Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > So freaking confusing!!!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-08-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
Newbie69
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Belvidere, NJ
Posts: 33
Default So freaking confusing!!!

Been reading a lot of threads on cider and mead making on this site,it's so confusing. Pasteurize don't pasteurize,use this yeast,no use this yeast,use campden tablets,don't use campden tablets,back sweeten,don't back sweeten let it sit this many days,no it should sit this many.. I'm no better off in learning than I was when I first joined this site. I want to make sweet or semi sweet hard cider with a little extra kick using local orchard sweet cider, and a mead using orange blossom or clover honey,I'm so confused that I'm afraid to venture into it..ha

__________________
Newbie69 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
static
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
static's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 638
Liked 52 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 54

Default

RDWHAHB.

You can ask 6 different brewers the same question and get 12 different answers.

The key is to learn what does what and decide what you need to do depending on your personal taste.

For me, i like meads and wines that are on the drier side, my girl on the other hand likes things sweeter. If I'm making for me i don't use campden i just let things clear on their own, for her i use it and then back sweeten.

__________________

The yeast knows what it's doing.

static is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2012, 09:39 PM   #3
roadymi
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
Posts: 814
Liked 31 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

In general for brewing.....as long as you use good sanitation practices.......there are very few wrong ways...........and many, many ways that will work (some better than others.)

As static said relax and drink a home brew. Pick a basic recipe, buy the best equipment you can afford (it will last you a very long time) and dive in head first.

__________________
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol.
Give a man a beer, he'll drink for the day.Teach a man to brew, he'll be drunk the rest of his life.
I have 8 carboys, 8 cornies, 5-1 gal jugs, 200 wine bottles, 10 cases of beer bottles and a nice assortment of flip tops....My goal is to keep them at least 50% occupied
roadymi is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #4
Jacob_Marley
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Detroit
Posts: 911
Liked 146 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 52

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie69 View Post
I'm so confused that I'm afraid to venture into it..ha
So in other words, you haven't found straightforward instructions and are worried about making a mistake. I can understand that. Starting out always involves climbing up the "learning curve".
What you'll find out is that once you have a grasp of the much more simple "basics", all the other pieces fit into place SO much easier.

On forums you can find guesses ... you can find opinions; many of which are based partly or wholly on personal observations ... and you can find standard accepted practices. Standard practices are the foundation ... the basics, of wine, beer and cider making.

One of the benefits about learning from the type of format that is used in books or on a instructional website (such as GrapeStompers or Jack Keller’s site for example in winemaking) *rather than* a forum, is that they tend to present less guess and opinion and more standard accepted practice and procedure. This is a MUCH easier way to learn good basic practices ... whether wine, cider or beer ... than slogging through misc. questions and discussions and becoming wildly confused.
THEN, when you have a decent grasp of the basics, you will find forums to be much more informative and much less frustrating.

Pasteurizing, campden, back-sweetening ... just from your statement I can tell you don’t know what those are for. How can you expect to know whether to use them if you don’t even know what they are?

STOP reading discussions on forums, and instead find a document or a book or a website, that presents the standard method of making cider start to finish. There is a reason why textbooks are structured like this ... with all the information in logical order. It's much easier to learn that way!

Cider is essentially just low alcohol wine ... so you'll probably have better luck finding a website that discusses the procedure for making wine ... this is 99% of the way to making cider!
As mentioned above, GrapeStompers.com and JackKeller.net are good places to start.
Once you understand winemaking, then cider has only very minor additional bits of information to learn.
__________________
Jacob_Marley is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2012, 01:59 AM   #5
Sewer_Urchen
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 95
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

Default

+1 to Jacob's statement!

I haven't had as much luck on this particular website when it comes to useful information, everything here is all opinion with some, vague refferences to the actual science of brewing...the key to getting the right information on a forrum like this one is to be as specific as possible.

You say you want a sweet or semi sweet hard cider, right...well that opens the door for hundreds of people to tell you exactly what you described..."Do this" "No, do this" "No don't listen to that guy! That's terrible advice"

The best way, I've found, is to find something that's well known that you want to compare it to. "I want to make something like Angry Oarchards dry, but stronger". Or something like that, then there are a bunch of people that know exactly what you want. If you are just making it up and have an idea, than again, be as specific as possible. There are people that think of hard cider as being comperable to beer, 5-8% alcohol; then there are people like me, and it sounds like Jacob, who think of hard cider as more of a wine product, 12-14% alcohol. And finally, do you want sparkling or still cider? Sparkling adds another step; and sparkling sweet cider adds a few more steps

What is sad about what you are saying is that cider, basic cider, of all the brew's, is probably the easiest place to start...no cooking like beer, no fuss with a chemistry lab like wine. The basic equation is: (cider (or apple juice) + yeast = hard cider [if you + sugar to that you get = harder cider]

The yeast selection can be a simple: If you want Cider Wine (12-14% ABV) use a wine yeast. If you want basic hard cider (like angry orchard, woodchuck, etc) use either an ale yeast or a "cider yeast".

