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Old 03-04-2014, 09:07 PM   #21
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Hey Brewski,

Results aren't 100% in yet, but for ordinary North American juice I just can't see how at least 1/4tsp per gallon could hurt. If you do the math, the tannic acid contributed by that is very small relative to the so-called 'ideal' levels. It just contributes to the complexity and mouthfeel. I personally will never do less than 1/2 tsp/gallon again unless I know that the apple juice comes from cider apples. I'll post more when I finish the tests up.

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Old 03-05-2014, 06:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhu View Post
Anybody used black tea in their cider to get some tannin in there?
Sometimes I do.

From cider.org ...
Is tannin in cider important?
That rather depends on where you're coming from. Many traditional ciders such as those from Germany, Switzerland and the East of England have quite low levels of tannin. Most modern 'factory' ciders have rather little. But traditional ciders from NW France and SW England have noticeably higher levels, so the cider is markedly astringent to most people's taste, especially if it's 'dry' (unsweetened). ... But if you want to make a traditional English West Country style of cider, you really have to use some high tannin apples. And, even if you don't, some tannin in a cider is highly desirable or it simply becomes too insipid for anyone's taste.
(http://www.cider.org.uk/tannin.htm)

As that page suggests ... it really is a matter of personal tastes ... and if you read further on that page, for practical purposes it is the “total” tannins and phenolics ... not duplicating the specific ones in specific proportions, that they are mostly interested in.
While the specifics may represent the varietal, the growing conditions, the geographic area and the techniques and care the cidery uses ... for our purposes I’m not sure it really allows us to compare “apples to apples” (sorry). It’s a matter of what tastes good to you.

That having been said ...

First, it is worth noting that tannin content is *markedly* affected by what you do during grinding, during any maceration ... and whether you fine-out any of those compounds when you fine or clear your cider ... so of course too, whether you are trying to make hard cider from store-bought apple juice, or something less refined.

We take it out just to struggle to put it back in.

So when we put it back in, what guideline should be used, and as the OP asked ... is using tea worthwhile?

The predominant tannin in tea is also one of the tannins in grape skins/grape tannin, and also in wood based tannins (powder, cubes, barrels, whathaveyou) ... it is epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG ... though wine has a great many more related compounds which affect wine for bitterness, astringency, flavor and other macerative and anti-oxidant aspects ... that common tannin is in fact one of them ... and is a member of the family of cousins which rule Tea-Land ... the Catechin family.

Oak type tannins from oaking in barrels or adding other forms of wood tannin are significantly created from gallic acid in the wood ... that gallic acid is one of the “parents”, so to speak of the EGCG noted above. That gallic acid is also present in the tea leaves too.

The result of all this chemistry is to eventually produce some of the phenolic compounds that flavor wine or cider.

So yes, in cider, as well as in grape wine, there are flavor qualities which are affected by the chemicals found in tea ... and as noted this is related to the effect of the sort of hydrolysable tannin in wood.

That EGCG is also a potent anti-oxidant ... with all of those attendant effects for aging, avoiding oxidative color change etc (though the dynamics of most of the colorant chemistry involved in red wine would not be pertinent in cider, a whole different ball of wax.).

The most common behind the scenes effects of the tannins ... total tannins ... noticeable in the taste of the cider are arguably bitterness and astringency. The effects of the *tea* do contribute to that interplay of bitterness and astringency ... and with a tendency to become hydrolyzed and “phenolic” over time.

So should you use tea leaves in cider? ... sure.
There are benefits from it ... but as the chemistry varies from cider to cider and tea-bag to tea-bag, the final arbiter of whether it’s worth doing is in the tasting.
I’ve used Constant Comment brand in various batches over the years, a tea which provides other subtle flavoring as well.

If you are really concerned about doing it the “right”way ... get the right apple varietal from your chosen region, from your chosen “vintage” or crop, and use the proper techniques of grinding, enzymes, temperature, maceration etc to obtain the tannic effect you want.

Otherwise ... just add tannin back to taste.
Keep careful notes ... Keep a small part of your batch un-treated so you can have a “baseline” to compare results to, side-by-side at taste-testing time. Train your palate to note the difference between bitter and astringent.

