5 Day Sweet Country Cider

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dayflyer55

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So I was at the local orchard the other day, and decided to buy a few gallons of fresh (unfermented) cider to make hard cider. I gave it a taste and enjoyed it so much that I decided I wanted to brew it in a way that keeps as much of the original flavor as possible. Also, this recipe is a huge time saver, as it is ready in less than a week!

4 gallons fresh, unfiltered pressed apples (uv pasteurized)
1 1/4 lbs brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks

1) Pour 3 1/2 gallons of juice into fermenter
2) Heat remaining half gallon with cinnamon sticks and brown sugar until sugar dissolves properly. Let cool to room temp.
3)Combine mixtures and mix vigorously to oxidize.
4)Hydrate and Pitch yeast.

-Let ferment for about 2-3 days, or until it hits 1.04.
-Bottle it. No need to rack of clear, this stuff is going to be cloudy no matter what you do to it, as it hasn't really fermented that far. it may help, however to give it a day in the fridge to get rid of excess yeast. I didn't do this though.

Let it sit in bottles for a day or so to carb, then bottle pasteurize. I did this by using my sanitize/rinse setting on my dishwasher of 10 minutes, but you can also do it on the stove (see stove-top pasteurization sticky).

Result:
A sweet, hard cider at about 5% abv that keeps a lot of original cider flavor, and is just a tad more tart and dry than the unfermented version. Definitely looks "rustic" due to its cloudiness. Cheers!

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Yooper

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I mean if it isn't pasteurized when you get it from the mill?

Oh, well, then whatever wild yeast and stuff that is in the cider will ferment rather than the yeast you pitched. It might be quite good, but it could also be quite bad. The UV pasteurizing would kill any wild yeast and bacteria for you so you could add your chosen yeast strain. You could use campden tablets if the cider isn't already pasteurized for you and you want to kill any wild bugs in there.
 

n240sxguy

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If it isn't pasteurized from the mill, would you just heat it to pasteurize it, then cool it, and continue from there? I'm trying to find a quick, easy, good tasting recipe that will be widely accepted by people so I can serve it through the fall get togethers. This one sounds like a winner. I don't want to expend all my time on a cider, I would rather save that for my beer. Since I have never had or made a hard cider, is it much better carbed? I know we like sparkling grape juice around the holidays, so I assume the same would apply here.
 

n240sxguy

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Do the campden tablets affect the flavor at all? Would it be better to use them or heat to pasteurize it?
 
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dayflyer55

dayflyer55

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I used Nottingham ale yeast for the recipe. I use it for a lot of recipes as its a good neutral yeast. I know most people use campden tablets for recipes, but I don't. I've never heard any complaints about off flavors from campden tablets.
 

pattycakes888

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Ugh! i wish i saw this a few weeks ago, i was trying to find an quick and easy hard cider recipe....left it in the primary too long, ended up with super strong, smelly, cider....which if you can get over the smell taste like a very dry wine but gets you drunk within two glasses :)
 

Genacide

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Would aging and any benefit to this recipe, or is it going to be the same at 6 days, 6 weeks, or 6 months?
 

vnyand

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I've read elsewhere that if you start out with pasteurized cider it actually gets vinegar-like after a couple months. Starting from unpasteurized supposedly produces cider that will store for a year.

Pretty sure I read it on a Northern Brewer forum. I can dig up the link if anyone is interested.
 

Inflames

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Just tried this recipe. It came out sweet and fizzy with lots of apple flavor. I let it carb up in bottles for a day as per the instructions and I got bottle geysers
So i cant bottle pasteurize now. So test every few hours.
 

SandMBrewCo

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So I followed this recipe pretty closely, but only making 1 gal and adding 1 peeled frozen/thawed lemon. OG was 1.070. Kept it in the primary for 2 days Racked it straight into the bottles (Newb mistake, more later) and let it sit out side over night (Low temp of aprox 50 F)

Brought it inside after work the next day (Its fall where I live so the temp only got to about 65 degrees F) I opened one to check the carbonation before pasteurization incase I needed to let them sit a while longer. It was fine, nice and bubbly ( I believe the term is effervescent =] ) Pasteurized the rest and I was good to go. FG (aprox) 1.034

When I told the guy at my LHBS about this recipe he literally looked at me like I was crazy. Kinda like, "Okay pal, whatever you say..." He told me the way that you should do it - back sweeten and prime for carbonation. But I must say that it has surpassed my expectations.

The only thing that I would do differently in the future is to let it sit in the primary for a day or to then rack it to the secondary for another day because there was a lot of yeast left in the bottles.

All in all - A simple recipe that would be great for a beginner. After all... Im a complete newb and even I pulled this one off. Now on to irish stout lol. Thanks.
 

