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Old 10-04-2012, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default Should I top this off and if so with what? **PICTURE**

Today I racked 6 gallons of fresh, raw juice which I pressed from my orchard. It has been in the primary since 9-16-12. It started at 1.052 SG and today was 1.002.

According to this site (Daves Dreaded Actual Specific Gravity) my alcohol content should be around 6.55%

I had about 3/4 inch of lees left behind.

The airlock had stopped bubbling about 4 days ago. I had opened the primary and felt like it smelled bad. I was encouraged to rack and so I did.

I thought about topping off with a little spring water but remembered that I do have some of the same juice frozen.

Should I thaw it out and then top off with that? Should I use water? Should I use store bought juice? Or can I leave it as is? Seems like too much air space to me. Here's the picture of the carboy after racking.

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #2
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Definitely too much headspace for a secondary. That frozen juice would be my first choice, then store bought juice, with water being better than nothing.

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:55 AM   #3
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The frozen juice will have fresh yeast and dissolved solids. Think that's ok?

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:14 AM   #4
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Never done it but I would think freezing the juice woulda killed the wild yeasts. Solids shouldn't be a problem, just mix in some pectic enzyme and bentonite.

I wish I had an orchard...

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Unferth View Post
Never done it but I would think freezing the juice woulda killed the wild yeasts. Solids shouldn't be a problem, just mix in some pectic enzyme and bentonite.

I wish I had an orchard...
That would work, but I'm going for a totally natural cider here. Fresh juice, my apples, no sulphite, no sorbate, no enzymes nothing added except apple juice and its natural yeast.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:26 AM   #6
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Definitely respectable. Wish I could do the same.

Assuming yeasties are dead from freezing, shouldn't be a problem. If they aren't, you'll get more cidery goodness! But just from some pissed off yeasts that have been in your freezer hinterland

solids are just going to make it less clear. If you don't like cloudy cider, and you don't want to use clearing agents, you'll need to wait, potentially a long time. My apple wine has taken a month or more to clear without clearing agents.

Personally, i think cloudy cider is rustic and cool. It'll taste the same, you'll just get some fiber as you chew your hooch.

Just thaw to roomish temp and top up. DO NOT USE WATER!

What apples and how's it taste btw?

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:36 AM   #7
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DO NOT USE WATER!

What apples and how's it taste btw?
Why not water? I did try to top off with spring water today and only added about 12 oz just to see how much I was going to need.

The apples are predominantly Grimes Golden. I also used some Jonathan and some Baldwin, but this batch is mostly Grimes Golden.

Don't know how it tastes yet. The foul smell had me a little concerned. Thought I'd let it go a while then try it. Only pressed it September 16th.

Here's a link to the first part of my cider making videos.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:38 AM   #8
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if you add anything with sugar to it, it'll reactivate the dormant yeast, and it'll eat all the sugar you add to backsweeten it. if you add anything with sugar in it to make it a little sweeter, you HAVE to add potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to stop that from fermenting out, too. if you don't want to add chemicals at all, live with it as it is or add water

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:53 AM   #9
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if you add anything with sugar to it, it'll reactivate the dormant yeast, and it'll eat all the sugar you add to backsweeten it. if you add anything with sugar in it to make it a little sweeter, you HAVE to add potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to stop that from fermenting out, too. if you don't want to add chemicals at all, live with it as it is or add water
Thanks. My worry is not back sweetening and I'm not adding juice now for that purpose. I'm just trying to top off the carboy. So are you saying not to add juice to top off? The only juice that could ferment would be the newly added stuff. What's already in there is about done and I've racked it off the lees.

I guess I'm a bit worried what a new addition of juice to already fermented stuff will do since the new juice will be raw from the orchard and have its own yeast and bacteria. The stuff already in there looks like it's about 2 quarts low. Too much water might make it weak, you think?
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks. My worry is not back sweetening and I'm not adding juice now for that purpose. I'm just trying to top off the carboy. So are you saying not to add juice to top off? The only juice that could ferment would be the newly added stuff. What's already in there is about done and I've racked it off the lees.

I guess I'm a bit worried what a new addition of juice to already fermented stuff will do since the new juice will be raw from the orchard and have its own yeast and bacteria. The stuff already in there looks like it's about 2 quarts low. Too much water might make it weak, you think?
I wouldn't worry about it now, it is not that much head space. There will still be CO2 being produced that will fill that up, I wouldn't dilute your perfectly fine cider with water just for that purpose.
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