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LloydRenee

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I am a fairly new brewer but I have caught the "What can I make now!" bug. I was looking into ciders and lemonades for my wife and her freinds and it seems cider similar to Woodchucks, Ace or whatever brand woudl be the way to go. In looking through these forums I cant seem to find what temeprature you are supposed to ferment it at?

My plan is this

6.5 Bucket and 5 Plastic Carboy (i.e. # 2 Water Jug) I know plastics bad but its a 1/2 time use only
5 Gals Apple Cider (Treetop or Motts)
1 packet Moncharet(SP) Yeast
3lb Brown Sugar

Warm a gallon and stir in sugar
Then add to other 4 gallons in Ale Pale
Wait till about 80 degrees
Pitch yeast
Close seal and airlock

After two weeks
Syphon to Carboy (Removing Sediment)
Seal and airlock
Let sit for 3 to 4 weeks

Then rack to Bottling Bucket (Do I use Priming sugar?)
Then botlle and let sit a minimum of two weeks
Refrigerate and enjoy?

THis is my first go around so I wnat to keep it as simple as posisble so taht I can build on it and change as I go. I just wanted to se eif this was a good base model for a beginer and at what temperature this should be done.

As always thanks in advance for your help!
 

oldmate

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Between 60 and 70 F would be fine. Yes, you need priming sugar if you would like it sparkling. I think you might be in for a longer ferment than 2 weeks, try double that at least. I would then leave it for a few months (around 2 - 3) or if you prefer, rack off the lees and THEN leave for the same amount of time. The longer you leave it, the better it will taste especially when using extra sugar to boost the ABV, it will need a longer time to mellow out. Other than that, it looks fine. By all means you can drink it younger, it might just be a bit 'harsh' which puts a few people off home-made cider.
 
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LloydRenee

LloydRenee

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Gotcha olmate, TY for the advice. I will be sure to prime. I was trying to make use of a fermenting bucket while I waited for my other beer batches to be done. That leads me to wonder what kind of head space does a cider need? I have a few of the #2 water jugs and if headspace is not a concern I could just do my primary fermentation in there for one month and then rack to another one. What are your thoughts on that?
 

oldmate

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Depends on what you are adding to the cider. Normal store bought juice does not usually run a head, on my fresh juice ciders I get a few mm of bubbling at the VERY most. You should be fine with using them. If you plan on aging it, then a very minimum of headspace is needed after primary fermentation.
 
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LloydRenee

LloydRenee

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Well after one week it seems to be going strong and just fine. Bubbling in the carboy with very little head. Its kind of fun to watch. Its like a fresh poured guinness!

I do have one more question though. When carbonating it with priming sugar I treat it the same as my brews correct? Prime it from a bottling bucket with the standard 1lb or priming sugar? I dont want to deal with bottle bombs so do I need to reduce it at all or fill the standard 12 oz bottle with less?

I plan to just leave it in its primary for 2 months, bottle two gallons of it while racking the rest into three seperate Gallong Jugs. Can I add anything to the gallon jugs at that time to mix a bit of the flavoring? If so any suggestions?
 

RobWalker

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Yeah you can flavor it. You can start a secondary fermentation using another fruit, or you can also steep ingredients in. Try this one - it'll have plenty of time ready to age for winter, and it tastes great. You can warm it up too, for those particularly dreary nights...

1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 piece root ginger
1/2 nutmeg, grated thickly

Put them in a small muslin pouch, tie it up, and attach it to string/fishing line and hang it in your brew. Let it sit for a while and after about a week, it'll pick up plenty of the flavours. Keep checking regularly until you're happy with the flavor, then take the bag out and let it age. :)
 

oldmate

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If you ferment it dry, treat it exactly the same as you would beer in terms of priming.
 

JuanMoore

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I do have one more question though. When carbonating it with priming sugar I treat it the same as my brews correct? Prime it from a bottling bucket with the standard 1lb or priming sugar? I dont want to deal with bottle bombs so do I need to reduce it at all or fill the standard 12 oz bottle with less?
Prime with the same amount you would for a beer? Yes. Prime with 1lb of sugar? NO! A 5 gal batch usually requires 3-5oz of priming sugar for proper carbonation. A pound of priming sugar is a recipe for bottle bombs.

Can I add anything to the gallon jugs at that time to mix a bit of the flavoring? If so any suggestions?
Sure you can add stuff, just don't add any fermentables since that would re-start fermentation. If you're going for something close to woodchuck or ace (sweet ciders), you might consider using an ale yeast next time. What you brewed will likely be a pretty dry cider. Even using ale yeasts in recipes similar to yours they've ended up quite a bit drier than woodchuck or ace. You won't get that sweet without stopping fermentation early or back sweetening.
 

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