Sharkeydude

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I've done this same type of recipe for a while now. I let it go for 5 days and it really turns out well. I have found that I need to bottle, let it set for about 4 or 5 hours then, pasteurize otherwise, I get bottle rockets if I leave it for 24hours. It is a fun recipe and really ages nicely.
 

Apple_Jacker

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Ugh! i wish i saw this a few weeks ago, i was trying to find an quick and easy hard cider recipe....left it in the primary too long, ended up with super strong, smelly, cider....which if you can get over the smell taste like a very dry wine but gets you drunk within two glasses :)

This is exactly what happened to me last year! It smelled awful, like a weird yeast/cider vinegar smell, but the taste was tolerable and after drinking 1 bottle, you are feeling it :)

I wish I learned of this fast recipe 2 days ago! I just started 6 gallons of cider Tuesday night. I did the right thing this year and bought myself a hydrometer. My initial reading was 1.080. I have to wait until it gets all the way down close to 1.000???
 

Sharkeydude

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You can wait till 1.000 or 1.004or5. Judging by your OG it should be a whopper by the time it gets to that point. Don't get too married to the hydrometer, just use it as a gauge and your taste buds as reconfirmation. That's what I do and it serves me well.
I used to brew a lot of beer but, the ingredients, for me, got too costly so, I'm a cider guy. Besides, this is done in a week and I'm buzzin' in the cave long before the beer is ready.
 

Apple_Jacker

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You can wait till 1.000 or 1.004or5. Judging by your OG it should be a whopper by the time it gets to that point. Don't get too married to the hydrometer, just use it as a gauge and your taste buds as reconfirmation. That's what I do and it serves me well.
I used to brew a lot of beer but, the ingredients, for me, got too costly so, I'm a cider guy. Besides, this is done in a week and I'm buzzin' in the cave long before the beer is ready.

Well, if it is high in alcohol content, that definitely won't bother me as long as it tastes good. I'll rack it next Tuesday and see where I'm at with the taste.
 

TheCIASentMe

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I've read elsewhere that if you start out with pasteurized cider it actually gets vinegar-like after a couple months. Starting from unpasteurized supposedly produces cider that will store for a year.

Pretty sure I read it on a Northern Brewer forum. I can dig up the link if anyone is interested.

Vinegar flavors generally come from either too much oxygen during the brewing process or a bacterial infection not from your cider being pasteurized. Check the seals on your primary and sanitize more/better if this happens.
 

dclaflin

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I am stuck! I had this in the primary for two days with no fermentation. I pitched the yeast again and after approximately 24 hrs still nothing. Any thoughts?
 

SenorPepe

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Check your apple juice label for preservatives--sorbate I believe is used in juices. It should be 100% apple juice, or include ascorbic acid.
 

Sharkeydude

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Check the chemicals in your juice first. Two yeast killers in juice are potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. Yeast will not do their thing if these are present. I bought a jug the other day without noticing and nearly pitched my yeast. I stuck it in the fridge to use as a back sweetener later.
If the chemicals aren't there, then you may want to consider some yeast nutrient.
 

dclaflin

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I am now getting some fermentation it is just really slow. Don't think it will be done in 3 days at this rate. Also I halved the recipe, not sure if that would effect it. Also I did use "100%" cider, not juice. Maybe they snuck some preservatives in there.
 

LTownLiquorPig

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Going to throw this together in the morning.

1)Limited LHBS near buy, so I bought all 4 (yes, only 4) dry yeasts they had, Munton's active brewing yeast, Lalvin K1-V1116, Lalvin EC-1118 and Lalvin 71B-1122. Which would be most likely to get me a sweeter finished product?

2)I'm going to be using pasteurized canned apple juice in a 23 L carboy. Will that leave too much headroom or air in the vessel? Should I adjust up the recipe to 23L?

3)Any way to carb and pasteurize plastic pop/soda bottles? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks for the input! OP, thanks for the recipe!

**UPDATE**

Threw it all together in a carboy this morning.

Problems:
Couldn't get OG to 1.076. Close to 1.061 at about 62* on the sticky thermometer on the carboy. I put in the prescribed 1.25 pounds brown sugar, added another 2 pounds, then a pound of white sugar, as I was out of brown at that point. Would the canned juice have less sugar than the cider? I used a pure apple juice with no additives a not from concentrate.

Pitched the Munton's yeast.

It's in the basement with a blow off valve set up right now, air temp down there about 64-65*.

Looked and smelled as I'd expected.
 

vnyand

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If there are no additives all cider (which is the same as "pure apple juice") comes in around 1.055. It may be lower if this was filtered (probably to make it more juice-like instead of typical cider) but it shouldn't be by much.

