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Add a cup of unfermented cider to the brew for a second fermentation?

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Ivorra

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Hey all,

I am following this recipe for my first cider. Basically:
  • Get the juice.
  • Add Campden tablet, wait for 48h.
  • Pitch the yeast.
Up to this point, I have no questions with the recipe. However, before pitching the yeast it says to:
  • Save a cup of the unfermented cider in the freezer.
  • After 3 weeks of fermentation, add the cup to the cider.
  • Continue the fermentation, for another 4-12 weeks.
Does anyone know the reason behind this? Is this really needed or makes sense?

Thanks!
 

day_trippr

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Admittedly I don't do ciders, but from a beer or wine perspective, that makes no sense and serves no evident purpose.
I'd be looking for other cider procedures to see if you came across an outlier...

Cheers!
 

Maxkling

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I agree, now I make “consumable” cider. It’s not sophisticated, it’s just fermented apple juice that is sweetened to SWMBO’s standards. It’s very good, comparable to Angry Orchard or something along those line. It’s extremely simple with kegging.

It makes no sense to me.

My process is 5 gallons of apple juice. Usually ends up around 1045. Add pectic enzyme and yeast nutrients, pitch US05. It will finish anywhere from .995 to 1.0 in 5 days. Then hit it with potassium sorbate and FAJC (frozen apple juice concentrate) to taste, usually 4 tubes for 5 gallons. Then keg and carb. Easy.

No hassle, but good drinkable cider. Surprises most people.
 
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Ivorra

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Awesome, thanks for the replies!

Btw, this is crabapple cider that I am making!
 

dawn_kiebawls

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There are so many things that bother me about that recipe you're following (I do not intend to sound snobbish or better/smarter than you by any means!)..

1) StarSan does not sterilize anything
2) Why Champagne yeast instead of a Cider yeast?
3) WTF is the cup of extra juice for? I could understand it if you were to transfer to secondary and want to purge the secondary vessel...but who knows
4) 'You can tell fermentation is complete when you can't see any bubbles rising anymore' but 'be sure to refrigerate and drink quickly so you don't have a bottle bomb'. Fermentation is complete when you have a stable gravity reading. As long as it's stable, you don't over prime and you don't get an infection you can package and store however you'd like almost indefinitely.
 
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Ivorra

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There are so many things that bother me about that recipe you're following (I do not intend to sound snobbish or better/smarter than you by any means!)..

1) StarSan does not sterilize anything
2) Why Champagne yeast instead of a Cider yeast?
3) WTF is the cup of extra juice for? I could understand it if you were to transfer to secondary and want to purge the secondary vessel...but who knows
4) 'You can tell fermentation is complete when you can't see any bubbles rising anymore' but 'be sure to refrigerate and drink quickly so you don't have a bottle bomb'. Fermentation is complete when you have a stable gravity reading. As long as it's stable, you don't over prime and you don't get an infection you can package and store however you'd like almost indefinitely.
Oh, this sounds like good advice! Some questions:
  • Isn't sanitizer recommended to be used on the material before starting? Maybe the error is in "sterilizing", it should be "sanitizing"?
  • I used this cider yeast. So far it appears to be doing the basic job (fermenting!). Not sure of the end result yet.
  • I have around 3-4L of Cider, it has been brewing for a week and 3 days approximately. It is barely releasing CO2 this last two days, and the liquid is starting to become much clear, with sediments compressing in the bottom. Any advice on this? Should it be a good time to measure gravity and see if it's finished?
Thanks again!
 

dawn_kiebawls

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Oh, this sounds like good advice! Some questions:
  • Isn't sanitizer recommended to be used on the material before starting? Maybe the error is in "sterilizing", it should be "sanitizing"?
  • Correct, StarSan is a sanitizer not a sterilizer
  • I used this cider yeast. So far it appears to be doing the basic job (fermenting!). Not sure of the end result yet.
  • I have around 3-4L of Cider, it has been brewing for a week and 3 days approximately. It is barely releasing CO2 this last two days, and the liquid is starting to become much clear, with sediments compressing in the bottom. Any advice on this? Should it be a good time to measure gravity and see if it's finished?
  • If you used the entire packet of yeast on such a small batch I'm sure it's done fermenting by now but the yeast are still cleaning up some of their own byproducts and producing a cleaner product. You can take a sample at any time but I would give it another week or two. You should take two gravity samples, 3 days apart and make sure it's the same reading (stable) to verify it's done, but on a ~1 gallon batch that's a good portion of your Cider.

    Many people on here say cider is best after 6 months, but I know it's hard to wait that long when you're just getting started (which is why we try and brew a lot so the wait doesn't seem so long ;) )

4) 'You can tell fermentation is complete when you can't see any bubbles rising anymore' but 'be sure to refrigerate and drink quickly so you don't have a bottle bomb'.
Just to be clear, I was quoting these from the recipe you linked because I feel like this is a risky way of doing things. Which is why I stressed the importance of gravity readings.




Thanks again!
 
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Ivorra

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Thanks!
  • Yes, I added around 3/4s of the yeast. And currently the brew is almost not fermenting at all. However, each day its becoming more clear.
  • I understand that you say to wait a week or two before taking three-day-away gravity measures.
But what do you mean by:
  • "but on a ~1 gallon batch that's a good portion of your Cider."?
 

patricksull

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I agree, now I make “consumable” cider. It’s not sophisticated, it’s just fermented apple juice that is sweetened to SWMBO’s standards. It’s very good, comparable to Angry Orchard or something along those line. It’s extremely simple with kegging.

It makes no sense to me.

My process is 5 gallons of apple juice. Usually ends up around 1045. Add pectic enzyme and yeast nutrients, pitch US05. It will finish anywhere from .995 to 1.0 in 5 days. Then hit it with and FAJC (frozen apple juice concentrate) to taste, usually 4 tubes for 5 gallons. Then keg and carb. Easy.

No hassle, but good drinkable cider. Surprises most people.
Campden tablets as well?
Do you have a link to get me started with using a keg?
Thanks!
 
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