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Anyone want to explain how to make hard cider for a newbie?

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Ghostrider513

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I'd like to try to make hard cider, Never tried it before and have no clue. Any thoughts about this?
 

z-bob

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Simplest? Buy pasteurized apple juice (Aldi, Sam's, Coscto, etc) Add wine yeast, and yeast nutrient at about half the recommended dosage that it says on the package. It will probably say 1 teaspoon per gallon, so use 1/2 teaspoon. Maybe add a little sugar, but not much (like 2 ounces per gallon) You don't really need the sugar.

Put a stopper on top with an air lock and let if ferment until it's done -- it will get cloudy during fermentation, then it will stop bubbling and get clear.

Give it another week after you think it's finished, then bottle it like beer. If any of this doesn't make sense, ask more questions. You tagged this with "dry cider" so I assume you don't want to sweeten it. It will end up about like "extra dry" champagne. If you want it sweeter, the easiest way is to sweeten it at serving time.
 

RPh_Guy

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I never add sugar.
I haven't ever added nutrient either (some yeasts don't typically need it), but it's not a bad idea.
Apple juice and yeast. Ferment, carbonate, drink young.

Get fresh-pressed (preservative-free) juice if you can find it. Quality juice makes a big difference.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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I just started one up yesterday with 1 gallon of Fresh-Pressed preservative free juice, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp boiled bread yeast and some Notty yeast slurry I had in the fridge. EZ.
 
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Ghostrider513

Ghostrider513

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Simplest? Buy pasteurized apple juice (Aldi, Sam's, Coscto, etc) Add wine yeast, and yeast nutrient at about half the recommended dosage that it says on the package. It will probably say 1 teaspoon per gallon, so use 1/2 teaspoon. Maybe add a little sugar, but not much (like 2 ounces per gallon) You don't really need the sugar.

Put a stopper on top with an air lock and let if ferment until it's done -- it will get cloudy during fermentation, then it will stop bubbling and get clear.

Give it another week after you think it's finished, then bottle it like beer. If any of this doesn't make sense, ask more questions. You tagged this with "dry cider" so I assume you don't want to sweeten it. It will end up about like "extra dry" champagne. If you want it sweeter, the easiest way is to sweeten it at serving time.
Thanks, Sounds pretty straight forward. And EZ. I'll try it out. Thanks
 
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Ghostrider513

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I just started one up yesterday with 1 gallon of Fresh-Pressed preservative free juice, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp boiled bread yeast and some Notty yeast slurry I had in the fridge. EZ.
Will the cinnamon flavor come through? Nottingham yeast? lol
 
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Ghostrider513

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I never add sugar.
I haven't ever added nutrient either (some yeasts don't typically need it), but it's not a bad idea.
Apple juice and yeast. Ferment, carbonate, drink young.

Get fresh-pressed (preservative-free) juice if you can find it. Quality juice makes a big difference.
I see you did a blackberry, how'd that turn out? Is it basically the same thing as cider? Thanks for the reply, Mike
 
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Ghostrider513

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Simplest? Buy pasteurized apple juice (Aldi, Sam's, Coscto, etc) Add wine yeast, and yeast nutrient at about half the recommended dosage that it says on the package. It will probably say 1 teaspoon per gallon, so use 1/2 teaspoon. Maybe add a little sugar, but not much (like 2 ounces per gallon) You don't really need the sugar.

Put a stopper on top with an air lock and let if ferment until it's done -- it will get cloudy during fermentation, then it will stop bubbling and get clear.

Give it another week after you think it's finished, then bottle it like beer. If any of this doesn't make sense, ask more questions. You tagged this with "dry cider" so I assume you don't want to sweeten it. It will end up about like "extra dry" champagne. If you want it sweeter, the easiest way is to sweeten it at serving time.
I have an airlock stopper from my beer kit. I can probably use that kit. Thanks
 
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Ghostrider513

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Simplest? Buy pasteurized apple juice (Aldi, Sam's, Coscto, etc) Add wine yeast, and yeast nutrient at about half the recommended dosage that it says on the package. It will probably say 1 teaspoon per gallon, so use 1/2 teaspoon. Maybe add a little sugar, but not much (like 2 ounces per gallon) You don't really need the sugar.

Put a stopper on top with an air lock and let if ferment until it's done -- it will get cloudy during fermentation, then it will stop bubbling and get clear.

