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Old 10-12-2007, 03:07 PM   #1
disschord
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Default hard cider my first brew some help please

Hi im trying to make some hard cider with apples from my garden.
I have just finished pressing the Apples i have 8 litres of juice.
i'm told by a freind there is no need to add sugar or yeast as there is natural yeast on the skin of the Apple, and sugar in the fruit is this true.
also my juice is in a sealable bucket should i seal it or leave it loose.

Any other help qould be great im a complete noobie.


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Old 10-12-2007, 03:09 PM   #2
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You can use the wild yeasts but for myself I think I'd rather use a yeast I know will end up making a tasty product. In that light I would add a crushed campden tablet for 24 hours to kill the wild yeast, then pitch a simple ale or wine yeast. You will want to leave the lid on your bucket, but don't actually seal it, otherwise you'll blow the lid off the top.

You don't need to add sugar unless you want to. The sugar in the apples is what the yeast will eat, however adding some sugar will add flavour (depending on the type) and will up the alcohol content.


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Old 10-12-2007, 03:21 PM   #3
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You have options.

First off, you probably don't need to add sugar; my first cider is fermenting right now, and it had an OG of 1.059 without any sugar added.

Second, yeah, you can take a chance with the natural yeast and bacteria, but I wasn't that confident in it coming out okay. I tried it a few years back before I was brewing...just left it in a jug on my counter. It just turned rotten and green. So this time around, I added campden tablets (1 tab per gallon of cider, crushed, mixed with warm water, added to the cider in the fermenter) and let that do its thing for 12 hours. Campden tabs kill any wild yeast and bacteria that is in the cider. I then added pectic enzyme (1/2 tsp per gallon of cider) to get rid of pectin haze. So roughly 24 hours after first adding the campden tabs, I finally pitched my yeast: White Labs English Cider yeast.

You could leave your bucket lid loose; fermentation will expel CO2, and it needs somewhere to go.

Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:50 PM   #4
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Isn't it bad to add campden tabs to stuff you want to ferment? This is what I was told by a local brewshop. That by adding campden you actually pasteurize it. Making it hard or impossible for the yeast to live. Shouldn't you wait until the fermentation is done? Also I have read that pectic enzyme is not that great to add either, as it takes away some of the needed food for the yeast. I would love anyone to comment as I have both of these and am eager to use but do not want to ruin anything.
thanks
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:18 PM   #5
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thanks for the help guys.
if i go with the natural yeast method how will i know if its gone bad

also do i need to rake off at any point and ifso how do i do it

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Old 10-12-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disschord
thanks for the help guys.
if i go with the natural yeast method how will i know if its gone bad
You'll know. Don't ask. Just smell.
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psi3000
Isn't it bad to add campden tabs to stuff you want to ferment? This is what I was told by a local brewshop. That by adding campden you actually pasteurize it. Making it hard or impossible for the yeast to live. Shouldn't you wait until the fermentation is done? Also I have read that pectic enzyme is not that great to add either, as it takes away some of the needed food for the yeast. I would love anyone to comment as I have both of these and am eager to use but do not want to ruin anything.
thanks


This is bad, bad, bad, advice! If you are using fresh fruit or juice (unpasteurized), you have to use campden. If you don't, you will allow the live yeast/bacteria/vinegar bacteria/mold spores to ferment your juice or cider. Some people are willing to do this and that's ok if that's what you want to do. Sometimes the fruit will rot before it will ferment if you don't add yeast, though.

But, most people want to kill off the nasties and start fresh with an introduced yeast. Wine yeast (and cider yeast) are not inhibitied by campden/sulfites. That's why it's used in winemaking. 50 PPM is a good number to shoot for, but in the absence of a tester, a good estimate is one campden tablet per gallon. Pectic enzyme is an enzyme that breaks down pectins- doesn't have a thing to do with "food for the yeast" and is 100% completely wrong advice.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:42 AM   #8
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thanks for all your help im going to try the natural yeast method and see how it goes.
any idea of time scale for fermentation or final specific gravity im looking for
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disschord
thanks for all your help im going to try the natural yeast method and see how it goes.
any idea of time scale for fermentation or final specific gravity im looking for
You have 8 liters of home-pressed apple juice. You claim to be a complete newbie. You decided to ask about it on HBT. (Good Choice!) Brad, Evan and Yoops, all experienced, competent brewers and wine-makers (especially Yooper Chick with wines and ciders) offer to help by giving sound, scientificly based advice, but,yet, you are going to ignore their advice and let it rot. (not a cool decision, IMHO... ) I've been told that "Experience is a hard Master, but, you never forget the lesson." Good Luck.......
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFarmer
You have 8 liters of home-pressed apple juice. You claim to be a complete newbie. You decided to ask about it on HBT. (Good Choice!) Brad, Evan and Yoops, all experienced, competent brewers and wine-makers (especially Yooper Chick with wines and ciders) offer to help by giving sound, scientificly based advice, but,yet, you are going to ignore their advice and let it rot. (not a cool decision, IMHO... ) I've been told that "Experience is a hard Master, but, you never forget the lesson." Good Luck.......

i see your point isit to late to add campden tablets and yeast?


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