Cider is done..now what

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TexasDroughtBrewery

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Ok, my first run at Cider I went through many forms and got the recipe I thought that looked the best. I have had it in the primary for a month now to make sure that it completely finished fermenting. I made a pretty untraditional amount (3 gallons). I was going to do 5 but the cost of organic apple cider was expensive...10 dollars for a half gallon!!

Anyhow, the question is now what...do I add some sugar and put it in bottles...room temp or cold...how much longer will it take before it taste good..?
 

bernardsmith

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What was the starting gravity? What is the gravity today? Have you tasted the cider? Are you wanting the cider to be sweet, semi sweet or dry? Are you looking for a carbonated cider or a still cider? Cider should taste OK after a few weeks of aging but then continues to improve as it ages longer. It can taste incredible at about 9 months... If you are carbonating the cider you may want to prime it at room temperature - at very cold temperatures the yeast go into suspended animation...
Bottom line - I guess what I am suggesting is that the answer to your question Now what? really depends on what you are wanting from your cider...
 

fuelish

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Anyhow, the question is now what...
First be certain it's completely done fermenting....a couple of identical hydrometer readings several days apart would be the best indicator....
do I add some sugar and put it in bottles...
Depends on if you're wanting it bottle carbed or if you're talking about backsweetening. Yeah, you can bottle carb as normal, but if you want it sweeter, you'll have to add the appropriate chemicals to stop the yeast or they'll likely just ferment what ya add, hence becoming bottle carbed - or bottle bombs, depending on how much sugar you add....backsweetened you'll want to stun the yeast and settle for a non-sparkling beverage....of course unless you have a kegging setup
room temp or cold...
Are you talking about bottle conditioning/carbing or drinking temp??? Room temp for a few weeks to bottle carb, serve at whatever temp you like...
how much longer will it take before it taste good..?
How does it taste now??? Is it straight cider you fermented, or did you use additional sugar(s) of any kind? If it's relatively low abv, it shouldn't be long to be ready to drink. What is the recipe, if I may ask?
 

fuelish

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What was the starting gravity? What is the gravity today? Have you tasted the cider? Are you wanting the cider to be sweet, semi sweet or dry? Are you looking for a carbonated cider or a still cider? Cider should taste OK after a few weeks of aging but then continues to improve as it ages longer. It can taste incredible at about 9 months... If you are carbonating the cider you may want to prime it at room temperature - at very cold temperatures the yeast go into suspended animation...
Bottom line - I guess what I am suggesting is that the answer to your question Now what? really depends on what you are wanting from your cider...
LOL....you summed it up right nicely while was piecing together my overly thought out reply ;)
 
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TexasDroughtBrewery

TexasDroughtBrewery

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What was the starting gravity? What is the gravity today? Have you tasted the cider? Are you wanting the cider to be sweet, semi sweet or dry? Are you looking for a carbonated cider or a still cider? Cider should taste OK after a few weeks of aging but then continues to improve as it ages longer. It can taste incredible at about 9 months... If you are carbonating the cider you may want to prime it at room temperature - at very cold temperatures the yeast go into suspended animation...
Bottom line - I guess what I am suggesting is that the answer to your question Now what? really depends on what you are wanting from your cider...

Well...I know that I really like Stella's Cider http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/stella-artois-cidre/143162/

"Aroma of fresh apples, apple juice but subtle chemical. Taste is similar of fresh apples, apple juice and subtle sugar. Light bodied and moderate carbonation. A crisp, dry, apple finish. Not a lot of depth to this cider but that’s what I expected. Fresh apple flavour with decent sweetness and a very crisp, dry finish. Drinkable summer cider."

So I guess something similar to that. I will get the gravity readings when I get home tonight form work and test it again.
 

bernardsmith

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So, two thoughts.
1. Stella Artois is not going to be using blends of apples that are a) typical US eating apples or apples that would generally be pressed to make non alcoholic apple juice. And
2. European traditional cider (and US hard cider) are made with a blend of apples that have more sugar, more acidity, more tannin than regular eating apples. In short, the cider you like is very likely going to be made from the juice of apples with characteristics that you are not going to find in any commercially available pressed apple juice sold for drinking unfermented - organic or not - in the USA. Could be close... or more probably your apple juice is going to be as different to the apples that Stella Artois use as grapes you buy in the supermarket for eating are to the grapes used to make Malbec or Bordeaux.
You might want to measure the pH and MA (cider version of TA) of the Stella cider and compare it to yours. You may want to try to compare the tannic levels of your cider and the cider from Stella; and you may want to compare the alcohol content and residual sweetness of the two ciders...
None of which is to suggest that your cider is going to taste awful. It will taste just fine... It is just not likely to taste close to being a clone of the Stella...
 