And as a beginner, you should only worry about using campden tablets if you are pressing the cider yourself, or getting unpasturized straight from the press at the cider mill. There are people here who may shun me for saying something like that, but I re-interate, as a beginner. And all the campden tablets are doing for you in that situation is pasturizing it, and killing off anything that would leave unpredictable results...So just get pasturized for starters...keep it simple...

I'm sorry, I promised myself I wouldn't give too much advice and turn into one of the posters you're complaining about. As Jacob said, find a site that simply descibes the process of brewing cider and leaves out personal taste crap...you don't care what other people's tastes are, you're not brewing for them, you're brewing for you!!!

Good luck,
and CHEERS!

__________________
Sewer_Urchen is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2012, 02:18 AM   #6
CKL958
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Janetville, Ontario
Posts: 37
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Regarding the mead - try JAOM (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes...ge-mead-49106/). Easy. I've got my first on the go, so I can't tell you how it turns out, but judging by the comments, it doesn't disappoint.

Regarding the cider, I think you first need to decide what you are looking for in a cider. Sweet, dry. Sparkling, still. Etc. From there, you can decide where you want to go and what you want to do. I made this for my first cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cara...-cider-292770/). Upstate Mike pretty much gives you all the opportunities in there to make the style you are looking for.

Keep reading. You can always search for what you are looking for, and when you have specific questions that you can't find an answer to, or don't quite understand, ask.

__________________
CKL958 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2012, 02:35 AM   #7
tojo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Suburban Philadelphia area, PA
Posts: 451
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CKL958
Regarding the mead - try JAOM (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes...ge-mead-49106/). Easy. I've got my first on the go, so I can't tell you how it turns out, but judging by the comments, it doesn't disappoint.

Regarding the cider, I think you first need to decide what you are looking for in a cider. Sweet, dry. Sparkling, still. Etc. From there, you can decide where you want to go and what you want to do. I made this for my first cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cara...-cider-292770/). Upstate Mike pretty much gives you all the opportunities in there to make the style you are looking for.

Keep reading. You can always search for what you are looking for, and when you have specific questions that you can't find an answer to, or don't quite understand, ask.
Just tasted some JOAM I made 12/31/11. Took it out of the initial fermentation vessel...a one gallon apple juice bottle... Lol. It sat on yeast cake and fruit (orange & cranberry) since I made it.

Wow... You gotta try it!
__________________

I love a good train wreck!!

tojo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #8
CKL958
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Janetville, Ontario
Posts: 37
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tojo View Post
Just tasted some JOAM I made 12/31/11. Took it out of the initial fermentation vessel...a one gallon apple juice bottle... Lol. It sat on yeast cake and fruit (orange & cranberry) since I made it.

Wow... You gotta try it!
I want to. I really do. It isn't clear yet though.....
__________________
CKL958 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
MarkKF
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meriden, CT
Posts: 448
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts

Default

Just use this recipe:

http://robshomebrew.com/apple.html

The ingredients like tanin and pectin are optional

Sent from my iPhone
MarkF

__________________
MarkKF is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
Jacob_Marley
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Detroit
Posts: 911
Liked 146 Times on 114 Posts
Likes Given: 52

Default

Cider is more difficult to make well than wine.

Here's an explanation ... from an old post of mine ...


Of all the fermentables, I believe beer is the *hardest* to learn to make. If not to perfect, then to make passably.

The easiest is grape wine ... grapes are closer to perfect in terms of all of their profiles ... sugar, acid, tannin, nutrients that the yeast requires, they often even have yeast itself which often exists on the outside of its skins.
If you fell into a vat of grapes and had a seizure ... in a few weeks you'd have wine.

More difficult than the grape wine is wine that is NOT made from grapes.
For what it’s worth, this is predominantly the types of wine I still make. Banana, apple, cranberry, blueberry, cherry, lemon, crabapple, pomegranate, the list goes on and on including many things of questionable fermentability.
This is quite a bit more exacting to learn and requires you to know all the processes and chemical reactions separately. A great many fruits are far off of the ideal profiles. No "falling into the vat" and, voila, wine.
If you want to learn to make wine, don't start with grape but instead learn to make non-grape wine successfully, then move on to grapes and on to the intricacies of grape wine and it’s varietals and more complex points, especially blending, grape growing and vineyard management.

The next most "difficult" I think is hard cider. Maybe not so much "difficult" but "particular". Cider is made much like wine but because the alcohol percentage is lower, the pH is usually higher and it is not often sulfited, it can't defend itself so well from spoilage infections. Also because much cider is sparkling and a common way to give it the bubbles is to "bottle condition" it ... you have to hop around on one foot to get it made plus sweetened to your preference plus get it carbonated plus then store it until you drink it without it exploding.

I think the most difficult is beer - and not just because it is the one I have done the least.
It is difficult or particular for the reasons that cider is and also because there are the additional steps in its processes ... malting, boiling, hopping, various other additions, lactose, maltodextrin, etc and much nuance in getting the flavors, aroma, mouthfeel etc right. An understanding of how esters create flavor in brewing... everything from yeasts to fermenting vessel shapes, mashing and fermenting techniques, sugars and their fermentability, hopping ... or "gruit" (if yer that kinda guy) ... the list goes on and on.

__________________
Jacob_Marley is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools