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Old 01-06-2009, 05:30 AM   #1
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Default Stupid Question: What's the basic cider recipe?

I got a book on traditional cider making for Christmas and I've read lots of threads here, seen the Apfelwein recipe but I still am a little confused on:

What is the basic cider recipe? I know with beer it's water + DME/LME/Grains (all malted barley) + hops added in 3 stages + yeast.

I'm not going to be crushing my own apples on the sailboat, so can I use apple juice + sugar + yeast (as variations on the apfelwein recipe) or is that just apple-wine and not a cider recipe?

What I'm shooting for is a near match to the Canadian commercial brand "Growers" or perhaps the American brand "Woodchuck". Any pointers on where to start would be appreciated.

Thanks for entertaining my way-too-basic question.

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Old 01-06-2009, 05:42 AM   #2
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thats basicly it. sugar apple juice and yeast. get apple juice that has no preservatives and your golden.

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Old 01-06-2009, 05:43 AM   #3
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Basic recipe for hard cider: apple juice/cider + yeast + sugar (optional)

Now, if you're going for something as sweet as woodchuck, you're going to want to use an ale yeast of some sort and at bottling using some unfermentable sugar like lactose/splenda/stevia along with your carbing sugar. do a search for "fizzy sweet cider" or something similar, and I'm sure a bunch of threads will pop up.

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Grower's is what I normally drink, but haven't had any luck replicating it so far, so far everything I've done has been wine like. nothing wrong with it, I'm finding still and warm in a wine glass is pretty good but it's still the opposite of Grower's which I like to keep next to the coils in the back of my, oh so outdated, fridge.

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:03 AM   #5
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Yep. Just juice, yeast, and time. Unlike many beers, cider really needs some time to mellow out and get really good. Wait at least 3 months, preferably at least six, and save some for at least a year just to compare. Feel free to sip along the way to see how much it changes.

If you like your cider a little sweet and with a little more body, add one to two pounds of extra light DME to three gallons of juice. You might want to call it a "malted cider" or perhaps even an "apple beer," if you wish, but that's one way of keeping sweetness in your cider, as the malt has unfermentable sugars that leave some residual sweetness. Plus it gives your cider some body. If you like your ciders thinner and more champagne-like (as I do), forego the malt.

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:09 AM   #6
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Basic igredient would be apple juice or fresh pressed apple juice then let nature take its course. wild yeast will ferment fresh apple juice to make cider.
of course using a pure yeast strain will give you a more substainable result.

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Old 01-07-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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Fireball -
I too like Growers but can not get it down here in the States. I only get it when friends come down to visit me. That is the reason whyI started making my own cider.
I'm still looking for the right mix of ingredients to match Growers. Here is what I have come up with So far for a subsitute.

I like the Wyeast Cider yeast and Copper's Ale yeast for coming close to the Grower's taste.

I am still experimenting with sugars (destrose/honey/brown sugar) for acohol and taste.

I have only tried one carb'd batch so far at bottling and it is close to Growers. But I'm still experimenting.

I find that if I bottle dry (unsweetened) I can sweeten to the taste of the consumer/drinker at serving with sugar or splenda. If the cider is carb'd when you do this it gives a very creamy head.

Ed Wort's recipe is a very good base to work from and experiment.

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Old 01-07-2009, 07:31 PM   #8
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I'll keep my eye open for those yeasts, the store I've been using seemed less than interested in having "other" yeasts. I tried backsweetening a bottle of my cider last night with pure juice, it was hard to judge since it altered the flavour, ABV and sweetness but I did like the improvement in mouth feel. I'll try some sugar tonight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CiderRat View Post
Fireball -
I too like Growers but can not get it down here in the States. I only get it when friends come down to visit me. That is the reason whyI started making my own cider.
I'm still looking for the right mix of ingredients to match Growers. Here is what I have come up with So far for a subsitute.

I like the Wyeast Cider yeast and Copper's Ale yeast for coming close to the Grower's taste.

I am still experimenting with sugars (destrose/honey/brown sugar) for acohol and taste.

I have only tried one carb'd batch so far at bottling and it is close to Growers. But I'm still experimenting.

I find that if I bottle dry (unsweetened) I can sweeten to the taste of the consumer/drinker at serving with sugar or splenda. If the cider is carb'd when you do this it gives a very creamy head.

Ed Wort's recipe is a very good base to work from and experiment.

CiderRat
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CiderRat View Post
Fireball -
I too like Growers but can not get it down here in the States. I only get it when friends come down to visit me. That is the reason whyI started making my own cider.
I'm still looking for the right mix of ingredients to match Growers. Here is what I have come up with So far for a subsitute.

I like the Wyeast Cider yeast and Copper's Ale yeast for coming close to the Grower's taste.

I am still experimenting with sugars (destrose/honey/brown sugar) for acohol and taste.

I have only tried one carb'd batch so far at bottling and it is close to Growers. But I'm still experimenting.

I find that if I bottle dry (unsweetened) I can sweeten to the taste of the consumer/drinker at serving with sugar or splenda. If the cider is carb'd when you do this it gives a very creamy head.

Ed Wort's recipe is a very good base to work from and experiment.

CiderRat
CiderRat, Thanks for the tip on the yeasts. Could you post a more detailed recipe that you've tried?

Which apple juice?
What sugar/honey worked best?
How much sugar?
How long in the fermenter?
How long in the bottle?
What did you use to carb and how much?

Thanks! I probably will grow a taste for "true" american cider but so far I haven't had any. Of the commercial ones Growner's is by FAR the best and if I get any closer to the recipe I'll post my progress.



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Old 01-08-2009, 03:52 AM   #10
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CiderRat,

I picked up some white & golden corn syrup tonight and mixed up 60ml samples with each.

the white alone seemed to have nice feel with 2ml of syrup/60ml cider (30g/l) but didn't seem to go flavour wise.

I tried the golden at the same level but it altered the flavour too much, the flavour was much better at 1ml / 60ml cider but the feel wasn't quite there.

the next mix was 1ml golden & .5ml white / 60ml and the flavour and feel was pretty good, still had a champagne undertone.

I'm thinking I'll change yeast and use the golden syrup to add sugar to my next batch, or tinker with some brown sugar since the only difference between the syrups is the refiners syrup in the golden.

I'm curious how the yeasts you suggested finished for sweetness, I've only been able to try EC1118 so far and it comes out bone dry. I'm also tempted to try glycerol as an experiment.

thanks for the tips.

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