Advice on first cider

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Barzahl

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I'm getting ready to make my first batch of cider with some 100% apple juice from the grocery store and have a few questions, should I use nutrients and if so how much? I saw on Yooper's beginner cider thread that "1 tsp is often just what the yeast need" but the must volume isn't mentioned, also should I step feed nutrients or front load? I was planning on throwing 8 ounces of maple syrup in also, the batch size is one gallon and yeast will be d47 since I've got some on hand, any advice would be appreciated.
 
I've made a lot of batches of cider from store-bought juice, like Mott's. Check the juice's ingredients label to make sure it does not include sorbates or metabisulfites, as those can stunt or kill the yeast. Most brands I've used add only ascorbic acid as a preservative, which doesn't affect the yeast.

For a 5 gallon batch I add 1 tsp. of beer or wine yeast nutrient dissolved in a few ounces of sanitized water. This gives the yeast a good head start and reduces the likelihood of stressed yeast and the dreaded rhino farts. You shouldn't need to step add nutrients later. At least in my experience I've only needed the nutrient at the beginning.

There's a massive thread on making EdWort's Apfelwein, which is juice plus sugar. The first few pages of posts may give you some helpful info, even if you're not making it to EdWort's recipe.
 
I've made a lot of batches of cider from store-bought juice, like Mott's. Check the juice's ingredients label to make sure it does not include sorbates or metabisulfites, as those can stunt or kill the yeast. Most brands I've used add only ascorbic acid as a preservative, which doesn't affect the yeast.

For a 5 gallon batch I add 1 tsp. of beer or wine yeast nutrient dissolved in a few ounces of sanitized water. This gives the yeast a good head start and reduces the likelihood of stressed yeast and the dreaded rhino farts. You shouldn't need to step add nutrients later. At least in my experience I've only needed the nutrient at the beginning.

There's a massive thread on making EdWort's Apfelwein, which is juice plus sugar. The first few pages of posts may give you some helpful info, even if you're not making it to EdWort's recipe.
Thanks, I'll check that out
Edit; also the juice has only ascorbic acid
 
i think its 1 tsp of nutrients ( i use DAP) per 5 gallon . i use 1/2 per 2 -2.5 gallons.

grahams cider recipe is the best. use motts apple juice also the best IMO .

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/grahams-english-cider.107152/


this thread is good :
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/cider-for-beginners.508303/


this thread is also decent info on juice cider

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/plumbers-cider.730652/

i like my very cherry cider :

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/very-cherry-cider.731620/

im drinking some right now

good luck..
supermarket juice cider is easy and delish just make sure you add tannin( very strong concentrated black tea works really well ) and acid (lime juice works better than lemon IMO) because supermarket juice lacks tannins and acids that are found in cider apples . which are different from market apples.
 
Yep, 1 tsp of nutrient is good for 5g. Any more would be a waste, and may even taste it. Ascorbic acid is just vitamin c, so you're good there. I have some Blackberry Molasses Cider aging some now. Looking forward to it.
 
So I’ve been making cider for many years without adding anything but the yeast.
I’m not saying YOU don’t have to use any nutrients, maybe that will work for you.
I read somewhere that it’s a good practice to add nutrients 24 hrs after you pitch the yeast, but I can’t remember where that’s from or what the actual reason is.
After 20+ seasons of making cider, my 2 cents would be that if you use cheap juice from the store, don’t expect much. It depends what you are looking for in a cider. These days I only make cider when I can get specific apples I want, but your wants, needs and desires are probably different.
:mug:
 
Well yeah that’s the point. Apple juice for drinking is nothing like apple juice for cider so you need to add some of the missing components like tannins and acid.
 
All of the above is good advice so here is some information and rough "rules of thumb" that work for me. You can do your own maths regarding how much cider you are making etc ...

Store bought juice is typically low in acid (around 3 or 4 g/L or 0.3% -0.4%), after all, it is meant to be sweet. The suggested range for cider is 5 -7g/L, so as a guide, adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of malic acid per litre will make a heap of difference. It adds some "bite" to an otherwise insipid cider. Lime juice, lemon juice, etc, does the same thing and can be added at any time according to your taste.

Similarly with tannin. I have tried powdered tannin but didn't like it very much. Strong black tea at 1 teabag steeped in about 1/2 cup of boiling water per gallon is a good starting point (the boiling water wipes out any nasties in the tea). Both acid and tannin give the cider "mouthfeel".

There is some debate around adding nutrients. "Normal" juice typically has 80 -100 ppm of YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen) nutrient which yeast need. This is more than enough for yeast to carry out a complete fermentation. However, YAN in juice that has been in cold storage can deteriorate to as little as 20ppm of YAN so fermentation can stall once the yeast has run out of the YAN. This can also happen with late season apples from old unfertilised trees.

