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Old 09-04-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
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Default Hard cider that tastes like cider advice

So I have done a mead and now would like to try a cider. Last week I finally found a cider that I would like to imitate. It was made by Downeast Cider House. What was amazing to me was that it tasted and looked just like actual cider. Other than the slight alcohol taste, I might have said it was cider. It was not clear at all and might have been just slightly carbonated. It is listed as 5.1% abv. I am attaching a photo of how it looked before I drank it all up!

How can I get a cider like this? Should I add the appropriate amount of honey to get the FG to match the SG of raw cider at ~5.1% abv? This would of coarse not account for any impurities in the honey, but it would be close at least.

I was planning on using Nottingham of Safale S-04 reccomended in "Results from juice, yeast and sugar experiments" by CvilleKevin stickied at the top.

I could also try rack and bottle at slightly sweeter than i want and do the heat pasteurization in bottles as cross posted above in "I thought I would share some info" by FSR402 but i would be happy to get the taste close on this first before committing to the extra step.

I am planning on doing a 5 gallon batch and have not found my cider yet, but will and will be trying to unpasteurized. I have campden tablets.

Anyway, looks like there is a lot of great knowledge out there. Any help with my cider tasting cider guys?

Also, why do so many cider recipes use apple juice instead of cider? I really do not get that. Maybe just preference?

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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Personally, I think to get something like what you have there would be as follows:

Get twice as much cider as your fermenter will hold (say 2 gallons for a 1 gallon carboy). Use half of your cider to make a 10% ABV hard cider. The other half set aside in the fridge (or maybe don't even buy it until later). Once your hard cider is finished clear, then stabilize. Mix the hard cider with the unfermented cider and there you go. (It might need a bit of extra sugars to get it right where you want it, so taste it at this point.

To slightly carbonate this recipe, you can either force carbonate it in a keg, or skip the stabilizing step and allow it to ferment a little once bottle. This will require you to stove top pasteurize the bottles.

This might or might not get you what you are after, but this is what I would try doing.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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If you have a kegging set-up, simply start fermenting a 5G batch, and start tasting a sample each day and noting the gravity until it tastes like you want. For me its somewhere around 1.008
it.... crash cool to ~32 F and rack to secondary and clarify with something like superkleer if you wish.

Rack to your corny and keep refrigerated.
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Old 12-23-2013, 04:04 PM   #4
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We can't say exactly how we make our cider, but you can certainly start by not using concentrate and sweeteners. 100% pure fresh-pressed apple cider. Thanks for the kind words! If you're looking for any more specific advice, email us at, we're happy to help where we can.
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