The brewing yeast may leave more residual sweetness, but when a large percentage of your fermentables are from pure sugar it will almost definitely finish dry.

As for your bottling question... what? A. why would you pasteurize? (not that you can anyways without force-carbonation) B. you would carbonate the exact same way you would a beer (assuming you don't pasteurize your finished cider), though I don't recommend using old soda bottles.
 

DingoDog

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I'm planning on trying this recipe tonight. This will be my first attempt at cider. I like the idea of a short fermentation time and a residual apple flavor and sweetness. I'm planning to keg my cider and force carbonate. Does anyone know of any issues with kegging this cider recipe? Is pasteurization still necessary? If so, how will I accomplish pasteurization or should I just use campden tablets to stop fermentation? Also, I was thinking that maybe I don't need to worry about stopping fermentation at all because once the cider reaches 1.040 I'll cold crash it and keg it. Once kegged, it'll stay in my keggerator and never warm back up.

Thoughts anyone? Thanks
 
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dayflyer55

dayflyer55

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Does anyone know of any issues with kegging this cider recipe? Is pasteurization still necessary? If so, how will I accomplish pasteurization or should I just use campden tablets to stop fermentation?

Honestly, i never really deal with chemicals, but from what I hear campden or any other chemical would have a hard time killing fermentation while its running downhill. Perhaps you could cold crash, put in a carboy,then kill with chemicals.

Your scenario would work, but you might as well throw some chemicals in there for good measure.

Pasteurization is definitely not necessary, bottle pasteurization is designed specifically so that you can carb naturally and keep residual sweetness, as its the only way you can possibly do this without using unfermentables.
 

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I'm planning on trying this recipe tonight. This will be my first attempt at cider. I like the idea of a short fermentation time and a residual apple flavor and sweetness. I'm planning to keg my cider and force carbonate. Does anyone know of any issues with kegging this cider recipe? Is pasteurization still necessary? If so, how will I accomplish pasteurization or should I just use campden tablets to stop fermentation? Also, I was thinking that maybe I don't need to worry about stopping fermentation at all because once the cider reaches 1.040 I'll cold crash it and keg it. Once kegged, it'll stay in my keggerator and never warm back up.

Thoughts anyone? Thanks

Campden (sulfites) won't stop fermentation. Winemakers use it all the time, since wine yeast is very tolerant of sulfites. If anybody tells you that campden will stop fermentation, they are not correct, unless you use so much of it that the beverage will be undrinkable!
 
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dayflyer55

dayflyer55

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When I told the guy at my LHBS about this recipe he literally looked at me like I was crazy. Kinda like, "Okay pal, whatever you say..." He told me the way that you should do it - back sweeten and prime for carbonation. But I must say that it has surpassed my expectations.

The only thing that I would do differently in the future is to let it sit in the primary for a day or to then rack it to the secondary for another day because there was a lot of yeast left in the bottles.

Glad you liked it. The reason that I stop fermentation short is because I find it the best way to keep a true apple flavor. If you ferment out and backsweeten, you have 2 options: 1) Backsweeten with sugar, in which you don't get that apple flavor. or 2) Use (unfermented) cider and dilute the final alcohol content. It just doesn't make sense to waste all that time when you will get at best a basically identical finished product (especially with a good clean fermenting yeast).

I completely agree with you about racking. If I did it over again, I would cold crash overnight before transfer to bottling bucket to get rid of yeast for sure.
 

LTownLiquorPig

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Been on for a week, cool in my basement, temp on the carboy hovers 60-62. I think a little cool for my ale yeast maybe? My initial gravity was around 1.06, this morning it was 1.035 or so. Still very sweet and cloudy, lightly carbonated. I'd drink it like this, but the boss wouldn't, and I want a little higher ABV out of it. Going to check again in two days.

Cold crash and bottle sounds like the plan. How cold is too cold to cold crash? The cellar way to the basement is likely between 32* at night and 50-55* through the day. Would that work? I have a small fridge, was going to clean it up today and turn it on, been in the garage for a couple years.
 

stargazer007

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Cold crashing in winter? I'm located in frozen north. So in winter it can be 20 below or colder. Could I rack to a secondary & cold crash for 4-5 hours outside & then bottle pasteurize?
 

TheCIASentMe

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Cold crashing in winter? I'm located in frozen north. So in winter it can be 20 below or colder. Could I rack to a secondary & cold crash for 4-5 hours outside & then bottle pasteurize?

You could, but I would be a little concerned about possible freezing at those temperatures and implosion of the container if it's sealed. Stick a thermometer on it and watch it closely maybe?
 
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