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Recent content by Rick Stephens

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  1. Rick Stephens

    Forgotten Cider

    interesting results. I never had anything last that long, makes me wonder what triggers going stale or bad. Sounds you have perfect cleanliness to remain quality after that amount of time.
  2. Rick Stephens

    Beginner - Here's what I've bought, any help and tips?

    Unlike some others, I often use tea at the start to add some tannins. Also sometimes just use wine tannin powder to supplement instead. I always adjust the pH to where I want it by adding acids. At times I use a particular sugar, like agave, or brown, or corn sugar etc, to achieve some given...
  3. Rick Stephens

    Same chest freezer/temp for fermenting and serving?

    Most of the yeasts I use recommend in the 60's. I stored some bottles that were bottle carbing in the sunroom once, while that room is part of the house, we close all the heat vents and let it cool off. Those bottle would not restart until I brought them back into the basement which is always in...
  4. Rick Stephens

    Same chest freezer/temp for fermenting and serving?

    Start reading up the data sheets from the manufacturers of the yeasts you use. You will need to stay in the neighborhood of viable temperature range. Personally, I don't think you will like the results of fermenting at 50ƒ. As far as avoiding hammer head, what ABV do you aim for? High cider ABV...
  5. Rick Stephens

    Backsweetening tips

    Great post!
  6. Rick Stephens

    Can I use Braggs ACV as my yeast instead of commercial yeast to make hard cider?

    I have found which yeast I use to be one of the most important considerations for what kind of flavors I get in the end product. I'd be hard pressed to go random with wild yeast these days. I've done it, never quite know what yer gonna end up with.
  7. Rick Stephens

    Sous Vide Pasteurization??

    https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/heat-pasteurisation-and-carbonation-for-sweet-cider.689515/ If you get bottle content temps to 150ƒ you can consider the yeast safely dead.
  8. Rick Stephens

    Do I have mold???

    I would surely rack it off and leave behind any 'scum'. How to handle pellicles is always a debate. I dislike them and feel they have to have negative taste effects on my cider, so I try and either rack off n top off, hoping it doesn't return, or rack off and bottle early. If it is a pellicle...
  9. Rick Stephens

    Do I have mold???

    More likely a pellicle, but better pictures would help. Pellicles come from a bit of bacteria and a little oxygen. To eliminate most introduction of oxygen in secondary means limiting both the amount of airspace left at the top of a carboy by topping off and limiting surface area of the must by...
  10. Rick Stephens

    White stuff over fermenting cider

    Rack it into a bucket and leave the pellicle behind. Even if you leave behind a cup of cider to accomplish it. Wash your carboy, rack back into it and top it off. Picture below has one bottle in secondary on the left, topped off for the long haul, and two in primary.
  11. Rick Stephens

    Pear cider has weird, chalky bubbles?

    A pellicle. A little oxygen and a bit of a bacteria and you get a dry floater. Hard to get rid of once you got it. I recently had a 5 gallon cider batch in a big mouth bubbler, freshly in secondary, that formed one. I skimmed it off and re-racked the batch only to have it form again overnight...
  12. Rick Stephens

    cooler pasteurization

    I would bet money that once your internal temps hit 150, if you pulled the bottles and set aside to start another run you would have plenty of PUs to accomplish your task. Sitting at 150 for an additional 10 minutes is, IMHO, all extra, and unnecessary time.
  13. Rick Stephens

    Only 6% ABV first cider

    If you add sugar it will turn into alcohol unless you have no active yeast. If you want it sweeter without more alcohol you have to do a yeast kill. If you add more sugar now you will just get more fermentation from that sugar as well as what is left from your primary. 1118 is going to finish...
  14. Rick Stephens

    Simple Cider Worked Great

    Lasts longer when they don't really like it.
  15. Rick Stephens

    White stuff over fermenting cider

    Surface area, surface area, surface area. Rack it off and get rid of the dry pellicle and then fill near to the top. From now on, do that when you rack the first time and you won't see a pellicle form at all. Yes, you can purge with C02, but in this case the process has already started. A...
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