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Old 12-22-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
mr_tripp
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Default Sweet Woodchuck clone without back sweetening or kegging

This may not taste exactly like Woodchuck, but I had a draft cider from Trader Joe’s the other day and they taste identical. I first have to thank this forum and CvileKevin for his Results from juice, yeast and sugar experiments, and sharing his success with Nottingham Yeast.

My goal was to create a strong sweet hard cider without waiting for months, without back sweetening, without kegging, and without using ingredients that are expensive or seasonal. These are the same discussions that take place daily on this thread. If you are looking for an easy to drink semi-sweet cider that most people will love, this simple recipe is for you. There are 3 key ingredients, Nottingham Ale Yeast, dark brown sugar, and frozen apple juice concentrate without sulfites. That’s right, frozen apple juice, not expensive fresh cider. I guess you could use bottled apple juice, but the frozen concentrate works great, and I added one more can then needed to keep the apple flavor.

Woodchuck Clone 5 Gallon Batch S.G. 1.070

14 cans “Old Orchard” frozen concentrate apple juice or any other juice without sulfites
Water to reach the 5-gallon mark
2 lbs. dark brown sugar
Nottingham Ale Yeast
Priming sugar (3/4 cup corn sugar)

Directions:
Boil 2 lbs of dark brown sugar in some water.
Prepare yeast by following the directions on the packet
Pour 14 cans of thawed apple juice concentrate into primary fermenter (fill each container with warm water and pour back into fermenter to get all of the concentrate from the side of the can)
Add brown sugar and water to reach the 5-gallon mark
Stir vigorously
Add yeast

Check gravity daily after 3 days. Fermentation should start the next day. About 5-7 days when it reaches 1.012 {correction at first I said 1.020, but that was wrong} or lower (the lower the number the dryer it will taste) rack it into the secondary fermenter and leave for at least 2 weeks. This will stop the fermentation and prevent it from becoming bone dry like wine or champagne yeast will do.

After 2 weeks, boil priming sugar in one cup of water and pour into a bottling bucket. Rack the cider into the bottling bucket (some people say you don’t stir) then bottle and cap. Wait 2 weeks (if you can) to drink.

My cider did have a strong yeast smell that I assume will go away, but the taste is phenomenal.

I would love to hear your comments or questions. I also made a 6 gallon batch using Wal-Mart’s brand of apple juice concentrate and light brown sugar. I’ll let you know how it turned out, but it fermented a lot slower.



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Old 12-22-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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What kind of dark brown sugar are you using? Is it the normal stuff from the grocery store?



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Old 12-22-2009, 03:04 PM   #3
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I doubt that that you are going to stop fermentation if you rack off at 1.020.
I have tried to stop fermentation by cold crashing at that SG and have only been successful once. If you bottle at 1.020 and leave it where it is warm you will have some bottle bombs.

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Old 12-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #4
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Thats what i was wondering...no issues with bombs?!

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Old 12-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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i agree. These things will be grenades.
Maybe you can pasteurize them after they are the way you want. If you cold crash and its successful you will not get any fizz

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Old 12-22-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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Gotta throw in an x5.. very difficult to get that SG to hold just with racking, even with multiple crashes and racking

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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Dump some campden tablets in there if you want to stop fermentation at 1.020

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Old 12-22-2009, 05:34 PM   #8
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So... if you stop the yeast it's not going to carb. And if you carb it will eat all the sugar and explode. I don't see how you could have it both carbed and sweet with this method.

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Old 12-22-2009, 07:39 PM   #9
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mr tripp...that isn't a horrible recipe..but please don't post information on fermentation stopping, when you have newbies that will rely on that info and think it is correct. This statement in your recipe is simply untrue. Fermentation will NOT stop just because you racked it into the secondary. If you didn't cold crash or sorbate and bisulphite..fermentation WILL keep happening in the secondary and will keep happening when you add priming sugar, and then your bottles will explode and you will have a mess. This is a fact, not an opinion. Nottingham yeast WILL take the fermentation well past 1.020.

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Old 12-23-2009, 01:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGDrng View Post
What kind of dark brown sugar are you using? Is it the normal stuff from the grocery store?
Yes, I used normal dark brown sugar from the grocery store. I purchased the frozen concentrates at the same place I purchased the sugar.


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