Around 10 ppm of YAN is needed for every 10 gravity points of fermentation (so SG 1.050 juice only needs about 50 ppm of YAN which it usually has). However, with "store bought" juice it can be worthwhile adding nutrients as an insurance against a stalled fermentation.

Nutrient products like DAP, Fermaid, etc. contain about 20% YAN. So depending on how much "insurance" you want, adding the appropriate amount can be worthwhile. 0.05g/L of DAP will provide 0.01g/L of YAN which is enough for 10 gravity points of fermentation. As a rough guide adding enough YAN to ensure fermentation of say, 50% of the sugar would need 0.5g (about 1/10 teaspoon) of DAP per gallon. So "1 tsp is often just what the yeast need" is about right for a typical 5 gallon batch. I sometimes add DAP as the juice from my apples (old unfertilised trees) sometimes stalls around 1.010. (This makes for a natural sweeter cider but if I want to bottle condition, extra YAN is needed).

Adding DAP at the start usually produces a very robust fermentation (confidence building for a first-time ferment!). There is a view that nutrient is best added halfway through fermentation (say, when racking to secondary if that is your process), so that the natural YAN is consumed first and the yeast don't get "overfed".

I hope this helps answer your questions.
 
Last edited:
All of the above is good advice so here is some information and rough "rules of thumb" that work for me. You can do your own maths regarding how much cider you are making etc ...

Store bought juice is typically low in acid (around 3 or 4 g/L or 0.3% -0.4%), after all, it is meant to be sweet. The suggested range for cider is 5 -7g/L, so as a guide, adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of malic acid per litre will make a heap of difference. It adds some "bite" to an otherwise insipid cider. Lime juice, lemon juice, etc, does the same thing and can be added at any time according to your taste.

Similarly with tannin. I have tried powdered tannin but didn't like it very much. Strong black tea at 1 teabag steeped in about 1/2 cup of boiling water per gallon is a good starting point (the boiling water wipes out any nasties in the tea). Both acid and tannin give the cider "mouthfeel".

There is some debate around adding nutrients. "Normal" juice typically has 80 -100 ppm of YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen) nutrient which yeast need. This is more than enough for yeast to carry out a complete fermentation. However, YAN in juice that has been in cold storage can deteriorate to as little as 20ppm of YAN so fermentation can stall once the yeast has run out of the YAN. This can also happen with late season apples from old unfertilised trees.

Around 10 ppm of YAN is needed for every 10 gravity points of fermentation (so SG 1.050 juice only needs about 50 ppm of YAN which it usually has). However, with "store bought" juice it can be worthwhile adding nutrients as an insurance against a stalled fermentation.

Nutrient products like DAP, Fermaid, etc. contain about 20% YAN. So depending on how much "insurance" you want, adding the appropriate amount can be worthwhile. 0.05g/L of DAP will provide 0.01g/L of YAN which is enough for 10 gravity points of fermentation. As a rough guide adding enough YAN to ensure fermentation of say, 50% of the sugar would need 0.5g (about 1/10 teaspoon) of DAP per gallon. So "1 tsp is often just what the yeast need" is about right for a typical 5 gallon batch. I sometimes add DAP as the juice from my apples (old unfertilised trees) sometimes stalls around 1.010. (This makes for a natural sweeter cider but if I want to bottle condition, extra YAN is needed).

Adding DAP at the start usually produces a very robust fermentation (confidence building for a first-time ferment!). There is a view that nutrient is best added halfway through fermentation (say, when racking to secondary if that is your process), so that the natural YAN is consumed first and the yeast don't get "overfed".

I hope this helps answer your questions.
It does thanks, this is not my first ferment just my first cider I've done a few meads but the process is a little different mostly they need lots of nutrients since honey is very deficient in YAN
 
So I’ve been making cider for many years without adding anything but the yeast.
I’m not saying YOU don’t have to use any nutrients, maybe that will work for you.
I read somewhere that it’s a good practice to add nutrients 24 hrs after you pitch the yeast, but I can’t remember where that’s from or what the actual reason is.
After 20+ seasons of making cider, my 2 cents would be that if you use cheap juice from the store, don’t expect much. It depends what you are looking for in a cider. These days I only make cider when I can get specific apples I want, but your wants, needs and desires are probably different.
:mug:
The only hard ciders I've had before were angry orchards so as long as I make the tannin and acid adjustments I don't think I'll be disappointed, I was getting apple juice to make a cyser and decided to grab extra and try cider well I was at it. :mug:
 

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