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Old 11-13-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
smokinghole
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After much reading about between the forum and various websites I decided to do a 5 gallon batch.

The recipe:
5 gal freshly pressed cider from local orchard
4lbs dark brown sugar
1.5lbs table sugar
WLP775 English Cider yeast

I plan on going to a secondary and have reserved 3/4 gallon of fresh cider and threw it in a gallon ziploc in the freezer to keep it from fermenting on its own. That way I can minimize the headspace in the secondary. Not sure if that's typically done but it made sense to me. I'm a noob at doing it this way.

I did not throw any campden and since this was a first time shoot off the hip get it together quick attempt I did not buy a hydrometer to check OG. I figure based on the recipe it will end up with high alcohol. Getting a meter never crossed my mind when I was at the LHBS. I'll pick one up next time I'm in for my next batch I'm going to do.

Bottling will be done in Grolsch fliptops that I'm currently drinking my way through. The store wanted $32 a case for empties when I could get full for $42 talk about a win win decision.

I think I'm going to do a little try with lagering yeast and do it in my garage as it gets to around 40ish and let it be a nice long fermentation over the winter. I'll be using apple juice for that batch.

Needless to say I'm pretty excited as is some family and friends.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
I plan on going to a secondary and have reserved 3/4 gallon of fresh cider and threw it in a gallon ziploc in the freezer to keep it from fermenting on its own. That way I can minimize the headspace in the secondary. Not sure if that's typically done but it made sense to me. I'm a noob at doing it this way.
You'll end up with more problems from the oxygen that will be carried in with the fresh juice than you would by just leaving headspace in the fermenter. I would add this while primary fermentation is winding down so that the yeast will clean up the O2 quickly. You shouldn't have much of a problem with excessive krausen or blowoff with cider anyway. Maybe just add the full amount from the get-go?
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Maybe you can use these Grain, Hops, Yeast Reference Charts

 
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:33 PM   #3
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Aah see what's why I'm posting here. I didn't think of fresh juice causing an oxygen problem. I'll add some of it back in because I had a 6 gal better bottle filled to the neck at the orchard and a gallon and some extra off for drinking/adding back to the batch.

I'll pour half of it in tonight and call it done then go from there.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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Your brew should be fine if you add more cider to it after the primary. It will most likely continue to ferment slowly after those new sugars are introduced and push out any O2 that’s left. Even if it doesn’t, it shouldn’t cause any problems. Many people backsweeten with cider or concentrate and don’t have any problems. If you’re looking at doing this for a long time, in the future I would suggest fermenting it in a larger primary then using a smaller secondary (6gal – 5gal).

 
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #5
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Now I have excuse to buy another carboy. Sweet. Thanks much for the tip. I impulsively grabbed an "ale pail" real quick and a vapor lock my first time in the LHBS. Then I actually went in when I had more time and looked around. I found the better bottles and other carboys.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
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Using a bucket is fine, it's just that most people who use buckets will let it ferment out and transfer over to a glass carboy for aging. One advantage to using a bucket as a primary fermenter is that they're cheap, large, and you can pour a huge pot of cider into it without needing to use a funnel. The disadvantage is that you can't really see what's going on.

But you can never have too many containers!

 
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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I ended up at a FG of 1.012ish. I estimate my OG was around 1.09 with all the sugar I added so I came out with a 10.8%abv ish beverage. I just bottled today after three weeks in a secondary. It's pretty dark too thanks to the dark brown sugar I'm sure. The flavor is good but it needs some time to bottle condition. It has that fresh boozey taste to it.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:11 AM   #8
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Sounds nice.
Higher the ABV, the stronger that is. If you can set it aside and forget about it for a couple of months before bottling would be ideal. Just make sure the air lock does not dry out.
Then hide the bottles for another 6 months or so.
How can you wait that long you may ask?
Start more batches, you could do one quick one with no added sugar, back sweeten with one can of concentrate and it is drinkable very quick.
Or you could a Graff.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:01 AM   #9
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I think it tastes pretty good already. I'll give it 6 months or so in the bottle though.

Ooh yeah I have a batch of Graff bottled and almost ready. With another batch coming to the end of it's fermentation.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:25 AM   #10
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Okay so weird thing I left my cider go for a month as I wanted to carbonate it. They did not carbonate at all. I don't know if I overwhelmed the yeast and it gave up at 10%ish. Reading on white labs site the yeast I used (775) you shouldn't go higher than 12. That's probably with some nutrients though.

I think my yeast died off and did not carbonate the bottles. It tastes good but I was hoping for carbonation. I need to get into kegging.

All my batches of graff have been turning out great as well as other beer. This cider has my scratching my head a bit.
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