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Old 08-16-2011, 03:40 AM   #1
SkillShaw
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Default using a juicer to make cider in small amounts

Hi,
I am brand new to the site and did my best to search this out before posting but did not find anything that answered my question fully so here it is. I want to make about 3 liters of cider using apples that I juice using a Breville juicer but do not know if I will need to add sugar or what quantity or if the apples have enough natural sugar in them to get things going. Basically I want to make a much smaller amount of cider than typical and need to know the ratios to go into it. Just fyi I am using an old 4 liter Carlo Rossi wine bottle. I hope someone has some experience with this as it will be my first time and I would like to start small because apples are hard to come by in large quantities (at least cheaply) in Oklahoma.
Thanks all



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Old 08-16-2011, 04:36 AM   #2
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one problem with juicers is it will chew up the skin, seeds and stems... those things are not the best tasting bits that you want to end up in your cider or wine. they can give off bitterness and a semi tannin mouth feel..you can peel and deseed but its time consuming, the best way is to use a press, most apples that ive pressed (not that many i just get unpasturized cider from the local cider mill) start around 1.030-1.050 original gravity.. that will give you about 4-6%abv completely fermented dry.. i always add 1 cup sugar to 1 gallon of cider to boost it to more like a champagne strength..



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Old 08-16-2011, 06:56 AM   #3
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although i agree in principle with the above, in practice juicers work pretty damn well for small batches. mine spits out the seeds largely intact and i never get any funky flavors. i have pressed and juiced similar blends and tried them side by side and there isn't that much different, the crappy press my friend operates gives lower yield than my cheap juicer, but a good press would give much higher. i have 5L jugs as small fermenters and i make lots of little batches, either with a juicer, or i grate the fruit with the cheese grater attachment of a food processor and then press by hand by wringing it in 3 layers of cheese cloth. guess what, the juicer is a lot easier, and the two methods give very similar results.
i recommend that after you juice the fruit you let it settle at least overnight and get rid of the foamy scum that floats on top, it is fine to ferment this but it will make your primary foam up and out the airlock. juice a bit more than the 3L you want, let it clear overnight (i do it in the fridge) you can first add campden if you like, then siphon the clear juice from under the scum, and you should have enough head room in your 4L jug.
also i don't add sugar, my juices tend to ferment to around 6% alc and i don't want any higher than that. you can decide what final % you want and add sugar accordingly

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Old 08-16-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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The yeast in cider used to come from the apple skin itself (or the fermentation barrel.) Not a bad addition In my opinion. Removing hard cores and seeds is as simple as coring each apple before blending, pressing or juicing. Time consuming but probably as good as its gonna get!

You're looking at anywhere between 1.040 to 1.060 for your juice which should be enough strength for almost everybody. You can also make apfelwein if you fancy it

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Old 08-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Wow so stoked I found this forum you guys are great, thanks for the quick info. I think I am going to try Dinnerstick's method and refrain from adding sugar since I am going with a blend of sweet apples and dry apples. RobWalker, I did go ahead and buy a champagne yeast packet because what I have read is that the natural yeast can take a while to get going and of course there is no telling what you will get from it as far as flavor goes. This may be a dumb question but should I go ahead and use the whole packet in the 3L batch or could I split it up into three or four batches?

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Old 08-16-2011, 09:34 PM   #6
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you can definitely get away with splitting the yeast packet up between a few batches, but i would hazard a guess that it's not ideal to keep an opened 1/2 pack sitting around a long time. anyways the stuff is cheap so don't skimp, if it's gonna be a long time between batches then just use the whole thing. but i must confess that i have duct taped up half-used packets to split between two 5L batches a few weeks apart and all was well.
btw you can read the sticky at the top of the page:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/
for ideas on which yeasts you might want to try in the future.

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Old 08-17-2011, 03:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
you can definitely get away with splitting the yeast packet up between a few batches, but i would hazard a guess that it's not ideal to keep an opened 1/2 pack sitting around a long time. anyways the stuff is cheap so don't skimp, if it's gonna be a long time between batches then just use the whole thing. but i must confess that i have duct taped up half-used packets to split between two 5L batches a few weeks apart and all was well.
btw you can read the sticky at the top of the page:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-juice-yeast-sugar-experiments-83060/
for ideas on which yeasts you might want to try in the future.
lol.. ive used my partial pack of ec-1118 3 months down the road without problems and didnt even bother sealing it up used a gram scale and used like 3 grams and it did fine for my small batch!!


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