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Old 11-25-2013, 06:02 PM   #1
dkwolf
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Default Well, here goes....

Been meaning to try a cider for a while now (QUITE a while now, actually... I've had the cider sitting in the corner of my kitchen for almost a year now, just have never been able to find time to do anything with it). Had some PTO time to burn at work, so took thanksgiving week off, and here I am.

So I've searched the recipes here, as well as a couple other recipes, and for whatever reason, never found one that struck me as *THE ONE* I want to try, so I think what I've got going in the kitchen right now is a hybrid of several:

5 gal Musselmann's Cider (pasteurized)
3 cups brown sugar (one recipe I saw called for 1/4 cup per gallon, then I see several recipes on here talking about 5-10 lbs of table sugar... figured something in between would probably be alright)
1 2 oz package yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon tannin
1 package Red Star Champagne Yeast

Right now, I'm thinking I'm going to let it sit in primary for at least 3 weeks (haven't decided if I'm going to primary for longer, or transfer to a secondary for another couple weeks). At any rate, I plan on letting it ferment dry - I would imagine the champagne yeast will be able to take care of that. Haven't decided if I want to try and back-sweeten (leaning towards no).

If it does manage to ferment dry, I'm thinking I might very lightly prime before bottling to give it just a touch of carbonation. (May ask for assistance at that point, as this is the first brew of any kind that I've done without explicit step-by-step instructions in front of me)

Edit to add: OG came in at 1.060

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Old 11-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #2
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It will be dry with that yeast... . Looks similar to mine without the brown sugar(well I use white sugar)

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Old 11-25-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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Here is what I do.

5.5 Gallons(11 1/2 jugs) Store Bought Apple Juice(100 % pasteurized, no additives besides Vitamin C)
4 lbs Brown Sugar.

Brings the OG to around 1.080 depending on the starting gravity of the juice.

I have used Wine Yeast before and it was fine, but I have switched to liquid now.

I now use WYeast Liquid Cider Yeast, that brought final gravity from 1.079 down to 1.000, let it sit in primary for 20 days, and was quite dry. I then racked that into a bottling bucket with 2 cans of thawed 100% apple juice concentrate. I then bottled, after a couple of weeks it was pretty carbonated.

While I wanted to use Cider, I was not able to get any this year, that's why I used store bought apple juice. I watch for sales every week, and if I can find 64oz bottles on sale for $1, then I make cider.

Next time I make it, I'm going to try WLP002 English Ale Yeast.

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Old 11-25-2013, 10:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randzor View Post
It will be dry with that yeast... . Looks similar to mine without the brown sugar(well I use white sugar)
That's kind of what I thought, that the yeast would completely ferment all of the sugars. I kind of like the drier ciders, so that might be okay. Maybe if I have some extra time come bottling day, I'll bottle half, then back-sweeten with some lactose and compare the two.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:31 AM   #5
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Okay, it's been two and a half weeks now in primary, airlock activity finally completely died out yesterday (I know, I know... don't trust the bubbles). Because of ambient pressure changes, it looked like it was starting to suck back through the airlock, so I figure it's about time to do something with it. Popped the lid tonight and took a hydrometer reading... 1.000. I'll check it again in a couple days (Fri night/Saturday), and if consistent, bottle it Saturday. I had been planning on putting it in secondary for a couple weeks, but might scrap that -- while it looked a little cloudy tonight, it really wasn't THAT bad, and I'm not expecting crystal clarity anyway.

So, question now for the experienced cider guys... Do I still need to secondary it for a week or so, or would it be okay going straight to bottles now? And if I want to slightly carb this, what kind of priming sugar quantity should I be looking at? (Like I said, first time ever brewing anything not explicitly from a kit)

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Old 12-12-2013, 04:00 AM   #6
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No secondary needed. I use concentrate to bottle prime.

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Old 12-12-2013, 04:15 AM   #7
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My best results came with a local made cider that is pasteurized with no sorbate. 5 gallons of Friske cider, a 32 oz bottle of the maple syrup from Sam's was 1.055-60. I racked to the secondary when it tasted good, was around 1.015. I added some cinnamon to secondary and 3 days later I bottled.

I used Nottingham yeast, I think it's become the most popular anyway for a variety of reasons and Notty will finish it plenty dry and will give you more options.

I bottle conditioned this with another jug of the same maple syrup.

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