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Old 10-16-2010, 10:31 PM   #1
patriqq
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Default Thank you CvilleKevin & All - First Cider Batches & some Q's

I wanted to thank CvilleKevin for sharing the info in the mega-thread sticky. I'm treating that thread like the Holy Word.

I made my first 2 batches of cider this month. I've been a home-brew assistant a few times, but for the most part, this is my first go.

First batch has been on keg for the past week, second one will be racked & CC'd tonight.

Both are far from perfect (funny sour off-flavors, dryer FG than I planned on), but its good enough to drink instead of buying Sam Smiths or JK Scrumpy's, so in that regard, its been a success.

I did some weird things outlined below, comments welcome. For some reason I couldn't resist keeping it simple.

First Batch:
4 gallons local, fresh-pressed, unpasteurized juice
1 lb frozen raspberries
6 granny smith apples with skin, minced in food processor (don't ask me why - this was somewhat a disaster, as the apple bits floated and never settled)
honey to raise OG to 1.052 (somewhat arbitrary; I know 1.06X is recommended)
S04 yeast

Crashed at 1.000 (went from 1.012 to 1.000 in 48 hours, which surprised me).

Tasted sour and bitter (like fresh cranberries, not vinegar) after crashing, but greatly improved in 10 days. Very clear.


Second Batch:
4 gallons local, fresh-pressed, unpasteurized juice
1 lb frozen raspberries
Juice of 10 granny smiths, without skin (juiced in home juicer)
equal amounts honey, agave syrup, and raw sugar to raise OG to 1.061
S04 yeast

This had the same sour, bitter taste at 1.010, but tastes better now at 1.000. Crashing tonight.

I'm also doing 1 gallon of pasteurized juice to see if the funny flavors might be coming from the unpasteurized juice, raspberries, or granny smiths.

I haven't used campden tabs or anything like that; don't plan on it. I do plan to acquire a filter set-up that I will use to sterilize the cider after fermenting (for longer-term storage).

So my questions are:

1) I noticed (after doing my batches) that CvilleKevin adds raspberries shortly before cold-crashing rather than at the onset. Why is that?

2) Is there a reason that I couldn't use the filter set-up to pasteurize the juice I'm buying? I realize that this will remove a lot of solids that may be desirable; but I am aiming to make a Sam Smiths clone (a bit dryer), which is apparently filtered.

3) Any comments on my use of agave syrup?

thanks

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Old 10-17-2010, 04:36 PM   #2
CvilleKevin
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Hi Patriqq - I'm glad you found the thread useful

1. The reason I add the raspberries right before the crash is that if you add them in the beginning, a lot of the flavor gets washed out during the fermentation. Adding them after the crash in the secondary provides a lot of flavor, but they tend to get pulpy and are a real PIA to rack out of the cider. Adding them a couple days before the crash allows them to release enough flavor and they usually precipitate along with everything else during the crash, so it is a lot easier to get the pulp out of the juice.

2. The filter wont pasteurize the juice. If you use a one micron filter it will filter yeast, but I'm not sure about other organisms and you will need a lot of filters. I'm quite sure that if SS is filtered, it is done after the fermentation

3. My experience with adding agave before fermentation is that the end product tastes strongly of agave afterwards and overwhelms the apple. I suspect the agave sugars are more complex than the apple sugars and the apple sugars ferment out first, whereas when you add cane/corn sugar, those will generally ferment out before the long chain apple sugars. I do use agave to backsweeten sometimes. It is very sweet up front, but doesnt leave much of a sugary tail, so if you have a batch that is a little too tart up front but has a nice finish, you can fix the initial taste without stomping on the finish

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Old 10-17-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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Thanks - regarding pasteurization via filtering, I was thinking along the lines of backpacking filters. But you're right, it looks like I'd have to go extremely fine to get everything (this is from http://www.katadyn.com/usen/water-kn...tamination/ ):

Family Known germs Size range
Viruses Hepatitis A, Norwalk Virus, Rotavirus, Poliovirus ~0.02 - 0.2 microns
Bacteria E-coli (Escherichia coli), Salmonella (Salmonella typhimurium), Cholera (Vibrio cholerae) 0.2 - 5 microns
Protozoans Amoeobiasis (Entamoeba histolytica), Giardia lamblia (Giardia intestinalis), Cryptosporidium (Cryptosporidumparvum) 1 - 15 microns

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