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Mar 30, 2005
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I've been making cider now for about 6 months and I can get pretty close to what I want but just not quite.

I am aiming for as close to Somerset Scrumpy as I can get. The problem seems to be I'm letting the cider go too dry. Is this possible? My end product usually is lacking a noticeable apple taste. Not really tart, or much of anything, except alcohol.

My standard recipe is as follows:

Single Fortified Cider with Lemon Juice and French Oak chip adjunct.

6 gallons of Santa Cruz Sweet Apple Cider.
100 % Organic.

5 gallons treatment of French Oak toasted chips

6 cans of Apple Concentrate

3 teaspoons of ground grape skins

3 teaspoons of Real Lemon lemon juice

3 teaspoons of Yeast Energizer

2 packets of ( 5g) of LALVIN EC-1118 Yeast
Saccharomyces Bayanus

Most of my stuff works out to around 9% by volume.

In the case of this last batch, the above recipe. It has worked out to 8% by volume after 72 hours. The taste is really very good. Nice tart apple flavours, but alas none of the sulphuric/old banana notes from the Somerset Ciders I've had.

I usually let my cider work out for 2 weeks than bottle condition it with corn sugar to make it sparkling, but the end product is somewhat tasteless.

Not having another 6 gallon carboy about for secondary, how should I proceed if I want to keep these flavours I have now? Will it work out flavourless again or can I bottle it sometime ( without the sugar addition) and store it in a cool room to avoid exploding PET bottles?

What's your take on this... :rolleyes:
Seems i had to help me self on this one...well the dilema of not having a 6 gallon secondary led me to bottle my cider without sugar priming. It would've worked out below zero. It was heading for 10% abv. if I left it any longer and although high alcohol is good it's not the whole story.

If any of the PET bottles seem to pressurize with a few days i will move the lot to a cooler room where the yeast will slow their activity.
Just an update folks, the PET bottles are fine, in fact they are a bit soft which means there is no risk of explosion and my cider will be quite still when poured.

I could have primed the bottles after all.