Give it another week after you think it's finished, then bottle it like beer. If any of this doesn't make sense, ask more questions. You tagged this with "dry cider" so I assume you don't want to sweeten it. It will end up about like "extra dry" champagne. If you want it sweeter, the easiest way is to sweeten it at serving time.
I read some comments that say to PRIME. What do they mean or do I need to prime it with this recipe? Thanks
 

RPh_Guy

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I see you did a blackberry, how'd that turn out? Is it basically the same thing as cider?
I pureed 2oz/gal of fresh blackberries and added that to unfiltered apple juice. Turned out amazing. Just a hint of blackberry.

I've also had success with the natural blackberry flavoring distributed by Brewmaster. About 0.2oz/gal fits my taste, added at bottling.
 

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I am a HUGE advocate for use a cider specific yeast and not an ale or champagne yeast. I find those both dry out the cider too much, and you consequently lose the apple flavor and aroma.

For reference I use safcider cider yeast (dry) for all my ciders now. You don't need anything but the juice, a carboy, the yeast, and an airlock. It turns out great as-is without anything else. You will end up somewhere around 6% ABV.
 
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Ghostrider513

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I am a HUGE advocate for use a cider specific yeast and not an ale or champagne yeast. I find those both dry out the cider too much, and you consequently lose the apple flavor and aroma.

For reference I use safcider cider yeast (dry) for all my ciders now. You don't need anything but the juice, a carboy, the yeast, and an airlock. It turns out great as-is without anything else. You will end up somewhere around 6% ABV.
That's what I'm looking for. Do I heat the cider up? And where can I get the safcider?
 

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For 1 gal. Batch would it be 1 gal apple juice, yeast( half package) at botteling how much priming sugar?

What would the flavoring difference between sugar and brown sugar if I added before fermentation (2 oz per gal)

What’s a typical length of time to complete fermentation?
 

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For 1 gal. Batch would it be 1 gal apple juice, yeast( half package) at botteling how much priming sugar?

What would the flavoring difference between sugar and brown sugar if I added before fermentation (2 oz per gal)

What’s a typical length of time to complete fermentation?
1/2tsp table sugar per 12oz bottle
2-3 weeks fermentation
Juice + Yeast ... Don't add anything the first time. You can experiment later.
 

z-bob

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I read some comments that say to PRIME. What do they mean or do I need to prime it with this recipe? Thanks
"Prime" is to add sugar at bottling-time so the cider (or beer or mead or sparkling wine) will carbonate.

BTW, don't use champagne yeast, and don't use Premier Cuvee or EC-1118 (I think those are also champagne yeast) or your cider will be tasteless. I've had good luck with Côte des Blancs, S-33, and Vintner's Harvest AW4 yeasts (I got a bunch a AW4 packets on clearance) They were all different, but all good. Côte des Blancs is dirt-cheap and it's reliable. S-33 is the only ale yeast I've been impressed with.
 

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Beware of Rhino Farts! Stressed yeasts release hydrogen sulfide which really smell like cow farts that have been fed on spoiled fruit. Adding a healthy dose of yeast nutrient and watching temp during fermentation will hep prevent it.
 

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So there you have it @Ghostrider513 - You can either do it the simplistic way or not.

Everyone has their different methods, but from a bare minimum point of view, you cannot go wrong with just pouring out some juice from the carboy it comes it or leave small amount of headspace in your carboy, add yeast, and walk away. Note: You get no krausen from hard cider, so you don't need much headspace at all. I leave about two inches.
 
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Ghostrider513

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So there you have it @Ghostrider513 - You can either do it the simplistic way or not.

Everyone has their different methods, but from a bare minimum point of view, you cannot go wrong with just pouring out some juice from the carboy it comes it or leave small amount of headspace in your carboy, add yeast, and walk away. Note: You get no krausen from hard cider, so you don't need much headspace at all. I leave about two inches.
So it seems everyone has their way. Ill use safcider yeast and pitch brown sugar. Next, if its good, Ill add 1 qt of cherry in place of apple juice. See how it turns out. I dont want a dry champaign taste. Thanks to everyone.
 
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Ghostrider513

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So there you have it @Ghostrider513 - You can either do it the simplistic way or not.

Everyone has their different methods, but from a bare minimum point of view, you cannot go wrong with just pouring out some juice from the carboy it comes it or leave small amount of headspace in your carboy, add yeast, and walk away. Note: You get no krausen from hard cider, so you don't need much headspace at all. I leave about two inches.
Thanks. I'll do that. Easy is the best to start off with.
 
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Ghostrider513

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"Prime" is to add sugar at bottling-time so the cider (or beer or mead or sparkling wine) will carbonate.

