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-   -   Turbo Cider Oak Experiment (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/turbo-cider-oak-experiment-390451/)

Verge 02-16-2013 02:44 AM

Turbo Cider Oak Experiment
 
So, having made two successful batches of turbo cider and decided that it's worth some experimentation, I've laid down two one-gallon jugs with the same apple juice I've been using - and will continue to use - to determine whether oakiness is a desirable trait in my cider.

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&i...line&safe=1&zw

These are my gallon-jugs, primed with juice (resplendent with make-shift funnel) and ready for the additives. I reserved some juice to top-up as the very aggressive primary fermentation slows down.

Both jugs got juice, reduced tea, and Lalvin EC-1118 yeast.

For the tea, I boiled six bags in 500 ml of water, then reduced to a simmer for an hour until there was only 100 ml left after squeezing the bags well. Each bottle therefore got 50 ml of concentrated tea. It noticeably darkened the juice.

Next, I put 16 grams of medium-toasted French oak chips in one jug, which is about 50% more than the package recommended for wine. Then each jug got the yeast, which is the same I've used for my previous two (tasty, albeit dry) batches. Here they are waiting calmly for fermentation to start:

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&i...line&safe=1&zw

If I like the oak, or think it's worth further consideration, I'll try various degrees. I would also like to try a yeast experiment, using some of the strains I've read recommended.

I'll try to be considerate and update this with results :)

Verge 02-17-2013 02:26 AM

One day later and I can see a definite darker colour in the oaked cider. I wasn't expecting that.

HopHeaven 02-19-2013 06:32 PM

Good timing...I am thinking about starting an oaked cider tonight. However, I was planning on fermenting the cider and the racking it over oak in the secondary

Verge 02-20-2013 12:17 PM

HopHeaven, I considered doing the same thing, but in the end decided that I would keep the oak in the whole time. I'm vaguely attempting to simulate the process of brewing entirely in wooden vessels (as I would like to with cider, if I like the oaky result), so I'm only going to take the oak out for bottling. I also browsed some discussions on the subject of when to oak, and although there were certainly opinions, there didn't seem to be any definite advantage to either side. Perhaps I'll try adding only to secondary on the next experimental batch.

The decidedly darker colour in the oaked demijohn has been subsumed by the lighter, almost yellowish colour of the fermentation right now, although that has slowed down to only a couple bubbles a minute. I can definitely smell the difference, as the oak comes through quite strong on the nose.

HopHeaven 02-20-2013 01:05 PM

I'm very interested. How long do you plan on leaving the cider in the primary? I'm assuming your not going to put it in a secondary if you want to keep it on oak the entire time?

Verge 02-21-2013 07:49 PM

You're correct. I'm going to keep the cider on its lees until it's time to bottle - when it's clear and maintains its gravity - at which point I'll rack it off, add some corn sugar, and bottle it up.

What sort of yeast are you using for your cider? I've ordered some Nottingham Ale Yeast I'm curious to try out.

HopHeaven 02-21-2013 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Verge
You're correct. I'm going to keep the cider on its lees until it's time to bottle - when it's clear and maintains its gravity - at which point I'll rack it off, add some corn sugar, and bottle it up.

What sort of yeast are you using for your cider? I've ordered some Nottingham Ale Yeast I'm curious to try out.

That's also what I'm using, it's my standard go to cider yeast. Started my batch last night. I used apple juice and a container and one half of apple juice from concentrate as well as some dextrose. Got gravity up to 1.066, will ferment dry then rack onto medium toast oak chips. Still trying to figure out how much oak to put in

HappyCider 02-21-2013 09:10 PM

I recently oaked a 5 gallon batch of Apfelwein using a medium toast oak spiral. I put it in the secondary after everything had pretty much cleared and fermentation was done because it was more of an afterthought than a planned addition.

I had it in for 7 days and it really changed the color a lot. I tasted it and found it to be a pretty harsh flavor. Fearing I had ruined it I took it out immediately. I let it sit for one more week and tried it again and the oak had mellowed out very well. I bottled and primed/carbed and let sit for a month. Just had one and the oak flavor was almost non-existent. Will let my next batch sit on the oak longer to see if it holds up better.

Verge 02-26-2013 02:29 AM

To decide my oak I just added 50% more than the package recommended. I wanted a very oaky flavour. Seeing that yours (HappyCider) lost some of its flavour in a month, I hope that mine will retain it because of the increased amount.

I'm interested in knowing how yours turns out as well, HopHeaven. Are you going to add anything other than the dextrose and the oak chips?

HopHeaven 02-26-2013 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Verge

I'm interested in knowing how yours turns out as well, HopHeaven. Are you going to add anything other than the dextrose and the oak chips?

Well I added 1.5 cans of concentrate. Want to try and retain that apple flavor and up the sugar. Besides that, just seem yeast nutrient. Cider is bubbling away, deciding whether or not to soak the oak in something that would add to the flavor like bourbon or whiskey


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