50 gallons of Hard Cider in a barrel - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:56 AM   #1
Marek
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So I just finished talking with the local apple orchard in town, and I'm going to be buying a "package" they have for sale. It's a used 50 gallon whiskey barrel filled with fresh cider. Now comes the questions though..how do I ferment it using the wild yeasts already in it? How long will it take? Once its fermented do I bottle it like beer? What do you all think?

Thanks for the help,
Mark

 
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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Wow... 50 gallons of cider AND a barrel... what is that costing you?
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:06 AM   #3
Marek
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$250, and the kit comes with the barrel, the cider, the air lock, the stopper, and a bung.
I don't know if it's a good deal or not but I really don't care I just wanna have some fun with this

 
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marek View Post
$250, and the kit comes with the barrel, the cider, the air lock, the stopper, and a bung.
I don't know if it's a good deal or not but I really don't care I just wanna have some fun with this
How are you going to move it? The liquid alone weighs about 400 lbs.

 
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:48 AM   #5
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Take an SG reading and leave it alone. The wild yeasts are in it you just have to hope that you get a good yeast to take over and not something nasty. Thats the problem with wild yeasts you never know what takes over. If it was me, and its not, Id throw in a bunch of crushed camden and use a commercial yeast. Thats a lot of cider to take a chance on.

Either way once it finished and sets for a month or two you can transfer it to a racking bucket and bottle 5 gals at a time.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:26 AM   #6
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Wow! I'd love to see a picture of that. I don't have any experience with wild yeast so I don't know how reliable they are, but if something were to go wrong I'd hate for you to lose 50 gallons of cider. I'd say you should drop in a few campden tablets and use prepared yeast. Let us know how it goes! I hope we can trade some of our brews in the future! Good luck

 
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
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How are you thinking of getting past all that heat?

 
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:39 AM   #8
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You must add sulfite. It will kill any nasty bacteria that could proliferate and eventually cause you harm when you drink the stuff. If you don't add yeast afterwards, the natural yeasts can survive the sulfite and will be much stronger after (since they don't have any competition).

Ideally, the amount of sulfite would depend on the pH of the must, but I think it is something between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for 5 gallons. (2.5 to 4 teaspoons for 50 gallons).
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
How are you going to move it? The liquid alone weighs about 400 lbs.
I'd rather know where you are! Best offer we have had so far is $6.50/gallon and that place is almost 120miles away.

*Edit*
It appears that you are in Fairfield County, CT. Darn not close to me.

*/Edit*
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #10
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Hmm...

Cider for $5.00 a gallon, plus you get a 50-gallon oak barrel thrown in!

SWEET!!!

Check with the vendor...since the barel is airlocked and all, he may have already treated the cider, and pitched a commercial yeast culture, too.

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