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 Home Brew Forums > Weak Cider with Nottingham?
08-10-2009, 01:29 PM   #1
MBM30075
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 Weak Cider with Nottingham?

Last week I started my first cider/apfelwein.

My recipe was:

3 gallons "natural" (cloudy) apple juice
2 lbs. table sugar
1 tbsp yeast nutrients
1 packet Lalvin champagne yeast

The apple juice was pasteurized and had no preservatives. Ingredients list was like "apple juice, water, concentrated apple juice."

My OG was 1.080 or 1.081. I'm expecting this to get down to .995 - 1.000. I'm also expecting this to take a looooong time in primary, secondary and bottle conditioning. I'd love to have something else apple-y to drink sooner than December or so.

So, I thought about doing a weaker cider, forgoing the table sugar, using an ale yeast and maybe getting a brew ready to drink more along the timeline of a beer.

Here's my proposed recipe:

5 gallons "natural" (cloudy) apple juice
2 tbsp yeast nutrient
1 packet Nottingham yeast

According to my calculations, if 2 lbs. of table sugar added to 3 gallons of juice made an OG of 1.081, then then juice itself should be about 1.050.

***** Calculations *****
1 lb. table sugar = 1.046 SG / gallon or 46 pts. / gallon
2 lb. table sugar / 3 gallons = (46 + 46) / 3 = 92 / 3 = 30.667 = 1.031)
1.081 (my OG) - 1.031 (calc'd SG of the sugar) = 1.050 (SG of the juice)
***** Calculations *****

If I do that and pitch the Nottingham on top, how much attenuation will I get?

If I get the normal 75%, that would be an FG of 1.012-1.013, giving me about 5% ABV. That's a good target for me. Even if it runs it all the way down to 1.000, it's only 6.5%. Still in the right range.

Will the yeast quit then (@ 1.012), though? I've heard from a lot of people that the sugars in apple juice ferment out a lot better than the sugars in an average beer wort. Is that true? Even with a beer yeast?

Also, if I do this recipe, what sort of overall time table should I expect? Would a 1-2-3 work for this? What about 2-2-4? Would a recipe like this still require months of aging to be good?

Thanks!

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08-10-2009, 01:45 PM   #2
mmb
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Apple juice will ferment to dry with ale yeast as well. Very few complex sugars in straight apple juice and Notty will just rip through it. Apple juice is made up of mostly fructose with some sucrose and glucose in the mix. All three are easily processed by yeast.

If it were me, I'd go for a two or three week primary, a 2 week secondary, crash cool and then bottle and age for a month or two. Cider can be drank young but improves with aging.

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08-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #3
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Regardless of the yeast, a cider will end up under 1.000. Straight juice ciders can be drinkable in 6 weeks, start to finish. Don't be surprised if it ferments out in 2-3 days.

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08-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I don't mind getting a dry cider, but I just want to know what to expect. So, somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.995-1.000?

David_42, according to what you posted, it seems like a 1-2-3 with a straight juice cider is workable? Or maybe a 1-2-3+? I'll be natural carbing in a keg, so I'm thinking after the 1-2, I'll just keg it and put it in the back of my closet, hopefully forgetting about it for a month or more.

Thanks!

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08-10-2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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I followed mmb's suggestion almost exactly with notty and bottled two batches of it this weekend. The batches were just straight apple plus a fruit addition (blueberries in one, cherries in other). Definitely fermented dry, and even 5-6 weeks along, already tasted nice. Carbonated both, and suspect they'll continue to improve until long after I run out, since only did one gallon batches.

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08-10-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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I did my first batch last week in a brewing bucket, so I've been completely shut out of seeing the fermentation progress.

I'm doing this batch in a glass carboy. Also, I'll be using clear apple JUICE rather than the cloudy "natural" apple CIDER. What should I expect as far as clarity during the brewing process? What should fermentation look like?

Also, will my "natural" batch eventually settle out clear?

Thanks!

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08-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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@etp777:

How did you do the fruit additions? Primary? Secondary? Pureed and added? Added whole? Crushed? I'd love to have a raspberry or blackberry profile to my cider, so please tell me how fruit additions work.

Thanks!

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08-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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same way I do my wine additions (these were some of my first ciders, so was jsut a first attempt, don't necessarily want to do what I did ). But for both, just cleaned, removed stems (cherries), then froze for a week. Thawed, crushed by hand over the primary, and then threw them in. I use open primary, or primary with jsut a lid, and the notty fermented through it fast. think I racked both to carboy (after squeezing juice from the fruit) in 4-5 days. Not sure though, dopnt' have notes in front of me. If someone else here with more experience says to do something else though, certainly lsiten to them. I have two more packets of notty to experiment with, just suffering a shortage of bottles now.

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08-13-2009, 01:31 AM   #9
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OK, so I did this one on 8/10 and got an OG of 1.048. Not much activity in the first 24 hours, just some small bubbling at the surface.

During the last 24 hours, however, the airlock activity has increased dramatically! This is my first time using the triple ripple airlock, so I can't really compare it to anything, but it seems to have a lot of gas moving through. There is also a small amount of foam on the surface of the wort(?). Wort(or whatever) is VERY cloudy, but it just looks like a lot of yeast in suspension, so no worries there yet. I've got a feeling that this thing will be done in the next 48 hours and will be clear by next Monday. I'll probably let it sit a little longer and rack it over to secondary next Friday. That will be a good 11 day primary, but I'm willing to stretch that if I don't have crystal clarity by then.

Yay for easy, cheap-o, home-made alcohol!!!

Just curious: anyone have any idea how this would have turned out with bread yeast? I know Nottingham isn't expensive and works like a champ, but it'd be cool to make a cider, serve it to someone and tell them, "Oh yeah, you probably have the ingredients for this at home RIGHT NOW!"

So, anyone done it? If not, I'll probably try it. I mean, would it give off a really weird flavor profile? Would it be able to tolerate the alcohol? Would you just pitch a ton and hope for the best?

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08-13-2009, 02:29 AM   #10
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Nottingham is known to be quite neutral and therefore doesn't lend much character to the finished product. Bread yeast (Fleishmann's) would likely end up tasting just like that . . bread.

Oh . . and if your current cider ends up attenuating really dry, you can back sweeten it when you keg it with some frozen concentrate. Works very well.

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