BTW, don't use champagne yeast, and don't use Premier Cuvee or EC-1118 (I think those are also champagne yeast) or your cider will be tasteless. I've had good luck with Côte des Blancs, S-33, and Vintner's Harvest AW4 yeasts (I got a bunch a AW4 packets on clearance) They were all different, but all good. Côte des Blancs is dirt-cheap and it's reliable. S-33 is the only ale yeast I've been impressed with.
Good to know. Safcider yeast is what I'll try.
 

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What is your reason for adding "brown sugar"? By "brown sugar" you mean raw sugar... or sugar to which caramel coloring and flavor have been added? Or is this sugar the tail from making rum? That last kind of sugar does not always enhance cider. Is it for the flavor you want to add this sugar (see my last comment) or because you are looking for a specific level of alcohol that you cannot get by fermenting the juice itself? if so, are you making an apple wine? There needs to be a reason for anything you add or anything you use in wine making... simply adding something because you can often makes for a crap wine/cider/mead... or beer. But if you brew beer you already know that.
 

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What is your reason for adding "brown sugar"? By "brown sugar" you mean raw sugar... or sugar to which caramel coloring and flavor have been added? Is it for the flavor you want to add this sugar or because you are looking for a specific level of alcohol that you cannot get by fermenting the juice itself? There needs to be a reason for anything you add or anything you use in wine making... simply adding something because you can often makes for a crap wine/cider/mead... and beer.
100% agreed, don't add anything
 

RPh_Guy

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In the States "brown sugar" is refined table sugar (usually from sugar cane or beets) with a bit of molasses (from the refining process) added back.
For some odd reason different countries have different names for types of sugar.
 

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I'll just chime in on this thread since I'm not looking for a ton of info.

I'm doing my first cider as well.

Bought 3 gallons of 100% apple juice not from concentrate and pasteurized and 1 gallon of unfiltered apple cider with spices added (3 gallons was all they had of the juice and I figured the cider would give it some cloudiness anyway).

I did not use a nutrient but pitched a tube of white labs English cider yeast after aerating with pure oxygen for about a minute.

have it sitting at 67 degrees.

Just pitched 3 hours ago so not expecting activity yet but have I done anything that might make this awful?

I was going to do just juice and then do a secondary with some oak, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and vanilla but the spices in the cider seemed really strong so I'll have to taste it and see if I need any of that now.
 

S-Met

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Juice and yeast? All good!
All good, though if you are using fruit juice only, no pulp, it would benefit from some yeast nutrient.

Opinion:
Juice is made for drinking, not fermenting. Its palliative target is ready from the bottle. Fermenting drastically changes the juice leaving it very flat in terms of flavor. I like to let a few tea bags coldbrew in some juice for a couple days and/or add some lime juice and zest to add a little bitter-sharp flavor back in.
 

RPh_Guy

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Juice is made for drinking, not fermenting.
That depends what you call juice.
I'd call juice the liquid from fruit (or vegetables I guess).
If it has sugar it'll ferment.

I think we're on the same page. Filtered juice, especially from the typical American eating varieties, does not produce the best cider.

I typically use yeast with low nitrogen requirement, so I don't have to worry about nutrients, even with filtered juice. Yeast with moderate to high nitrogen requirement is most likely going to need nutrients with filtered juice.
 

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I had read some people used brown sugar. That's all. Thought it was part of making the cider.
Some people probably do. (some people probably put mayonnaise on a hotdog, or put lemon in their coffee) I've seen several trusted brewers here say that brown sugar is nasty when fermented; I'm not going to try it. But you can if you want ;) [I just grossed myself out thinking about lemon-in-coffee]
 

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I’ve done this a few times. I’ll advocate for all those that say 100% juice and half packet of yeast.

Start with a baseline and experiment from there.

I will say previously I used champagne yeast but that was before I was into brewing beer. This fall I plan on getting some cider yeast and fresh pressed apple cider from my local orchard.
 

S-Met

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Some people probably do. (some people probably put mayonnaise on a hotdog, or put lemon in their coffee) I've seen several trusted brewers here say that brown sugar is nasty when fermented; I'm not going to try it. But you can if you want ;) [I just grossed myself out thinking about lemon-in-coffee]
Mayonnaise on a hotdog, lol. I've seen it, but many put ketchup on a hotdog. I thin it should be stone mustard and saurkraut, but to each their own.

Many recipes call for 1-2 lb of sugar for a 5gal batch to boost abv. Most store juice is around 1.055+/- .005points. I dnt know the math, but ferment dry and thats at least 7.5%. Thats plenty strong for me.
 
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