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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > 'sea sponge' in secondary
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:37 PM   #11
LeBreton
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From what I understand about keeving, higher density juice will have more of a chance of success, so that may be part of the explanation. Were there any other ingredients in the honey? Some folks use calcium chloride salt (CaCl) to aid in keeving, maybe there was something similar in the honey.


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Old 02-01-2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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Default honey ingredients

LeBreton,

i didn't notice anything in the honey, at least on the label. as i get further into this i am paying much closer attention to the labeling of ingredients. bought 5 gallons of cider in Maine last fall- said all natural-cold pasteurized and dumped into primary, hit them with the SO2 to kill the natural yeast and then pitched it 36 hour later and waited a week. no action. retrieved the jugs from the trash and then noticed , on the back label, that they had indeed added all kinds of chemicals so a lesson learned. only deal with known local orchards now. thanks


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Old 02-27-2013, 05:34 PM   #13
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Default bottled the Keev-sponge

Folks, my son and I bottled the Keeve last night. It finally settled down and stopped fermenting last week and I couldn’t take the anticipation any longer, so we bottled. The sponge stayed whole and was well behaved the entire bottling session.
Let me tell you..it is delicious and has an almost cognac/brandy kind of character. Can’t really taste the cinnamon at all, but it has a seriousness to it. Looks like bourbon in its color and clarity, and the 3 gal carboy yielded a clean 28- 12 oz bottles. Given the initial sugar of 1.065 that should yield about a 12% alcohol, but it tasted a bit stronger. (Don’t have a scale in front of me). It also, although looking quite still, bottled with an aggressive amount of bubbles and head as bottles were filled.
This is a very distinctive cider and it really stands out. I am going to try this again with either asking for the ‘bottom of the barrel’ from the orchard, or by adding pectin, or by keeping the crushed pomace overnight before final pressing.
Just had a quick taste last night, and going to sit back with a good amount tonight, and give it my personal ‘ full taste and evaluation” . Thanks for your help
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:03 PM   #14
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I assume when you say cognac/brandy character you mean kind of a spirit-ey heat. That's really common in sugar-added home cider, especially using farm cider as your base. It ages out, particularly after bottling- But while it's not common in commercial ciders, I don't find it wholly unpleasant. If you decide you don't want it, shove a few bottles to the back of the fridge and wait a month or so .

If you want cinnamon, you can also get cinnamon essence at a candy shop and add it at bottling. When I started I was against concentrates and extracts for flavor, but a drop of vanilla in my cider has become standard for me now. Used in moderation the flavors blend nicely.

You also mentioned preservatives wrecking your plans earlier, so here are some juices that should be available everywhere that work:
-Whole Foods apple juice. It's gold like apple juice but full of apple sediment like cider, and tends to produce hot funky ciders that take sweetening well. As an added bonus it comes in reusable 1 gallon jugs that can become mini carboys!
-Old Orchard apple juice concentrate. Their bottled stuff has preservatives, but the concentrate doesn't need them so it does not. The store brand concentrate from Kroger/Scott's also works, I can vouch for that . If you reconstitute it vs just brewing from concentrate (which btw will get you keeve real fast) remember to use distilled spring water or similar.
-Surprisingly supermarket cider. There's a grocer near me who stocks local preservative-free cider in the organic section. Some ciders do have additives though, and "organic" is no guarantee of preservative-free.
-I've heard that Sam's Club juice ferments. I have never tried it.
-Ocean Spray juices contain a lot of food-derived additives, but none of the ones in my house contain anything that should stop yeast. Knudsen juice should also work.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #15
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Default flavors added

Kashue, thanks for the advice. I will try the flavors after fermentation on next batches. I did 4 different batches; Cinnamon/BS/honey and got the keeve but no radical Cinnamon flavor just as described earlier and very nice, one all natural and it came out actually sweeter than all the rest, one with ginger//BS and honey- no appreciable ginger taste but nice and smooth and full flavored and then one with champagne yeast and then primed, also tasted smooth and mellow prior to bottling. so the learning continues! thanks
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:21 AM   #16
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Regardless of all the science...THAT IS COOL. Brain-in-a-Jar Cider? I'd make labels with that pic. Oh, and congrats on it coming out alright and showing spectacular notes and character. I love it when a plan comes together..


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