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Old 02-20-2009, 12:05 AM   #1
Feb 2009
Posts: 81


I need recomendations. I have 5 gallons of FRESH unpastuerized apple cider. I have read conflicting reports.....however here is what I am doing based on my research....tell me what I'm doing wrong.

-Bring 5 gallons of cider and 2 lbs brown sugar to simmer (not boil) until sugar disolved.
-Transfer to fermenter, cool to pitching temp. Take OG reading
-Pitch yeast, using dry wine yeast
-Install airlock and let go for a month
-Bottle using 1 can apple juice concentrate for priming
-Let sit another few weeks.

Here are my questions.

-Should I use apple juice concentrate instead of brown sugar in the primary? If so how much?
-Should I heat it? Some say yes, some no?
-Is dry wine yeast OK, if so what temp should I pitch at.
-Is it OK unpastuerized? THe farmer I am getting it from says alot of people buy his to ferment.



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Old 02-20-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
Nov 2007
Spring Valley, Ohio
Posts: 1,379
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Brown sugar vs concentrate is a personal preference, clearly they will create different flavors. Just think about whether you want to add the molasses flavor that comes with brown sugar, I've used it and I enjoyed it. I've also used concentrate and enjoyed it, it allows you to increase the sugar without adding other flavors.

I would definitely not bring it to a simmer. Personally I don't heat juice at all, but if you're going to do it to dissolve sugar you don't need it to be very hot at all. In fact you can dissolve the sugar without heating it at all.

Wine yeast will take it to dryness, so if that is what you are going for, then your good. If you intend to bottle carbonate, you could look into using an ale yeast and no added sugars. This will leave just a little bit of residual sugars and will still allow for bottle carbonation. I personally thoroughly enjoy a good dry cider. And dry yeast is fine, I prefer it, it's cheaper, works well, and comes in a variety of strains for many different uses.

You might want to dissolve 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon into the juice. Let it sit for 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast. This will kill off any wild yeasts or bacterias you might be afraid of.

Oh and letting it go for a month can be a guideline, just don't be determined to stick to it. If it isn't completely fermented or if it isn't crystal clear, then it isn't ready for bottling.

Other then those pointers, sounds like you are on the right path to some good brew.
Meads: Hababero and Sarrano Capiscumel, Show Mead possibly getting split and flavored, and 12 gallons of Bochet Deliciousness
Ciders:3 Ciders with differing additives TBD, Strawberry/Apple Cider
Wine: Black Cherry Vanilla Port

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:35 AM   #3
Feb 2009
Posts: 81

Where would I get campden tablets? BTW I do not have a local homebrew store in my town.

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:41 AM   #4
Feb 2009
Posts: 81

And how much of the concentrated apple juice would I use instead of brown sugar?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 02-20-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 70,019
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Do you have a hydrometer? That really helps to judge how strong you want to make it.

Most ciders, in my opinion, are best without added sugar. I like just the cider, with some ale yeast, to give me an ABV of around 5-6%.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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