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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Cider Priming Experimentation
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
zippy84
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Default Cider Priming Experimentation

It's Summer and Id like to finish of my cider (that's been fermenting for over 2 weeks) with a fruity hint... so I was thinking, instead of priming with sugar or honey.. why not try doing up a fruit compote?

I was thinking maybe a few punnets of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries mixed with about 30-50g of sugar and some water to dissolve the sugars.. boil for 15 mins, sieve of fruits and seeds, let it cool, add a pectolase and leave for 12 hours... then add it to fermenter.

Does this sound viable or has anyone experimented with this around here?

I'd love the thought of a nice crisp cider with a fruity hint.

Any thoughts?

By the way it's a 5 gallon batch

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Old 06-26-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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I think this is a cool idea but you have to remember that fermented fruit rarely tastes like its fresh counterpart (hard cider and wine are perfect examples!)

You could backsweeten with fruit compote (make sure to filter out the solid fruit), to get a sweeter fruitiness, but this would require killing off the yeast before adding the juices and you would need to force carb and bottle from the keg which may not be an option for you.

You will DEFINITELY get a lot of color from carbing with those fruit-juices, but I don't know how much fruity flavor you'll get from the amounts required for bottling.

What yeast did you use?

The more I think about it, the more I think this is awesome actually. The more attenuative your yeast is, the more subtle the additional flavors will be, but that could be great!

Just make sure to make more compote than you need, and check the gravity of the strained juice/water, so you can use a priming sugar calculator, and report back with how it tastes!

Also, make sure you have any necessary enzymes.

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Old 06-26-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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Yeah killing the yeast won't be an option, it'll be bottle conditioning all the way. I'm not sure what the yeast is... just a generic yeast that comes with the cider kit... it's a nice kit though I made it last year with great results.

I'll be using a pectolase to tackle the fruit pectin and hazes.

Regarding calculating exact priming solution gravity; Not too sure how to do this when mixing up fruit.. I guessed I wanted anywhere between 2 - 3 volume of Co2.. think about 80 to 100g of sugar gets me that. So, maybe go 30g of sugar of which the yeast will consume 100% and I'm guessing the yeast will consume about 60% of fruit sugars so go about 150 grams of fruit? This is just a rough guess... let me know if I'm wrong or how to do it more accurately?

Cheers!!

The brew is nearly done.. it started at 1.036 and is at 1.004 at the mo so it's quite dry and I think around 4.2%. Might give it another week to clean up after itself.

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Old 06-26-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Hmmmm... I was sure I knew of a calculator that would tell you how many volumes of co2 would be generated in a given volume of beer, if you input the gravity of the priming solution. This is the sort of calculator you want to look for.

Then cook up a whole mess of compote (well more than you need) and measure the gravity. Use your newfound calculator (and I'm sure there's one out there like the one I described) and this will tell you exactly how much of your compote to use for bottling.

Every time I've ever eye-balled priming sugar that wasn't corn sugar, I've ended up with flat-ish beer :P

Also, be prepared for a slower carb time. I imagine whatever fruit sugars the yeast are eating will be slightly less fermentable than dextrose.

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Old 06-26-2013, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigelow92 View Post
Also, be prepared for a slower carb time. I imagine whatever fruit sugars the yeast are eating will be slightly less fermentable than dextrose.
True, not only less fermentable sugars but more complex range of sugars so I'd imagine longer for the yeast to get through different types of sugars... guessing.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:52 AM   #6
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Use fruit extract. A 4 ozs container will do about 5 gallons. Just add to the priming sugar and prime as normal. The fruit extract flavorings you get at the LHBS is non-fermentable. Makes things a lot easier, and you don't lose the flavor.

I also like to use apple juice to prime ciders. Use a half pint (8 ozs) per gallon.

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Old 06-27-2013, 06:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Use fruit extract. A 4 ozs container will do about 5 gallons. Just add to the priming sugar and prime as normal. The fruit extract flavorings you get at the LHBS is non-fermentable. Makes things a lot easier, and you don't lose the flavor.

I also like to use apple juice to prime ciders. Use a half pint (8 ozs) per gallon.
Cool, and do you notice it takes an extra few weeks to ferment out the apple juice? Much of an improvement in taste? It makes sense to use apple juice, I thought about it.

btw... by fruit extract do you mean in powder form or oil extract? Don't see any in local supermarkets, health shops or home brew stores... maybe something like this from ebay? Still think I rather the fresh fruit syrup idea, fresh ingredients and maybe more subtle, I don't want to lace the cider with fruit altogether, just a hint.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:07 PM   #8
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Update: Turns out my guess about the fermentability of fruits such as berries in particular was totally wrong. Apparently fermentable sugars in these berries is approx 4.5% of which a boil will yield about 75% of these sugars.

Here is some good info for anyone interested. There are some good calculations provided to determine extract yield and potential alcohol contribution from your fruits.

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