I gave this post this name so I can find it in all the other cider recipe threads.
I am trying to make something like a commercial British cider like blackthorn, merrydown, bulmers, etc with shop juice.
I read up on the long ashton cider research notes, http://www.cider.org.uk/part1.htm
various other sites and threads here, but mostly guided by taste.
My biggest complaint with my cider so far is it doesnt taste like cider. It's nice, appley, strong and fizzy but it lacks that distinctive 'cider' flavour. If you have drunk /been drunk on these ciders you know they dont taste of apples, they taste of...well cider.
I don't have keg so it has to be fizzy in the bottle.
Here I document my so far partially failed attempts to achieve what is available pretty cheaply in the UK and at great expense here in Quebec where apples are about the only thing that grows and yet, despite the french & english heritage in making cider, the ciders from here are over-prices artisanal, presumably tourist, drinks at 10-15$ a bottle, that taste like watery fizzy apple juice with alcohol. Not stuff to be quaffed by the pint to quench summer thirsts.
The main breakthrough I had was that my last batch tasted right. I screwed up the cold crash and pasteurising but I will here document my efforts to get it right.
I use a preservative free juice and malic acid to get pH to 3.5.
I add fructose to raise OG to 1.06, because these are closest to apple sugars and acids. Probably fructose is a waste of money but I have some anyway.
The start pH of juice was 3.7. I added 5g of malic acid in 4L juice to get pH down and 200g fructose to get OG up from 1.04. I made a graph of pH against malic acid addition (g/L);
I used saflager 23, brewed at about 10-12C, (cold room in basement).
Fermented slowly for two weeks to 1.015
What I should have done was cold crash first, bottle and pasteurise.
What I actually did was bottle and leave at room temp for 1 day. I got a yeasty krauseny froth and a mild sulphury tang and gushers.
I released pressure slowly, resealed and pasturised one bottle as per the sticky (190F 10 min). The rest I cold crashed in fridge. I still see evidence of fermentation in the fridge which suggests the use of lager yeast was not as great an idea as I thought. I'll turn the fridge down to zero celsius. So far nothing has cleared.
I will then try to decant them off the sediment without losing it all as froth. I will do this by cooling everything in freezer and pouring v carefully. It's going to be messy.
Second batch exact same recipe underway.....New results in a couple of weeks.