Cider Suggestions?

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RansomBrewing

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So, my wife and I have started drinking a fair amount of apple cider. We've been making graf almost exclusively. But, now that fall is here and we live somewhat close to a orchard we decided to get a bunch of apple cider (~25 gallons) and let it ferment. We are currently trying to decide with what we are going to do with each batch (all fermented with S-04). We have five 5 gallon batches going. Here is what we are thinking...

-Plain (of course)
-Cherry (adding 2 quarts of cherry juice -- got that idea from someone else on HBT)
-Hopped (Dry hopped with citra hops -- we did this to a graff and it was pretty darn good)
-Spiced (Cinnamon sticks or some pumpkin pie spice)
-Pepper (we made a pepper beer and we had a pepper cider when we were in Asheville NC that was delicious)
-Peach
-Pineapple (inspired by Ace's)
-Bourbon barrel (bourbon soaked oak chips)

We have to pick 5 and are open to suggestions. Let's hear it.
 

DaMonkey

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I suggest a cyser or a plain batch sweetened with honey. Basically the same thing.
 

dmtaylor

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I'm very much a "plain" kind of a guy myself. However to mix things up a bit this year, I have decided to try two variants:

-Cyser (sugars to come 50/50 from juice and from various local honeys)

-Mulberry Cider (I picked up a couple of these:)



I might also suggest you try my favorite yeasts, US-05 and Cote des Blancs, which both turn out fantastic every time. I have not had quite as good success with S-04. The Wyeast 1728 Scottish also turned out well for me, a little sweeter and applesaucy.
 
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RansomBrewing

RansomBrewing

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I have not had quite as good success with S-04. The Wyeast 1728 Scottish also turned out well for me, a little sweeter and applesaucy.
Thanks for the suggestion on the honey and mulberry.

It is kind of too late on the S-04. I thought I read somewhere on here that it was a good yeast to use. Why was yours not so good?
 

dmtaylor

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Mine was very sulfury, more than other yeasts. I might not have given it a fair enough chance though. I usually do get sulfur from any yeast, but it typically goes away within a few weeks.
 

UndeadFred

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S-04 is a love it or hate it yeast. I think it smells like bubblegum while fermenting and has a bitter ester I don't like later.. So I am in the hate it camp. Probably more people love it than hate it though from the feedback I get.

I'm going to try a cider with a repitch of Belle Saison in the next couple of days.. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Typically I like my ciders strong and dry and have been using Lalvin D-47.. but I want an "Estery" (pleasant estery) ale yeast character in the next one...

Fred
 

dmtaylor

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Nottingham ale yeast makes a very pleasant cider with a peach flavor, and leaves just a touch of residual sweetness. I kind of like it.
 
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RansomBrewing

RansomBrewing

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Well thanks for all of the suggestions.

We settled it the only way we could think to do it. I picked two and she picked two.
I picked Cherry and bourbon barrel.
She picked hopped and pepper.

We started soaking some oak cubes in boubon last week and roasted the peppers this weekend.

Also, if there is anyone considering buying apple cider to buy and ferment, I would absolutely encourage it. We did our first graff out of season for apple cider and we have always kind of thought "eh well graf is good enough" but priliminary tasting says this is going to turn out well.
 
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RansomBrewing

RansomBrewing

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any updates?
Yes. All of the ciders have been bottled, and all ended up tasting pretty well. I would say that I would prefer using Nottingham yeast rather than S-04 for ciders.

We decided to do plain, cherry, pepper, hopped, and bourbon barrel ciders.

Plain was solid. Didn't add any extra sugar or anything. I want to do one of these all the time.

To me, the cherry one is the best one we made out of these. Somewhat tart but still has a good flavor. And, not that it really matters, but the color is incredible.

Pepper turned out more spicy than anticipated. I think it is getting better with age, but at first it was hot! I think we used 5 roasted jalapenos with the seeds from 3 of them... Don't quote me on that though. My notes are suspect.

The bourbon one doesn't have quite enough bourbon flavor in it (I used about 5 oz and was afraid to over do it). It isn't terrible though.

And the dry hopped one is also interesting. 1 oz of citra for 10 ish days.

Hopefully this is the type of update you are looking for.
 

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