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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > What is cider?
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:26 AM   #1
Michael_Currie
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Default What is cider?

I remember as a really little boy getting apple cider but not sure what it is really. Just apples brewed in heat or something?

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Old 12-05-2004, 03:33 AM   #2
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Yeah, sorta.

Kind of like a alcoholic apple juice but with a warmer rounder feel. There are quite a few to choose from so take the plunge and give it a whirl.

I like the variety called "Hardcore Cider".

Ciders are generally fairly higher in abv. than most regular beers in the supermarket.

If you don't like it you could always UPS it to me!

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Old 12-13-2004, 08:23 PM   #3
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My brother likes woodchuck and i would like to make some for him do most local brew shops carry what is needed to make cider?

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Old 12-26-2004, 06:34 AM   #4
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Yea are there any good websites out there for directions on how to make it and what is needed?

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Old 12-30-2004, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Making cider

It was an annual tradition to make cider with me and some friends of mine for many years. Here's what we did.

BTW, this refers to hard cider...fermented cider. Apple cider is just raw unfiltered apple juice.

We went out and found the best tasting, ripest apples we could find. You want a good part of your cider to be made up of sweet apples, which may not have the most interesting flavor. Golden Delicious is great. It's a really high sugar apple, even if it is boring. So, about 2/3 of your juice should be good high sugar apples.

Then we looked for apples with a really good flavor. Something like Jonathans always worked great for us, but we used Galas and basically whatever we could find in the many orchards around here. The remaining 1/3 was made up of these tasty apples, the exact ratio always determined by much debating and tasting of apples

This little cider-making pamphlet we found once said you should rest the apples for a week or so. We sometimes did this.

Then we took them to a friend's house where there was an apple press. We usually had a full-size pickup truck completely full of apples mounded up. We'd spend the day pressing apples and collecting the juice. Also drinking tons of great organic apple cider.

We collected it into pre-cleaned, pre-sanitized fermenting containers. Then we took a starter made previously from a gallon of organic apple cider bought at the store (organic is important...sulfides or anything will kill your yeast) and a package of champagne yeast. No boiling. No other ingredients.

We dumped the yeast starter into the pressed cider. That was pretty much all of the "brewing" process

We always made it during apple season here in Northern California, so that's late October or so. We found that at Christmas, it was a delightful, semi-sweet drink that was easy to put away a lot of fast. EVERYONE liked our cider at Christmas. We always had to set some aside so as not to drink it all.

After Christmas, it got a bit less tasty for a while as it continued to ferment and dry. By the age of about 8 months, though, it was an incredible, dry light beverage, with no sweetness, but the appley qualities of all the "flavor" apples came back out. It was potent and wonderful, and at one year was one of the best and simplest homebrewed beverages I've made.

To recap:
Apples - free in my case...maybe you'll need to buy as much tasty organic apple cider as you want to ferment.
Champagne yeast (with a starter made) - $.90

Add a couple of the funnest weekends spent in the year to pick all the apples, crush all the apples, and rack the 80-100 gallons we'd make, and I'd consider cider one of the simplest joys that the world of fermented beverages has to offer the homebrewer. The fun and simplicity of making it is great and the results are incredible. Especially if you have access to apples, make cider with some friends

Keep it simple...

Janx

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Old 02-01-2005, 04:49 PM   #6
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I'm really enjoying my latest batch of cider right now. I had one batch go bad on me, though. Still haven't figured that one out.

Janx-
It always seems my biggest problem is bottling. Since I work for a farm supply company, we get busy again (after harvest) just about the same time I need to tend my brew. I only made 5 gallons this time, and put it in 20 oz plastic soda bottles, and it took me all evening to wash them. Do you even bottle it, or just drink it right out of the carboy? I can't imagine washing enough bottles for 100 gallons! It's pleasant as a still wine too, but I prefer to trap the carbonation.

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Old 02-01-2005, 06:14 PM   #7
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Wow....... this looks pretty easy.......

more new fermentation to play with this year!

I think I am giong to try this very soon to have for the summer or late year camping trips!

Ohh so could I just buy like a 1 gallon bottle in jug and add the yeast and put a trap on the top?

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Old 02-01-2005, 08:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewman
Wow....... this looks pretty easy.......

more new fermentation to play with this year!

I think I am giong to try this very soon to have for the summer or late year camping trips!

Ohh so could I just buy like a 1 gallon bottle in jug and add the yeast and put a trap on the top?

Just make sure it's not pasteurized...cider from an orchard or roadside stand work best, I think.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewman
Ohh so could I just buy like a 1 gallon bottle in jug and add the yeast and put a trap on the top?
Yep. It makes brewing beer look like quantum physics

A buddy of mine used to add a bunch of sugar to his and then serve it sweet around Haloween time. It already packed a punch and tasted great, but what a hangover. I'll take all apples in mine
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the possum
Do you even bottle it, or just drink it right out of the carboy? I can't imagine washing enough bottles for 100 gallons! It's pleasant as a still wine too, but I prefer to trap the carbonation.
Kegs...lots of kegs.

I prefer it fizzy, myself. We would just keg it up as needed, storing it in the carboy until then. Bright it up just like beer, and you're all set.

We did bottle some on an as-needed basis to take to friends and family and such, but we just used a counterpressure bottler off the kegs to do a few at a time whenever we needed to.
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