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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > So I Started a Batch
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:11 PM   #1
Klainmeister
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Default So I Started a Batch

This is my first post in this forum too! OK, so I've done a few batches of beer and decided to give hard cider a try after i fell in love with StrongBow while in Europe. This is what i did...

5 Gallons of non-sweetened apple juice
4 tablespoons of Honey
4 tablespoons of corn sugar
1 packet of Wyeast German Ale Yeast


It's been in the primary for little over 24hours and is sending bubbles through the airlock once every 2 minutes or so...is this what's expected or should i have done something different? And also, should i switch to a secondary after a week or sooner? Thanks

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Old 06-15-2006, 08:39 PM   #2
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Your recipe and procedure sound fine. I would have expected more airlock activity by now but it has taken up to 3 days for a few of my batches to really start rolling. I would check and make sure you have a good seal on your buck or carboy or whatever you are using for primary ferment. I would also make sure that your juice had no preservitives.

I usually get a ferment that starts with a ring of bubbles which swells to a foamy head and then reduces back to a thick ring of bubbles (bubbling the airlock about every second or two) within 24-48 hours. Primary fermentation is usually done in 1 to 2 weeks and then I transfer to secondary and crash cool it for a week. Then it is transferred to a tertiary for aging (longer is better . . . so far four months seems to be a minimum before bottling).

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-15-2006, 09:59 PM   #3
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ok, it's starting to bubble real good now. I think i'll transfer in a week. so you stored your secondary in a chilled area? i'm getting mixed procedures from a lot of sources. Seems to me that cider just needs to be aged no matter what.

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Old 06-17-2006, 12:58 AM   #4
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Yep, I throw mine in the fridge (I usually do 1 to 3 gallon batches) for a week. But, it isn't nescessary; it just helps it to compact any yeast that is left into a cake. I keep mine in my basement for aging where it is around 62 most of the year. You can transfer it whenever you want but I usually wait until I am getting less than a bubble every 45 seconds or so.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Old 06-17-2006, 04:58 AM   #5
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sounds reasonable enough. Except now my batch is bubbling like mad. i put an airlock on and it foamed out and i've had to clean it twice. is it usually that crazy? eeeeeks. anyways, here's the gameplan. Transfer over to secondary, ferment in secondary for 1 week, bottle and let mature for 3 weeks. decent?

btw, thanks a ton for the input. i'm glad i have someone with experience helping me out. kinda went into this blind...i just hope i dont come out the same way!

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Old 06-17-2006, 02:19 PM   #6
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Since cider is mainly fructose, it can ferment very fast. I've never had one foam out, but I suspect that's because I do cider in the fall and ferment at lower temperatures. You can drink it at a month, it will get better as it ages.

You might consider joining the Heart of the Valley club in Corvallis, there are a few cider mavens there.

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Old 06-17-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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Here's a picture of my first cider at approximately 24 hours after pitching:



In the next six hours it would foam out through the airlock repeatedly for nearly the entire second 24 hours. After that, it slowed down to about a bubble every other second and now it's at a bubble every ten seconds after 10 days. The only ingredient other than the juice and yeast I added was one can of apple juice concentrate.

From what I read, the sulphury smell is normal as well and this baby had some serious aroma during the first two days!

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Old 06-17-2006, 06:46 PM   #8
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That looks great! You are well on your way to a great cider. As you guessed the sulphury smell is nothing to worry about. It should disappear in less than a week. Congrats . . . and now be honest, it was pretty easy to make. The hard part is waiting for it to mature. Don't be suprised if it is a bit strong and doesn't taste anything like woodchuck or strongbow . . . but don't worry, it will be better.

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