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Old 09-19-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
edernest
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Default Sparkling Hard Cider

Sparkling Hard Cider

Simple recipe, but I like the clarity and sparkle of the final product. I use unpasteurized apple cider that I make from the apples in my orchard (grind and press), though many should be able to find it in the fall at a local cider mill.

Ingredients

4 Gallons Unpasteurized Apple Cider
2 Gallons Apple Juice
1 packet Champagne yeast

Equipment

6 Gallon Carboy
Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock
Funnel
Bottles&Caps/Keg

Instructions
- Sanitize your equipment
- Pour in the Apple Cider
- Pour in a gallon of store-bought apple juice, stir
- Pitch the yeast
- Insert an airlock
- After two weeks, rack it to another carboy, wait a day or two (reduce sediment)
- Add another gallon of apple juice, stir
- Bottle with oxygen absorbing caps or keg immediately, wait at least 6 months to drink (best after a year, I think)
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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Sounds great, I am hoping to make something like this in the next few weeks. I have been making Apfelwein over and over and would like to try a cider.

Couple of questions:
Since the cider is unpasteurized, is there a concern without boiling?

Do you know what your OG and FG were?

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Old 09-24-2008, 12:59 AM   #3
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Use your own discretion about unpasteurized cider. I believe in keeping it real by using it in raw form, though I've heard pregnant moms aren't supposed to drink it. I like to think the yeast/alcohol takes care of any bad stuff. So far, nobody has got sick off my cider, but if it weirds you out, I would suggest boiling.

Sorry, I didn't write down the gravities unfortunately, though I'll report back on this year's batch when I do it. I needed to raise the sugar levels of my raw cider (hence the apple juice). You don't want to end up higher than 8% alcohol for hard cider. I'd suggest monitoring it and tossing in some potassium sorbate when you've hit your target a day before adding the last gallon of juice.

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Old 09-24-2008, 01:05 AM   #4
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I would never boil cider (it sets the pectins- think apple jelly), but if you don't want to do it the "natural" way, you can use campden tablets. I crush and dissolve one per gallon of cider, wait 12 hours and then pitch the yeast. Campden tablets kill wild yeasts and bacteria.

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Old 09-24-2008, 01:18 AM   #5
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Good suggestion, thanks.

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Old 09-30-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edernest View Post
I'd suggest monitoring it and tossing in some potassium sorbate when you've hit your target a day before adding the last gallon of juice.
If you sorbate it how will it become sparkling? The yeast wont carb with the added apple juice if you sorbate it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapaglia View Post
If you sorbate it how will it become sparkling? The yeast wont carb with the added apple juice if you sorbate it.
EASY, you keg it and force carb.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:05 PM   #8
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Default sorbate suggestion

I think the suggestion was to use sorbate prior to pitching the yeast in order to kill off all natural microorganisms (both good and bad). You'll still be able to bottle carbonate later thanks to the yeast you added.

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Old 10-26-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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I was under the impression that potassium sorbate along with potassium metabisulfite didn't kill the yeast, just inhibited the growth and reporduction of new yeast. I put the equivilant of one campden tab of p. meta in each of my gallon jugs of fermenting cider the other day in preperation for bottling. I then will clarify and make sure fermentation is complete and doesn't start up again, then bottle some dry others carbed. Any comments on this?

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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I tried an experiment similar to this about a year ago. I wanted to see how pure apple juice would react when fermented without additional sugar or acid additions. I even made it sparkling, like this recipe. It came out to about 6.2% alcohol but it tasted flat, without the "bite" that I associate with hard ciders.

In my opinion, this recipe would benefit from the addition of some acid (acid blend, tartaric, malic, etc), unless the raw cider was already very tart. The relatively low alcohol content doesn't present a problem as long as it's consumed within a year or so.

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