A few quick questions from a noob cider brewer...

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wdtunstall

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I have been brewing mead and beer for about 2 years now so I'm not a total noob when it comes to brewing but I do have a couple of questions:

1 - I bought cider from Walmart and it was cloudy as crap but had a great apple flavor. Is there any hope of this clearing up? If not it's no biggie.

2 - I have come across a few recipes that call for Allspice beans and nutmeg pods. I have ground (powdered) allspice and nutmeg. How much ground spice equals the whole bean / pod?

3 - I added 4 Granny Smith apples (diced) to the primary. Was this a good or bad Idea. I was trying to get more apple flavor and was told that tart apples would do the trick.

Thank you, in advance, for any advice or answers.
 

criptrap

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I have always used fresh pressed juice. It has always been cloudy but clears just fine within 3 months. Not sure about spices I have never tried them in cider. Fresh apple most likely won't be a problem (sanitation wise) I don't treat my fresh juice at all and pitch Nottingham dry 11g packet during pressing per 5 gallons and I have not had any problems. When you rack you may want to use a screen.
 
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wdtunstall

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You press your own apples!? Wow. How many apples does it take for a 5 gallon batch? What kind do you use?
 

dinnerstick

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different varieties contain different percentages of juice; with some cooking apples it's like getting blood from a stone but some sweet ones are really juicy. also depends on how you press/juice them. for really juicy ones i generally get about 1 liter from 1.5 kilograms. i'm sure there is a way to get that into gallons, flagons and yards....?
 

criptrap

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Blood from a stone sounds about right dinnerstick , Last year I got 17 gallons from a small pickup bed full of apples using the garden way basket screw press. I suspect more time under pressure, sweating before pressing, and force would have produced a better yield. I had access to eating variety apples rough percentages are 60% granny smith, 5% Macintosh 5% crabs 30% a mixture of other eating varieties. The crab apples were an ornamental variety and really did not yield well because the grinder basically never touched them. I also bottled with a sumac (staghorn) infused priming solution. Overall the results were well received and the cider of 2009 is gone.
 
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