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Old 08-19-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
whitelegs
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Default Unpasteurized questions about strong recipe

Greetings all,

This is my first post here on Home Brew! I've made two batches of hard cider in my life. Both were made by following the easiest possible recipes that took the least amount of time to make. They tasted ok. I'm not sure of the exact science behind the task, but I'm attempting to learn.

I have motivation to learn because I have unlimited access to free cider apples, and my brother has a small cider press. I have no excuse to not make hard cider.

Anyways, my brother and I were talking about making a stronger, more delicious cider (using the unpasteurized cider). Does anyone know of any recipes for a strong cider (15%-20% abv) that I could possibly make? Would I be able to make a cider like this in two months or less? Does using unpasteurized cider make much of a difference?

Any help is appreciated!

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Old 08-19-2011, 11:30 PM   #2
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Good cider is in the apple mix, my friend. You could try mixing the apples you get with some sweeter juicier apples, as most good cider, imo, is a blend of bitter and sweet apples. Ageing is one of the best ways to change the flavour to a pure apple cider too, both in the length of time and the carboy used. You can age in glass, or add some oak chips to give a woody, vintage flavour - even soak them in bourbon for a few weeks prior to adding will make it much tastier. Look into what types of sugar give different flavours for some inspiration - honey and light brown sugar are both fantastic. Naturally, you'll want to check out the apfelwein recipe on this forum - the reason its such a favourite is because its so damn good. I own a book called 'making cider' that is based purely on making cider from fresh apples so if you have any idea what sort of flavour youre after, let me know and ill copy s recipe here. Best of luck to you mate!

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Old 08-20-2011, 12:20 AM   #3
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1. You can't make a 15% cider with just apples. They do not have enough sugar in them.

2. The stronger the cider, the longer it has to age.

3. Make some Apple wine (which uses table sugar to boost the ABV) and have fun drinking it next year.

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Old 08-20-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys. Another question that I forgot to include in my first post. Is it necessary to use a carboy to ferment cider? My brother has a 6 gallon bucket with an airlock (similar to one of these -http://www.homebrewit.com/wine-beer-fermenters.php) that he has used to brew beer with. Is that something you wouldn't want to use to make cider? Does it make any difference?

Thanks

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Old 08-21-2011, 02:59 AM   #5
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You could probably make ice cider around 12% or so, but it would be expensive (you would have to freeze a lot of cider) to get an appreciable amount of finished product. You probably would want to have it age a while as David_42 said.

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Old 08-21-2011, 03:35 AM   #6
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Just stick to making decent cider from what you have. Basic juice will get you around 6 to 7 %.

Two months: That's quick for any cider. The lower the abv, the quicker it will be to tasting fine.

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Old 08-22-2011, 04:46 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I also had a question about fermenting. My brother uses a 5 gallon bucket with an airlock to brew beer on occasion. Would using this be ok for cider or should I go out and get a carboy? Does it make a difference?

Thanks

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