The complexity in tannin chemistry one of the things which force winemaking or cider-making to be very much an “art”, not just a science.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oljimmy View Post
Hey Brewski,

Results aren't 100% in yet, but for ordinary North American juice I just can't see how at least 1/4tsp per gallon could hurt. If you do the math, the tannic acid contributed by that is very small relative to the so-called 'ideal' levels. It just contributes to the complexity and mouthfeel. I personally will never do less than 1/2 tsp/gallon again unless I know that the apple juice comes from cider apples. I'll post more when I finish the tests up.
somewhat resurrecting this thread, but how did all of these turn out with a few months on them? I have a store juice cider that i'm split fermenting with two different weizen yeasts that I plan to blend together. Total batch is 5g. Do you think that a 1/2tsp/gal ratio is still appropriate? So 2.5tsp in total?
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:54 PM   #24
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Thanks for reminding me to chill one down and enjoy it


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Old 07-31-2014, 03:06 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhu View Post
Anybody used black tea in their cider to get some tannin in there?
i have, based on the recipe for graham's english cider, which you can find around here somewhere. i can't say that i noticed it much, but i think that's because i put too much lime juice in. it cam out ok, but next time i'll reduce the lime.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:34 PM   #26
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Hi all, just thought I'd chime in with my final results. The fact of the matter is that powdered or liquid tannin will add bitterness. However, it's likely to be the "hard" bitterness that is not particularly pleasant. The only difference I noticed between my batches was a basically negative difference.

If you're interested in nice, drinkable, north-american style cider made from galas/macintoshes/etc (i.e. the stuff you get at 99% of the orchards), forget you ever heard about tannins and just try to keep the acids down and the sugar up. If you want tannins, get the right juice: Kingston black, Dabinett, yarlington mill, Stoke Red, etc. I've had conversations with expert cidermakers who assure me that there is and never will be a way to properly simulate what these varieties can give you.

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Old 09-01-2014, 01:56 PM   #27
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Default Tanin in apple juice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oljimmy View Post
Just tasted the 1.5 tsp, it's probably down to 1.012 or so, and the apple sweetness plus the tannin are mixing beautifully. Not overly bitter at all.
Hi oljimmy, how do you measure those 1/4, 1/2, 1, 1.5 tsp tannin that you add to your apple juice. (US/UK/EU or else). Would you be able to weigh it and update the measurements for us?
Cheers
Rosen
P.S. Just read your last post. Would you try adding tannin again or rather not?
I would suggest that the tannin you've added was too much.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:02 PM   #28
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Hey Rosen,

I'm using US tsp. Don't really have the time to convert to grams, sorry! That said, there was no clear "winner". It was only in the 1 and 1.5-tsp/gal batches that the tannin made any serious difference, and again, it provided a very harsh "bite", not a soft tannic mouthfeel. This is consistent with what Andrew Lea has said on the topic.

Secondly: it is entirely possible that some of my yeast didn't like the high-tannin environment. A couple of batches showed signs of being very "stressed" and produced off-flavors that were very slow to age out. Final verdict: powdered or liquid wine tannin is no substitute for apples that have naturally occurring tannins.

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Old 09-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #29
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Hey Rosen,

I'm using US tsp. Don't really have the time to convert to grams, sorry! That said, there was no clear "winner". It was only in the 1 and 1.5-tsp/gal batches that the tannin made any serious difference, and again, it provided a very harsh "bite", not a soft tannic mouthfeel. This is consistent with what Andrew Lea has said on the topic.

Secondly: it is entirely possible that some of my yeast didn't like the high-tannin environment. A couple of batches showed signs of being very "stressed" and produced off-flavors that were very slow to age out. Final verdict: powdered or liquid wine tannin is no substitute for apples that have naturally occurring tannins. If a sub is needed, black tea or raisins are probably a much better source.

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Old 09-12-2014, 05:39 AM   #30
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Yeast should not be adversely effected affected by tannins at the levels in cider, otherwise red winemaker would have a hell of a time! Imho wine tannins are a great way to go. Remember the addition rates in ciders are going to be MUCH LESS than those indicated for wine and the best measure is to add to taste rather than rely on a recipe. If your not having success with wine tannins it may be the quality of tannins used. The results obtained are exceptionally quality specific and unfortunately the homebrew industry has historically been an outlet for sub commercial quality product.


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