Hey folks, new to brewing/cidermaking here, but I'm about to start out on making my first hard apple cider. I have 5 gallons of unpasteurized juice from up in Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California that I just bought.
I'd like to make a dry, crisp, hopefully effervescent/sparkling cider without the use of a keg. I'm hoping to make a low-alcohol cider, somewhere in the 4-5% ABV range, potentially backsweetened (if needed) with some sort of unfermentable sugar.
As far as a recipe, I've not really found one that encompasses everything that I've been reading, so I'm hoping to sort of put together things on their own. Here is my plan so far, I was hoping you guys could critique it and help make additions and suggestions as far as timing, critical steps, and ways to avoid mistakes.
2. Test OG, pour juice in primary, add 3-4 (is that enough?) campden tablets for 5 gallons to kill wild yeast/bacteria.
3. Wait 24 hours.
4. Add Red Star Champagne yeast, pectic enzyme, and yeast nutrients. Fermentation will take place at about a temperature of 65-68 degrees. (Is that too cold for cider?)
5. Wait 2 weeks for fermentation to stop completely, and check the SG.
6. Rack to secondary.
7. Taste, and see if I need to add acid, sugar, etc.
8. Let sit in secondary for 3 weeks - 3 months
9. Prepare for bottling, sanitize, etc.
10. Prepare for bottle carbonation as described in step 3 of bottling here: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/media...outs/Cider.pdf
(rack cider on to water/corn sugar solution instead of adding amounts to the bottles themselves)
11. Bottle and let sit for minimum of 2 weeks to carbonate.
12. Enjoy (hopefully) tasty cider?
1. Do i need to sorbate my cider before bottling?
2. Is champagne yeast a horrible idea? The girl at the store said it works well, I heard Nottingham Ale Yeast is great too. I'm definitely going for a dry cider though.
3. I have fairly sweet apple juice I believe, what types of acids should I add? Malic, tartaric? A blend?
My favorite ciders in the world are the sparkling French apple and pear ciders of Normandy, though I know I won't be able to make something necessarily like them, that's what I have in mind. Any suggestions, comments, and help is appreciated as I'm excited but also a little scared I'll screw up!