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Old 03-06-2009, 01:23 AM   #1
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Default Graham's English Cider


Ever since my last trip to the UK, I have fallen in love with a good dry English cider. It has become my goal ever sense to re-create a English-style cider using store-bought materials. After adding different forms of tannin and acid, using all sorts of ale yeasts to ferment the juice, and I think I have come up with a great recipe that pretty much anyone can do, getting a quaffable re-creation of a cider one could get across the pond. Finishes dry to off-dry, around 1.002, 6.4% abv. Taste is most comparable to the Samual Smith Organic Cider you can get here in the states.

Graham's English Cider
5 gallons Treetop (or equivalent) Apple Juice
4 black teabags (English or Irish Breakfast)
3 key limes (or one regular lime)
1 pack s-04 yeast
(yeast nutrients as needed)

Directions
Add juice of lime(s) to 3 cups of water, bring to a boil then turn off heat. Steep teabags for 7-10 mins, cool for a few mins then add to carboy. Add nutrients and juice into carboy with an aggressive pour to help aerate the juice. Add yeast, put an airlock on then place in a cool (60F-70F) environment.

Primary for one month, then rack to secondary, topping off with juice. Leave in secondary until crystal clear (usually 2-3 months or so from pitching) then bottle with 4oz priming sugar.

Takes about a month to carbonate, tastes good after 3 months, but just gets better with age. I usually start opening bottles about 5 months after pitching.

Here's a glass after a good amount of aging, so you can see how clear it gets


Just as a note, I've gotten into the habit of just starting a batch of this cider every time I brew using a bit of the same yeast as the beer, and have had great success with WLP005, WLP023, WLP026, WLP028, WLP037, WLP775 and nottingham, however these all seem to take longer to age and clear compared to the s-04, but are all slightly different in flavor profile, I'm sure any other english yeast would work great in this as well.

Cheers!

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Last edited by Freezeblade; 12-05-2009 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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I just started this one on Friday. Added in a couple lime wedges for fermentation.. lets see how it turns out..

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Old 03-09-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
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My last cider was just juice and S-04 which I really enjoyed but it was damn tart! I can't see wanting lime juice in there but I bet the tea adds something interesting. Are either of those traditional methods, or just things that you tried?

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Old 03-09-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastarine View Post
My last cider was just juice and S-04 which I really enjoyed but it was damn tart! I can't see wanting lime juice in there but I bet the tea adds something interesting. Are either of those traditional methods, or just things that you tried?
It's not traditional in one sense, as with normal cider making you wouldn't need to add tannins or acid, as the apples that you'd be pressing would contain these already. The tea and lime are used more as replacements for adding grape tannin and acid mix from the LHBS which is usually quite expensive if you compare it to the materials I used, and are traditional in the sense of country wine making, where the fruit may be low in acids or tannins.

As for it being tart, it may seem tart when it's young, but smooths out over time, giving the cider perceived body and fullness, making for a pleasant drink.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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can't wait for 7/7/09, so i can get a taste of this bad boy

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Old 03-14-2009, 03:30 PM   #6
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what do the tea bags do for the cider?

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by like2brew View Post
what do the tea bags do for the cider?
juice made from "cider apples" contain more tannins than juice made from "eating apples." The latter is what treetop and other commercial juices mostly contain. The tea adds tannins into the juice to simulate the tannin content of juice that is made for hard cider production.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freezeblade View Post
juice made from "cider apples" contain more tannins than juice made from "eating apples." The latter is what treetop and other commercial juices mostly contain. The tea adds tannins into the juice to simulate the tannin content of juice that is made for hard cider production.
awesome, thanks for the reply. trying to learn something new every day
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Do you just steep the tea bags in the water/lime juice mixture and throw them away, or do the tea bags themselves go into the pirmary?

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Old 03-20-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewCF View Post
Do you just steep the tea bags in the water/lime juice mixture and throw them away, or do the tea bags themselves go into the pirmary?
you throw away the bags and just add the tea/lime liquid.
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