1 gallon apple cider experiments! 3 batches: pomegranate, cranberry, orange

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popej

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Hey everybody! :ban:

This is my first post and first real attempt at brewing cider.

I've got 3 1-gallon batches, see below!

Yeast: Red Star Champagne Pasteur
Temp: ~65 degrees (best guess)

BATCH 1 (OG: 1.060):
1 gallon murray's apple cider (pasteurized)
1/4 can apple juice concentrate
1/4 can orange juice concentrate

BATCH 2 (OG: 1.060):
1 gallon murray's apple cider (pasteurized)
~4 oz dried cranberries (boiled to saturate)
3 tbsp cane sugar

BATCH 3 (OG: 1.060):
3/4 gallon murray's apple cider (pasteurized)
1/4 gallon 100% pomegranate juice

~30 hours ago, the brewing process went underway. Batches 2 and 3 are bubbling away at roughly 1 bubble every 25 seconds. Batch 1 is fermenting much slower, 1 bubble per 2 minutes. Should I be concerned with batch 1 or give it some time?

Does anybody have experience with using these flavor profiles / juices? Any suggestions are welcome!

Jimmy's cider.jpg
 

Sparticusbrewer22

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I'm really interested in how they turn out actually. I've heard great things about doing a cider with pears before. Some sort of French style I believe. Keep us updated!
 
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popej

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I checked this morning (~40 hours from start) and all 3 ciders were happily bubbling away. I'll be able to check them one last time tomorrow morning before I head out of town for a few days. When I get back in though, I'll update.

My plan is to let them run down between 1.002 - 1.008 sg (anticipating 2-3 weeks). Rack for a secondary fermentation for another 2 weeks or so.

I would like a carbonated cider, so I plan on priming with corn sugar just before bottling. Then I suppose I will cold crash after a few days? If anybody has any ideas on how to bring out the fruit flavors I'm all ears. I don't have the resources to kill the yeast, back sweeten and keg for carbonation. My biggest concern is that I'll have a cider that is too dry, but I guess we'll find out. Thoughts on this anyone?
 

Sparticusbrewer22

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If you want to back-sweeten and carbonate, you'll have to keep a SUPER close eye on it since the yeast will just continue to dry your cider (potentially creating bottle bombs). One thing I've heard of people doing is making one in a plastic bottle, so you can feel the pressure build up by touch. You'd have to check this every day morning and night at least to avoid overcarbing though. Once you hit your target carb pressure (through guesswork really), you'd then have to cold crash immediately and never take the bottles out of the fridge, save for drinking them. Without campden tabs or K-meta, you'll have to do this.

You can also let the cider dry fully, then prime and finally bottle. The fruit flavors from the yeast and apples will still be there (not quite like with a juice backing), but aging a bit will help too (especially with clarity).

Moral of the story is, if you plan on backsweetening AND carbing, you'd better be careful.
 

Soilworker

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As sparticus pointed out you'll need to stop the yeast somehow. I would say go for bottle pasteurizing...way easier in my opinion that taking up your whole fridge all the time and the yeast can still do work when its cold though it depends on the strain.
 
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popej

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Sparticusbrewer22 and Soilworker, thanks for the advice! I think what I've decided I'm going to do is rack the cider somewhere between 1.004-1.008 sg, let it sit for a bit then bottle somewhere in the 1.002-1.008 range...I plan on back-carbonating and I'm thinking of experimenting half with corn sugar and the other half with the respective juices (so orange/apple, cranberry, pomegranate).

It's day 11 and i just measured the following SGs:

BATCH 1 (orange) - 1.004
BATCH 2 (cranberry) - 1.010
BATCH 3 (pomegranate) - 1.018
 
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popej

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I racked batch 2 and 3 last night (Day 18).

Batch 2 (cranberry) - SG 1.007, tastes a little vinegary
Batch 3 (pomegranate) - SG 1.010, actually tastes pretty good, nice fruity flavor but not too sweet

So I looked around the forum a bit more and read through the sticky on stove top pasteurization: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy-stove-top-pasteurizing-pics-193295/

I can't believe I didn't see this originally! I will definitely be backsweetening as I please and then bottling to carbonate. At least 1 plastic bottle per batch to gauge the carbonation level and then kill of the yeast by stove-top pasteurizing.
 

renderman

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I racked batch 2 and 3 last night (Day 18).

Batch 2 (cranberry) - SG 1.007, tastes a little vinegary
Batch 3 (pomegranate) - SG 1.010, actually tastes pretty good, nice fruity flavor but not too sweet

So I looked around the forum a bit more and read through the sticky on stove top pasteurization: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy-stove-top-pasteurizing-pics-193295/

I can't believe I didn't see this originally! I will definitely be backsweetening as I please and then bottling to carbonate. At least 1 plastic bottle per batch to gauge the carbonation level and then kill of the yeast by stove-top pasteurizing.
so how did these net out? any good?
 
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