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Old 11-15-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
Nov 2011
Caro, MI
Posts: 4

I've brewed beer for a while, and am looking at making cider for the first time. There is a local cider mill that is offering unpasturized cider for 3/gallon (if you buy it on tuesdays its buy one get one free!). I'm thinking of making quite a bit 25+ gallons, as I really like hard cider, and at that price I can't pass it up. But I have a few questions about additives, etc. I would like a high ABV, and plan on adding sugar and fermenting with champagne yeast. What kind of sugar or sugar blend should I use, and how much to give me around 12% abv (I know I can calculate this from the ciders initial gravity, but I don't know what calculations I should use, etc.). Also, what should I add to the cider, and at what rates. I know I have heard others talking about adding pectin and campden, should I add these, and if so how much per 5 gallon vessel? Also should I add tannin, and if so how much. Also, I've been planning on fermenting with champagne yeast, to achieve the higher abv, is this a good idea? any drawbacks? Furthermore, if I use champagne yeast, do I need to oxygenate the cider before I pitch the yeast, so they can achieve the high abv%? Do you usually pitch yeast nutrient with the yeast? As you can see, I pretty much don't know what I am doing, but I'm going to be doing something in the next couple of weeks, so I need to learn quick! Thanks for any advice and instructions you can offer.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
Nov 2007
Lakes Region NH
Posts: 275

most of your questions are relative to what kind of cider you want. At 12%, thats certainly wine. Are you looking for a product that tastes like dry white wine? If so, then add 5 lbs of white table sugar per 5 gallons, use wine or champagne yeast and ferment out to 1.000 or below.

If you are interested in retaining more of the apple flavor and having it taste more like cider than wine, then I would use 2 lbs light brown sugar per 5 gallons and safale s04 yeast. Rack and cold crash at 1.010.

The campden is a risk/reward thing. My advice is to use half the recommended dose before the ferment, and maybe 1/3 dose at bottling time if you want to age some of it for a year or more. You shouldnt need pectic enzyme with unpasteurized cider, it should clear on its own.
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.

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