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Old 04-07-2011, 03:09 AM   #1
Lazarescu
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Default A way to make hard Feijoa Cider?

Hey there,

Just signed up, I'm a newbie to brewing/fermenting and this is my first thread.

It's feijoa season here in New Zealand and I picked up 3 plastic bags full from a co-worker last night with the intention of making cider.
Feijoas are also called pineapple guavas for you guys in the States. There is more info on them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acca_sellowiana

We have been having a conversation on Reddit about what recipe I should be following to make feijoa cider from feijoa juice only (no extra or other juices added), and a few options have been thrown around. You can see that conversation here: http://redd.it/gi1sd

Anyway, I am interested in some more opinions on this topic. Some are saying use pectic enzyme, other not. Some are monitoring pH levels, others not. There is indecision over what the OG should be, and what periods of time it should be left fermenting. Whether or not to pasturise, to leave to age or not.

I am leaning towards using this method: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/want...e-work-129870/
Is this a good idea? I'm also thinking of appropriating this method: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-...felwein-14860/

The more I read the more confusing it gets! What enzymes, what acids, what yeast and how much of each?!

Any help would be amazingly appreciated as I think the fruit will be off by the end of the weekend! Need to visit the brewshop on Saturday!

Cheers
Laza

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Old 04-07-2011, 03:21 AM   #2
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I don't know what the fruit is like to be honest, therefore I have no way of knowing if it will clear or not. I keep my pectic enzyme in the fridge to last longer because I only use it if I am using something that will not clear by itself (eg. boiled apple juice, cloudy apple juice). It's up to you and the method you choose if you want to add the enzyme.

If this fruit tastes like pineapple then my guess would be it would have enough acid for taste. If not, you can always add some acid blend after fermentation. So I say try it without it, then add if you need it. A packet of wine/champagne yeast should do the job.

The OG is up to you, how alcoholic do you want it? If you use the juice straight out (maybe mixed with some apple juice?) you will get an ABV of around 5-6% I would think. I guess the method I would take is to stick them all in the freezer. Once frozen, juice half and add to some apple juice. Pitch your yeast (and enzyme if you choose), then after fermentation add the rest of the juice and backsweeten if you want it sweet. I am also unsure if you plan on using apple juice or not, or using the juice straight out? I don't even know if it has juice, in which case I would do the same but with flesh (no seed/skins)

Another thing you will need to think about is if you want it still or sparkling, sweet or dry?

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Old 04-07-2011, 03:26 AM   #3
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Pectic enzyme if you're worried about it beying crystal clear, not sure what the fruit is like so I can't really say for sure about acid. Can you scoop out the seeds and separate them from the fruit? I'd get the fruit pulp and mash it with some sugar and water to get a OG around 1.055-1.060 depending on how strong you want it. I like ale yeasts for cider, but if you want it sparkling maybe a champagne yeast would work better?

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Old 04-07-2011, 03:59 AM   #4
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Thanks for your quick replies guys!

Feijoas are usually eaten by cutting in half and scooping out the flesh with a spoon. They don't taste like pineapples... I can't really describe the taste! They are tart and acidic (will sting open sores in your mouth). They start off sour then go sweet in your mouth. The consistency is kind of like porridge.

This image gives you an idea of what the juice is like:

Pretty thick eh? Disregard that kumara in the picture, it's not a feijoa.

oldmate: I plan to use only feijoa juice if possible. They are a pretty juicy fruit (i.e. you can squeeze it out with your fingers very easily). My guess is that the juice that comes out will be very cloudy/thick. An ABV of about 5-6% would be ideal, although I know that many apple ciders are around 8%. A dry feijoa cider would be cool.

Hophead75: Sparkling would be cool, but since this is the first try, I'm not too fussed either way. Can I use honey instead of sugar? What kind of consistency of honey is good? If not, what type of sugar? You could never separate the seeds, the are generally eaten with the flesh.

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Old 04-07-2011, 04:32 AM   #5
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For those of you who didn't follow the wiki link a Feijoa looks like this in cross section:


They are between 50-90mm in length (quite a small fruit).

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Old 04-07-2011, 04:40 AM   #6
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If you want a higher ABV, then add sugar/honey to the must. Be prepared to add some nutrient if you are fermenting with honey as it has little to no nutrients for the yeast. As for choosing the type of honey, pick one that you think would nicely compliment the taste that a feijora has. Not being able to remove the seeds may be a problem as it is common that the seeds, pith and skin usually cause off-tastes (I think it's usually a bitter taste). I'm not sure though, if you can eat the seeds and they do not taste much different than the flesh itself, I don't think you would have too much of a problem.

If it is cloudy you can always add pectic enzyme, the directions are usually on the packet (just like yeast). If you want more of a wine taste then I would recommend using Hophead's method of watering it down with water and sugar, but if you're looking at a sort of apple-feijora cider add some juice to primary and some to secondary.

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Old 04-07-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Thanks, oldmate.

So I just stir in sugar/honey and keep testing the wort (?) with the hydrometer until it reaches the desired SG? After fermentation, what would be the final SG I am looking for? Or should I just wait 'till it stops bubbling?

And final question I think, how do I know how much yeast to add?

Thanks heaps!

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:52 PM   #8
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Yep, that sounds good. I think you'd be aiming around 1.070 for a stronger cider or 1.050 - 1.060 original gravity (OG) for a little less ABV. Final gravity (FG) would be around 1.000, but sometimes goes under depending on what yeast you use and a whole wrange of variables. When you think that it is done, test with a hydrometer a few days in a row and if you get a stable reading (ie. it is the same each day) then it has finished. After that I would either let it clear naturally and aging for a bit in a secondary vessel but if you want it carbed, I would prime and bottle. Note that this method will give you a dry sparkling cider.

Yeast is very simple, if you have a brew shop near you, follow the directions on the packaging (or even ask the dude at the counter). If not, I usually just pour a bunch in (around 5/10g), it doesn't really matter. If you add too little, fermentation will just lag a little bit, and if you add too much, it will just be a normal fermentation with extra trub at the bottom.

Also, if you use honey don't forget to add yeast nutrient/energiser otherwise you might get some off tastes. Keep in mind that juice that goes through fermentation usually doesn't taste like the juice anymore (eg. wine) so maybe think about priming with some feirjora juice when you bottle to keep a better flavour.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:00 AM   #9
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Cheers dude! I think I'm ready to give this a shot now! Off to the brewshoppe tomorrow morning to pick up the stuff I need

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Old 04-11-2011, 12:45 AM   #10
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Okay, so this didn't work out as well as expected.

I first had issues when I tried too take the SG of the feijoa juice. It's so thick! The hydrometer would just sit where I put it! So I ended up having to do the apple juice mix. I had 6 litres of feijoa and 6 litres of organic apple juice with no preservatives or added sugar, 12 litre all togther. It was still pretty thick but I think I got a reading of 1.035.

Following this, I figured that if I used honey then it would just become thicker and impossible to read the SG if it raised any higher. So I used a chart that I have that shows grams of sugar per litre to SG and figured out how much sugar I would have to add to get it up to 1.070 and added that and stirred it in. I had previously added campden to the feijoas before I added the apple juice. I also added in some nutrients (the phosphates, etc) and vitamin B as yeast activator. Finally added the yeast and let it go.

It was bubbling though the airlock in about half an hour, so it seems like it's working.

So yeah, pretty dubious. I'm gonna keep a check on it, but probably will just try and watch around the 3 week mark for when it stops bubbling - I'm not sure I'll be able to check the FG but I'll try.

Thick cider anyone?

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