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Old 04-28-2011, 09:55 PM   #1
Mar 2010
Asheville, NC
Posts: 50

my first batch of cider is in the fermenter right now. i'm hoping for a very pronounced blackberry flavor in the finished product. i've got 2# frozen blackberries, 12 oz. frozen raspberries plus 2 cans of oregon blackberries in light syrup (which i pureed) in the bucket. i'm thinking i might need more berries. what ya'll think?

more questions:

... i've read elsewhere that i should remove the fruit after 4 or 5 days? is this "right"?

...can i add more blackberries later in the fermentation if the flavor is not strong enough? i plan on racking to secondary when fermentation starts to slow down...taste and add then?

...also, i'm kegging this so how much campden and potassium sorbate do i add when it's finished? and is xylitol the best for backsweetening?

and finally...does cider always smell so strongly of sulfur during fermentation? i pitched nottingham cause i had some extra but it smells like hell (literally?) in my house.

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:26 PM   #2
Golddiggie's Avatar
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 497 Times on 431 Posts

I used a total of 7.5# of fresh, mashed, blackberries in my 3 gallon melomel. 3# in primary, the rest after the initial fermentation completed. Right now, it's aging/resting before I bottle it up (started it just before Thanksgiving, 2010)...

I would hold off on adding any more fruit until primary fermentation has completed (it's hit a good SG and holds it). Then add another round of berries and let it rest 5-7 days before racking off and tasting.

General rule is about 5-7 days on the fruit before racking off of it. Basically, you don't want to leave the fruit in there too long. It's far easier once primary fermentation is finished. Easiest way to tell that it's time to get off the fruit is once it's gone to the bottom of the carboy, and has gotten much lighter in color. I wouldn't go more than 10 days on the fruit before racking (if you can't do it by day 7, make sure it's done by about day 10)...

I've not stabilized anything I've made yet, so you'll need to wait for someone else there. Or look it up either here, or on the Got Mead? site. They have that info posted many times over.

For the smell, it really depends on the yeast, and what it's in, as far as I know. I started a batch of hard ginger ale on 4/17 and it smelled a bit of sulfur for a few days. That passed though, as do most things. It's still going in fact. I used Lalvin D47 yeast, 2.5# of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced) and 5.5# of Dememera sugar in the 3 gallon batch. OG was about 1.084. I hope to have it above 1.002 for the FG, and still carbonate in the bottles. I'm considering using more yeast, if I rack it enough times to leave most of what's in there behind, when bottling it up for carbonation. If I only rack one or two times (that's the plan at least) then I should have enough yeast left to carbonate. Who knows, I might be able to keg it by then, and not really care so much... Just carbonate on gas for a few weeks, then either bottle some up, or just serve it from the keg (I don't expect to have a keezer by then).

Hope that helps you figure things out a bit better...

BTW, how long ago did you start the batch??
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:20 PM   #3
Mar 2010
Asheville, NC
Posts: 50

i pitched my yeast 4 days ago and it's still fermenting very actively...

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