Will the Experts Doublecheck My Strategy? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Will the Experts Doublecheck My Strategy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-20-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
McHaven
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Nacogdoches, Texas
Posts: 114
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts



Hey everyone, I've been researching the hell out of cider making, but I want to make sure it all sounds alright to the more experienced around here.

The girlfriend wanted cider. Sweet sparkling cider. So I decided I would make her some.

Since East Texas isn't exactly a land of orchards, I had to use store bought juice. I bought 4 gallons of Musselman's Cider (not from concentrate, pasteurized but no preservatives.) I put this into my carboy, added my Wyeast Cider Activator pack and added a half pound of brown sugar. It has been fermenting for about ten days now. Bubbling has stopped, but I haven't taken a gravity reading yet.

My plan is to put the cider into secondary at the end of the month. I am going to sweeten to taste with Xylitol before I close up the secondary fermenter. I will then leave it in secondary for 2 months. At bottling time, I plan on making a small priming sugar mixture (like I do for brewing) and bottling it that way.

I suppose my questions are:
1. SHould I add more sugar now? Was a half pound not enough at the beginning of fermentation?
2. I planned on using xylitol since its recommended at makinghardcider.com. Is there another nonfermentable I should be using?
3. Is the priming sugar option still safe for cider? Or will even that give me bottle bombs?

The goal cider is a crisp, but sweet, carbonated cider. Sadly, she likes Woodchuck and Strongbow a lot, so I imagine I'll need a big bag of Xylitol.

Thanks
Mick


__________________
Primary: Pumpkin Ale, Spiced Holiday Ale, Cider
Secondary: Empty
Bottles: Cream Ale, Dubbel, Black Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2011, 07:27 PM   #2
edmanster
Whats Under Your Kilt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
edmanster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2011
Taylorsville, Utah
Posts: 1,726
Liked 84 Times on 66 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by McHaven
Hey everyone, I've been researching the hell out of cider making, but I want to make sure it all sounds alright to the more experienced around here.

The girlfriend wanted cider. Sweet sparkling cider. So I decided I would make her some.

Since East Texas isn't exactly a land of orchards, I had to use store bought juice. I bought 4 gallons of Musselman's Cider (not from concentrate, pasteurized but no preservatives.) I put this into my carboy, added my Wyeast Cider Activator pack and added a half pound of brown sugar. It has been fermenting for about ten days now. Bubbling has stopped, but I haven't taken a gravity reading yet.

My plan is to put the cider into secondary at the end of the month. I am going to sweeten to taste with Xylitol before I close up the secondary fermenter. I will then leave it in secondary for 2 months. At bottling time, I plan on making a small priming sugar mixture (like I do for brewing) and bottling it that way.

I suppose my questions are:
1. SHould I add more sugar now? Was a half pound not enough at the beginning of fermentation?
2. I planned on using xylitol since its recommended at makinghardcider.com. Is there another nonfermentable I should be using?
3. Is the priming sugar option still safe for cider? Or will even that give me bottle bombs?

The goal cider is a crisp, but sweet, carbonated cider. Sadly, she likes Woodchuck and Strongbow a lot, so I imagine I'll need a big bag of Xylitol.

Thanks
Mick
Xylitol is not cheap but the sweetness is more like real sugar.. I'm using stevia since I can get about 4 to 6 batches out of a $8.00 bottle.... your initial sugar quantity is mainly a preference for alcohol content... Yes, the way you plan on doing it works fine for sparkling cider...


__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadarnell
'how will i explain this to my kids' ... if i have to ask that, then i think my kids are in trouble ... just my 2 cents ... HAVE A BEER !!!
Father of 4 girls

Suffers from Zymocenosilicaphobia

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
McHaven
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Nacogdoches, Texas
Posts: 114
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by edmanster

Xylitol is not cheap but the sweetness is more like real sugar.. I'm using stevia since I can get about 4 to 6 batches out of a $8.00 bottle.... your initial sugar quantity is mainly a preference for alcohol content... Yes, the way you plan on doing it works fine for sparkling cider...
than. anyone else want to add something ?
__________________
Primary: Pumpkin Ale, Spiced Holiday Ale, Cider
Secondary: Empty
Bottles: Cream Ale, Dubbel, Black Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2011, 12:31 PM   #4
sashurlow
Recipes 
 
Jan 2011
West Rutland, Vermont
Posts: 405
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts


What you are doing is just fine. Sweet sparkling cider is hard to make if you can not keg it. You are basically going to let it ferment dry and then add artificial sweetness to it. Adding priming sugar is normal and as long as you add the right amount you will not create bombs. The priming calculator I have used actually has an option for cider.
Now my opinion... If she likes Woodchuck AND Strongbow, then she has a nice variety of tastes. I would call Woodchuck syrupy sweet and Strongbow nice and dry. When I compare Strongbow to my dry cider, they are not too far off from each other.
As Edmaster pointed out, adding sugar is primarily for increasing the alcohol content. I brew mine without sugar.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
edmanster
Whats Under Your Kilt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
edmanster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2011
Taylorsville, Utah
Posts: 1,726
Liked 84 Times on 66 Posts


i guess ill add that you can add a little more yeast with your sugar solution when you bottle it to ensure carbonation!!!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadarnell
'how will i explain this to my kids' ... if i have to ask that, then i think my kids are in trouble ... just my 2 cents ... HAVE A BEER !!!
Father of 4 girls

Suffers from Zymocenosilicaphobia

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2011, 02:12 AM   #6
McHaven
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Nacogdoches, Texas
Posts: 114
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


Well, tomorrow is bottling day. I didn't get to age it as long as I wanted, but she wants at least some cider ready for when she graduates in December.

When I moved the cider to secondary, we added the xylitol until it got pretty sweet, but there were still some harsh tastes. I'm hoping a month in secondary has helped mellow things out.

We'll bottle tomorrow with a small priming sugar mixture. Probably 1/4 cup sugar in a cup of water. I really don't want to have bottle bombs, so I'm going low on my solution.

Tips or comments?
__________________
Primary: Pumpkin Ale, Spiced Holiday Ale, Cider
Secondary: Empty
Bottles: Cream Ale, Dubbel, Black Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2011, 06:25 PM   #7
wreckinball9
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Lakes Region NH
Posts: 275

1/4 cup is a little less than i would use, but it should eliminate your worries about bottle bombs. Another poster mentioned adding more yeast, I would disagree with that. You will have plenty of yeast still in suspension, dont add more. The harsh flavors do mellow with time, and it will seem to sweeten with time, so hopefully you didnt oversweeten it. If it is still quite cloudy, you may want to let it clear for longer in the secondary.


__________________
You must love this country more than I love a cold beer on a hot Christmas morning. - Homer S.


And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?- Homer S.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools



Forum Jump