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Old 03-24-2010, 09:42 PM   #1
Mar 2010
Parkersburg, WV
Posts: 47

Hello All I am new to the home brewing game, so I thought I would run bye my plan of action, to make sure I am not going to totally bomb my first attempt at making alcohol.

First of all I will list what I have in the way of equipment and ingredients.

Ok the local Kroger’s was having a sale on 64oz jugs of Motts natural apple juice. I had to buy 8 jugs but I got them for 99 cents each. I also picked up a small kit at a local shop, which includes:

• 2 Gallon Bucket with Lid
• 1 Gallon jug & 38mm Screw Cap
• 5' of tubing & shut-off clamp
• 3 piece Airlock
• Coarse Straining Bag
• Easy Clean Cleanser
• Sodium Campden Tablets
• Active Freeze Dried Wine Yeast
• Mini Auto Siphon

I will trash the yeast, since I do not know how fresh it is. I also picked up another 1 gallon jug with stopper, airlock, and a hard rubber cap. I also picked up 1 packet of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast. I did forget to pick up a hydrometer, but I plan on picking up one soon.

Ok so here is the plan: I will start of bye sterilizing, all the equipment, which I know is a very necessary step. Once I get started I planned on doing one gallon of juice in the bucket and then a separate gallon in one of the growlers, so I have two batches going at once. I would use the second growler to rack into at secondary, and then clean the first growler to use it as the secondary for the bucket.

Back on track I was not planning on adding sugar to either batch, but going just with the plain juice and the natural sugar. Though I would like to add some organic mint leaves to one batch. I was thinking to keep them in primary for two months, and then rack them to secondary for another two months or more.So here are my specific questions:

For the batch I want to use the mint leaves in, should I add them to the primary or at secondary and how many should I use?

If I only do 1 gallon in the 2 gallon pail, while all the air space be too much for the batch?

Can I get away with doing these first two batches without taking hydrometer readings?

How long can I keep the cider in the secondary before I bottle it??

Can I use the one pack of yeast to do both batches, and how would I go about it??

Thanks in advance guys; I appreciate any help you can give. I have been reading up and watching YouTube videos for a while, but it always helps to get your questions answered. I have noticed this site is much friendlier to beginners then some I have been on before. I have been in the craft beer scene for a while, so I have been around a few forums. I have to do a few things this evening, so I won’t be near the computer, but I will have the blackberry on me, so if you need more info just let me know.

Reason: clearing up some spacing errors, to make easier to read

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Old 03-25-2010, 07:20 PM   #2
Dec 2009
Pacific NW
Posts: 593
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Kudos for not adding sugar.

For the mint, try looking at what the wine and mead makers would do. Try Jack Keller's website

1 gallon in a 2 gallon pail - kind of too much headspace. For a primary, you would be okay with all the CO2 it would give off, though not ideal. I would hesitate more for a secondary.

No hydrometer? It is risky because you won't really know if it is done or if it is stuck. If it is stuck, you could bottle too soon and have it restart fermenting, creating CO2 and putting too much pressure on your bottles that they explode.

How long to bottle? At least a month, though the longer you wait, the better it will taste as it will have a chance to mellow out and become more balanced.

Yes, you can use one pack of yeast on multiple batches. One packet is good for about 5 gallons. I cut it open, and just pour a little out at a time, and then refridgerate what I don't use for up to a month.

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
Mar 2010
Parkersburg, WV
Posts: 47

Thank you for the response, I really appreciate it.

As for the pail, I have decided to just pick up a few more growlers. For the added peace of mind I am out about 8 dollars each and that includes the air lock and bung. So I ill just use the pail as something to sanitize equipment in.

I now have the Keller site, bookmarked, thanks for the heads up, it is loaded with good stuff.

I will pick up the hydrometer soon, my local wine shop burnt down, and the other close one is out of them till next week, so I will just hold off till they get some back in stock.

I think I have all the basic equipment I need, though I do need to pick up a long plastic spoon just encase I need to stir something.

Any more advice is greatly appreciated; I think I will try to make up my recipe this weekend so I can post it for review and critique.

My goal is to make a high quality cider, while having fun doing it.

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Old 09-16-2010, 05:14 PM   #4
Sep 2010
Bradenton, FL
Posts: 22

As far as how long to wait for bottling... It depends on how dry you want your cider. I wanted draft-style semi-dry, and I'm actually bottling at 1.010 so the yeast is still active, then I will bottle and carbonate for 1-2 weeks. There are a few different threads on this. It is more of a chance you'll have a bottle-bomb, but the cider is not as dry and is meant to be consumed in fairly short order.

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:24 PM   #5
Mar 2010
Parkersburg, WV
Posts: 47


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