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Old 12-28-2010, 07:46 AM   #1
ChandlerBang
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Default New to cider - check me?

I found a recipe on here, though I can't seem to find it again. I have several delicious batches of beer down and I'm going to take a shot at cider.

1# Crystal 10L
3# Light DME
3g Apple juice
2c Brown sugar
(some nutmeg and Cinnamon I think, I'll have to find the d@mn recipe)

Steep grains from room temp to 170, add DME at full boil, add Brown sugar at flame out.

Cool and add to well aerated apple juice in primary. Ferment at 70 degrees for 2 weeks (here is were the train de-rails) Then rack to secondary on top of another cup of (dissolved in apple juice?) brown sugar and 2 more gallons of apple juice. Let sit for long time.

1) Seriously? rack to secondary and add more juice and sugar? Is this normal for cider or can/ should I just put all of it in the primary?

2) Is one packet of Red Star Cotes de Blanc yeast enough for all this?

3) How much water to steep the Crystal? I was thinking 2 quarts or so, that should be plenty to get the sugar and DME dissolved? Is 15 minutes long enough to boil?

4) Apple Cider or Apple Juice? what is the difference as it applies to making hard cider?

5) And what is "a long time"? Cider gets better with age? After the primary should I put it in the basement for a couple months and forget about it?

Any other thoughts you may have, seriously, let 'er rip.


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Old 12-28-2010, 12:58 PM   #2
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Here is my opinion on this so take it for what it is worth.

1. Put it all in primary
2. Yup one packet should do it. It isnt much different from apfelwine recipe
3. I am not sure so I will let someone else chime in
4. Most ciders I have seen have spices added already. It is really personal preference/taste. The MORE important thing it make sure neither use preservatives. (ascorbic acid is fine, pretty much anything else is likely bad)
5. I dont have enough patience to wait for a long time on cider
5.


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Old 12-28-2010, 09:53 PM   #3
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1) Put it all in the primary together.
2) One pack is fine.
3) Use a gallon of water. Actually steep grains in half a gallon, and then 'rinse/sparge' in another half gallon. 15 minutes is fine, but if the recipe you were after was Graff, it adds 0.5 ozs of hops for 30 minutes to give a little bitterness.
4) I think Cider is normally thought of as the cloudy juice, and juice is the clear stuff. Using clear juice will result in a clearer product quicker.
5) Cider can takes many months to be ready. Graff can be bottled in just a few weeks and started drinking once carb'd. You do not have to wait as long as Cider.

Other notes: Drop the sugar. It will take it a lot longer to be drinkable. 1 lb crystal + 3 lbs DME + 4 gallons juice will give you about 9%; isn't that enough?

Why the spices, I think you can ruin a brew by over-doing it, and 5 gallons is a lot if you don't like it? Add 0.5 ozs hops for 30 minutes and see what that does, and then add spices for a subsequent brew.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:04 AM   #4
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I really like simple. So I'll drop the sugar and spices and stuff. After I see what this gives me, maybe I'll mess with it. Does the apple juice have to not be from concentrate? Does it matter? I was looking while at the grocery store for some other things and was shocked at the choices of apple juice. All but one was 'from concentrate' And it was 3.47 per half gallon because it was organic. Prolly good stuff, but is it necessary? Does it matter if it is pasteurized or not?
Also, should I drop down to 4 gallons of juice since I'll have a gallon of water? (Or close after some boil off)
And I wasn't after a particular type or style, I just like Woodchuck/ Hornsby's/ etc and want to make something like it. My goal isn't a clone, it's something delicious. Maybe better if it doesn't taste like anything else
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:23 AM   #5
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Straight cider - simple - is just apple juice, and maybe a little sugar (or not) + yeast, and ends up very dry. Will take several months to be at it's best. Starts to get complicated if you want some sweetness.

Try Graff. Search for it in the forums. It has a little sweetness due to the unfermentable sugars in the crystal and extract.

Your recipe seems very close to Brandon O's Graff. I think it has 2 lbs DME, but 3 should not hurt it.

1 gallon of extract & hops
Crystal malts
4 gallons juice.
+ yeast

You can do it without the hops. It's not a big contribution, but I think it helps a lot.

Any juice (natural or from concentrate) is OK providing it does not have any preservatives. Ascorbic acid is OK (it is vitamin C), but anything else is not. Juice from frozen concentrate is also OK. Pasteurized is OK.

For Graff where half the fermentables are from malt, I don't think it is worth getting the best juice.

Any yeast is OK. I would recommend an ale yeast, but I don't have experience with anything else.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:28 AM   #6
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Sounds like it is harder to screw up than it first sounded like. The hippy at the LHBS gave me Cotes de Blanc yeast because it won't leave it as terribly dry as a champagne yeast. I don't know if that is true, but it sounded legit.
Thanks for the help.


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