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Old 03-18-2009, 05:57 PM   #1
ScottM
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Default Your opinion of this recipe

I figured it would be better to start a new thread instead of adding this to my other thread about ciders. I found this recipe on line:

Quote:
A really simple three gallon batch
3 Gallons Apple Juice (no preservatives, not from concentrate)
2 pounds Wildflower honey
Nottingham dried ale yeast

This is simple. Just dissolve the honey in about a half gallon of the juice. Heat to 140 F on the stove to pasteurize the honey (the apple juice is already pasteurized), chill to room temperature and mix w/ the rest of the juice in a five gallon carboy. Aerate well by shaking and pitch one packet of Nottingham ale yeast.
After two weeks, transfer two a three gallon carboy for secondary and keep it there for six weeks or, at the very least, until it clears. Bottle w/ one half cup of corn sugar to prime.

It will be carbonated in about a month but really doesn’t reach full carbonation until a good three or four months. It really starts getting good at six months but continues to improve for a long time after that.
Looks fairly straight forward to me. My only questions would be on the amount of honey. This seems like a lot of honey. So should I go with the recipe as is, or should I take a hydro reading of the apple juice and then try to figure the amount of honey I need to add? From other threads I can see that 1.070 is a good starting point for cider. So to get there, is there an online calculator that anyone has seen that would help me figure the amount of honey to add?


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Old 03-18-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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2 lbs in 3 gallons really isn't a ton of honey, in fact if you ar going for a cyser (apple based mead) then I would suggest you go more like 2 lbs of honey per gallon. If you are going for most of a cider with a bit of extra honey flavor, then this looks like a good recipe to me.


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Old 03-19-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Tusch. As long as 2lbs of honey isn't a crazy amount, I think I'll go with the recipe as is. This will be my first shot at a hard cider of any kind, and I wouldn't mind if the cider had some residual honey flavor.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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Go right ahead with it then, enjoy and keep us updated on how it went.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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Now that I'm settled with the recipe, I'm going to pick up the necessary supplies Friday and Sunday. This is my first use of a new/used 3gal carboy, so I need to pick up a bung for it. Plus (I hate to admit this publicly) I've got to pick up a hydrometer. I've been winging it for far to long, and wondering why the results weren't the best. I'll try to document this one with pics and stats. From the original recipe the recommendation is to bottle condition for at least 3 months. If I've got my calendar figured right, and I brew this weekend I should be popping my first hard cider at my Labor Day picnic.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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Update: I got the batch going yesterday. The gravity of the juice alone was 1.050, with the addition of 2lbs of honey it knocked the SG up to 1.072. I pitched a packet of Red Star Montcharet, and it took off. There was random bubbles within the first hour, and as of this morning it sounds like a grandfather clock ticking away. Sorry no pics. I had the internet service at home shut off because my wife and I hadn't used it in two months. We're on the internet at work all day, so we never use it at home. Unfortunately I can't hook my camera up to the work computer.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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Update: So a week and a half into this experiment and the fermentation lock is just starting to slowdown. It ticked away at a bubble per second for the first 7 days and just started to slow to a bubble every 3 seconds. Am I in trouble here? Is this going to be rocket fuel?

I haven't done anything to it except monitor the fermentation lock. No swirling. No other gravity readings. No removing the lock for anything. It's in the kitchen and the house temp is between 65 and 70. It's a 3 gal carboy that is sitting down in my ancient 15 gal ceramic crock. So it's not in "pitch black" but it's also not getting any direct sunlight.

I plan on taking a gravity reading around the 10th, then again on the 12th. That will be 3 weeks in. If it's stablized, I'll rack it off the yeast for 3-4 weeks of clearing. I'm not looking for crystal clear, and I plan on carbonating this with corn sugar. So remaining yeast and fermentables will be accepted in the bottle. Ideally I'd like to crack open a bottle in the first couple weeks of September. I know that may be a bit "green" for some, but my long term plan will be to get a batch going in October of 2009 to drink September 2010. Then repeat this process, so I've always got aged hard cider for the fall each year.

Anything that you pro's think that I'm missing or should be concerned with?
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:07 PM   #8
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You're fine. Your plan sounds good -- except do you think you'll be able to wait until September to drink????
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #9
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That is a concern, but luckily I've got 2 cases of pilsner carbing up in the basement; I plan on brewing a witbier in the next couple weeks; After that I'd like to try a dark chocolate stout... So I'll just have to pacify myself with beer until the cider is really ready.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Update: So after 3 weeks in the primary, I'm down to 1.012 from 1.072, so right around 8% by my math. The flavor was good, a little alcohol hot, but not unbearable. I sprinkled a little splenda in the hydro sample I was drinking, and that did the trick. I'm happy with that level of alcohol, so I racked it into the secondary after fighting my syphon. I then moved to my basement which is between 55-60 this time of year. There was a nice 3/8 inch yeast cake in the primary. It is giving off some bubbles after 24 hours in the secondary. I plan on letting this rest for another 4 weeks then carbonate and bottle.


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