers to you.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:09 PM   #818
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Just wanted to share with everyone since this board has been such a huge help. On Oct 13th I pitched White Labs WLP380 into 3 gallons of Big B's Cold Pressed Cider that was UV pasteurized. It's the only non heat pasteurized juice I've been able to find locally. I pitched it with the juice at 65 degrees, 1.050 SG and added turbinado and corn sugar to bring it to 1.065 SG. I didn't check the Ph but the juice had a very nice flavor with tart finish.

I checked the SG last Sunday and was at 1.030 so let it go one more week. Today I checked and was at 1.013 so I am now cold crashing. I fermented at 61-63 degrees in a wine fridge retrofitted with a digital temp control and heat pad. The cider tastes amazing today and by far the best I've made up to this point. I would add that this combo required a blow off tube for the first 4-5 days then went to a standard three piece air lock. I topped off the head space with CO2 after pitching and each time I opened for testing.

I think what really helped this time was the temperature control during fermentation, topping off with CO2 and then giving the carboy a swirl a few times during ferment to avoid a stall.

The taste of the cider is a great balance of sweet but not too sweet, a nice apple flavor and very easy to drink.

Hope this helps for others looking to try their hand at some hard cider. I also liked that the yeast didn't go so quickly that it became too dry. Also, I didn't add any yeast nutrient and have no issues with rhino farts. I think a steady lower temp really helps.

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Old 11-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #819
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Add me to the list of "great post you got here!"

Reading through I saw a 1/2011 post of yours you said "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"

I have found that Crab apples give me that missing body, and allow the finish to "hang". I attribute it to higher tannins. I aim for around 15-20% crab in a 60% Stayman blend, (yep remaining 20-25% are the sweets)

Great Thread!

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Old 11-07-2013, 06:50 PM   #820
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I will chime in here because I make a lot of back sweetened cider that has a lot of success. I ferment dry then back sweeten with
a. double sweet fresh pressed cider (cider frozen then half thawed and poured off)
I use this for batches that ferment too dry, its the best way to "turn back the clock" It's thick syrupy goodness.
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