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Old 07-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
mjkinne23
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Default Need Apple Cider 55gal Batch Advice

I'm making my second batch of apple cider (probably more technically apple wine given the targeted alcohol content) and desperately need help.

The first batch was a fantastic mixer but didn't have great taste on its own, it was very harsh. I want to design the next batch to have better sweeter flavor.

We have a 55gal charred oak barrel and used just regular sugar along with apple juice from an orchard. (I suspected the char is adding to the harsh flavors). We've heard of using honey or brown sugar. Has anyone tried this? How about the type of yeast, any recommendations for introducing a specific kind of yeast?

Also, what ratios would you use for such a large batch? The first and only one we did a friend put it together and I don't know exactly how much apple cider or sugar was used for that size barrel.

Appreciate any help you can offer.

Thanks!


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Old 07-27-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Is your barrel new or used? Is it intended for wine/spirits? Do you keep it filled with water between batches? Did you sanitize it before adding the cider? Was the cider "harsh" before it went into the barrel? You mentioned it might be closer to wine than cider due to a high ABV, what was the ABV? The higher the ABV, the longer it's going to take for the flavour to mellow. How long was it in the barrel?

As for your questions on yeast: I've switched to ale yeast for apple cider, it tends to produce a slightly sweeter, better balanced cider; I use Nottingham, but there are several choices out there that are good. You might find this informative:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/resu...riments-83060/

As for your sugar questions: I'd stick with 2lbs/5 gallons, for a total of 22lbs for your 55 gallons. As far as the type of sugar goes, it's pretty much wide open.
People have used corn sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, honey, light and/or dark brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, demarara sugar, malted grain, malt extract, etc, etc...
The thread linked above will cover some of these various sugars. For more check out the recipe section:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/

You might also find some answers in the "I love apfelwein" thread, but it's a looooooong one:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-...felwein-14860/

Regards, GF.


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Old 07-28-2012, 02:11 AM   #3
babski
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As for your sugar questions: I'd stick with 2lbs/5 gallons, for a total of 11lbs for your 55 gallons. As far as the type of sugar goes, it's pretty much wide open.

Unless I'm mistaken I think it works out to 22lbs of sugar for 55 gallons of cider at 2lbs/5gal.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babski View Post
As for your sugar questions: I'd stick with 2lbs/5 gallons, for a total of 11lbs for your 55 gallons. As far as the type of sugar goes, it's pretty much wide open.

Unless I'm mistaken I think it works out to 22lbs of sugar for 55 gallons of cider at 2lbs/5gal.
Oops, you're right! Guess I should complete the math before posting.
There, fixed it.
Thanks for the heads-up.
Regards, GF.
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