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TexasDroughtBrewery

TexasDroughtBrewery

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Fair enough, I am home now I will get a hydrometer test again to make sure its completed and I think ill just use that chart and do a mid level carbonation and let it ride as it is... I bet it will be just fine. Thanks for all the advice I will def keep everyone posted. Also I am about to try it again i'll let you know my initial thoughts on the taste while flat.
 
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TexasDroughtBrewery

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Gravity is at 1.002 and it taste tart..I really like it. Hitting with priming sugar and bottling now.
 
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TexasDroughtBrewery

TexasDroughtBrewery

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OG 1.050 FG 1.002

Taste dry like I stated I put 2 ounces of priming sugar and boiled it in one cup of water to try and reach 2.0 on the carbonation level. I got 20 bottles out of the three gallons had some waste b/c I hit yeast at the bottom and it stirred up a bit.
 

bernardsmith

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OG 1.050 FG 1.002

Taste dry like I stated I put 2 ounces of priming sugar and boiled it in one cup of water to try and reach 2.0 on the carbonation level. I got 20 bottles out of the three gallons had some waste b/c I hit yeast at the bottom and it stirred up a bit.
So one solution to the problem of stirring up the yeast when bottling is to rack your next batch of cider to a bottling carboy, allow the cider to stand (airlocked) for a few days, weeks, or months and prime and bottle from the secondary. Generally speaking, I never bottle anything that has lees or sediment in it - and allowing the cider (or mead or wine) to stand in the "bottling" carboy for a day or more allows any lees that you did rack with the cider to drop out of suspension... But what you may also want to consider is using a bottling bucket (a bucket with a spigot). If you rack to such a bucket and add your priming sugar to that bucket then since the spigot is about 1 inch or so from the bottom you are not going to bottle any of the lees...
 
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TexasDroughtBrewery

TexasDroughtBrewery

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Now its the hard part...waiting at least a month to even try it then even longer to see how it ages. Not use to this part because I generally keg my beer and within 3 weeks I am drinking it.
 

ericbw

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Are you saying that you spent $60 on juice to make this? That's a lot of dough.

I have not had Stella Cidre, but my guess is that you will need some extra sweetness, unless you like really dry champagne. The advice here is correct about acid and sweetness. It's really hard to get sweet carbonated cider without using a keg.
 
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TexasDroughtBrewery

TexasDroughtBrewery

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Are you saying that you spent $60 on juice to make this? That's a lot of dough.

I have not had Stella Cidre, but my guess is that you will need some extra sweetness, unless you like really dry champagne. The advice here is correct about acid and sweetness. It's really hard to get sweet carbonated cider without using a keg.
I do have a keg but wanted to bottle this cider b/c I was going to pass a few out to some friends who really enjoy cider. I def think it has some dry champagne flavors now you say that.

Yes, I spent over 60 dollars making this cider which I thought was crazy also but I was already all in when I was at the store getting the juice b/c I had already purchased the yeast and honey. I am not sure I will be making many more ciders unless I can get the cost down significantly.


5 Gallons unfiltered Organic Apple Cider (from grocery store)
2 lbs local wildflower honey

1 tube White Labs #WLP775 Dry English Cider yeast
5 tsp Fermax yeast nutrient


Here is the recipe I used for all interested. But I scaled it to 3 gallons, and used a tad bit more honey than called for to hit my OG.

Is it possible to do this with apple juice that is more like 5 bucks a gallon rather than 10 dollars for half gallon? Does it taste just as good...?
 

Zoomzu

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Had my first go at cider on the 2-16. It's fermenting nicely. Since it's my first batch didn't want to spend much on it. I knew a local store had pure pressed juice, but didn't know if the added chemicals for preserving or if it was pasteurized. I got there and it was the last day of being on sale. $.99 a bottle, so I picked up 3 to make 1 1/2 gal. batch. and no chemicals added.



They also sell pure honey crisp juice, it was 3 times that amount.

just wanted to show there are less expensive options.
 
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