A noob, blindly making cider - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > A noob, blindly making cider

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-10-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
bwalsh1
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Posts: 1


Let me start by saying I'm a complete noob. I made beer a dozen years ago, but cider's a new beast. Further, I've been dragged into this via my brother and law. We're knee deep into it now, and of course, now I decide it'd be a good time to look for direction.

Here's what we've done.

We've obtained 2 used bourbon barrels and had a selection of apples pressed by a local farm. We've got about 100 gallons of cider in 2 barrels.

These barrels are sitting in my garage, and have equilibrated to "ambient" conditions. In NJ that means they are near freezing at the moment.

We've added a significant amount of cane sugar to the barrels (Around 40lbs, per barrel)

I've added about 8 cups of raisins to each barrel with cinnamon and nutmeg.

At the recommendation of a local wine maker, I've added a starter of 2 champagne yeast packets to each barrel.

The barrels now sit, cold awaiting nature to take it's course. The bung on the barrel is still open, however we are planning on sealing it with an airlock in the next week.

What can I expect? Will this work? How long will this take to get cider? Do I need to rack this into a secondary container? What can I do to improve what we've done (besides bring this inside! The wife would kill me).

Your advice is appreciated.

Brendan

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 09:49 PM   #2
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,763
Liked 8032 Times on 5611 Posts


The only problem I see is the temperature- since fermentation generally happens in warm temperatures (65-85 degrees seems to be the temperature that yeast like best) you won't have any fermentation until summer.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2009, 09:51 PM   #3
mysigp226
 
mysigp226's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2008
Wheaton, IL
Posts: 38

for being a noob that's a heck of a way of jumping in feet first. I'm still playing with 1 gallon batches
__________________
On Deck: looking for something
5g Primary: nothing
5g Carboy: nothing
1g Carboy's: Sweet Sparkling Apple Cider,empty,empty,empty
Bottled: Strawberry Wine
Mini-Kegged: Sweet Sparkling Apple Cider,Cranberry/Apple Cider, S04 Cider
Past Work: Raspberry Cider

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 01:19 AM   #4
PAC762
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Wilmington, DE
Posts: 97
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I would think that wood barrels + freezing = bad news. I could very well be wrong, though. If it were me, I'd be looking for artificial means of raising the temp, like heat blankets, space heaters, aquarium heaters, etc.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 03:39 AM   #5
RugenBrau
Recipes 
 
Sep 2008
Finger Lakes
Posts: 752
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


It is going take one hell of a cold spell to freeze a 50 gal barrel of cider, however as Yooper says, It ain't going to ferment. I would get some way to get the cider up to temp and get it fermenting. If you can get it up to 65 degrees you can hopefully get it started. This is a great plan ....just started it a little to late. I remember farmers always having a barrel going in the barn or unheated basement. These were obviously started in the fall and fermentaton would slow up as the temp dropped. That was some of the best cider I've ever tasted. Sweet and beezy(slight carbonation). Come spring time it would start up again
__________________
"Your HYDROMETER is the only BEST indicator of fermentation activity. Nothing else is accurate or consistent"...Revvy


 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 05:50 AM   #6
CvilleKevin
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 1,334
Liked 156 Times on 65 Posts


Wow, that is a ton of sugar. 40lbs of sugar in 50 gallons will raise the sg by something like 30 points. So if you started with an sg of 1.050, you are looking at 1.080 now. For future reference, the place I get my juice from makes barrels of great farmhouse cider. They start in November (Central Virginia) with just the natural yeast and dont add any sugar until the fermentation is well underway, and usually less than 10lbs per barrel over the whole fermentation

Since its January in NJ, you might want to try a lager yeast like Saflager S23 or Brewferm Lager. A lager yeast will do better in cold temps. Siphon off a gallon of juice and pitch a packet of yeast at room temp. In two days, the gallon ought to be fermenting pretty strong. During the warmest part of the day, pour half a gallon in each barrel. That ought to get it started. The the question is how do you stop it. Maybe you wont need to. I dont know if the S23 can ferment out something starting at 1.080, but it can take a batch from 1.065 to bone dry at low temps.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 04:11 PM   #7
etp777
Recipes 
 
Apr 2008
Chicago
Posts: 174
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


Fermentation temperatures for Pasteur champagne yeast is 59-86F according to jack keller's page. Definitely need to raise the temp. Jack also adds 1.25 lbs of sugar to his apple juice wine, so the 40 lbs doesn't seem excessive, though o course there's no way to know without testing the specific gravity.

Oh yeah,and that's a bit of a crazy way to get started.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Noob cider help... How long do you generally ferment Cider? unclejimbay Cider Forum 9 01-27-2012 09:20 PM
Cider Noob eric1489 Cider Forum 2 04-23-2009 07:55 PM
noob wine making questions JWHooper Winemaking Forum 7 08-03-2008 05:06 AM
Making My Cider Taste More Like Cider Sluggo Cider Forum 13 12-09-2007 01:15 AM


Forum Jump