Everyday Simplest Dry Cider

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phug

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Some people will say thet EC1118 is a beast of a yeast that will strip all the flavour out of any cider.

I've come back to this cider 4 times now, and there's always a good segment of my friends and neighbors who like it. The upside is that it is simple, cheap, and pretty darn hard to mess up.

For a 5 gallon batch, purchase 19 litres / 5 gallons of storebrand/whatever is cheapest filtered, pasteurized apple juice with vit c added. Avoid the low acid juices.

Pour vigorously into your primary fermenter, and pitch one sachet of Lalvin EC-1118 yeast. Allow to ferment for 4 weeks or until clear. For priming use 55ml per 3.75litres/gallon of storebrand frozen Apple Juice Concentrate, thawed and added to the bottling bucket before racking your cider to the bottling bucket. I cheat and use the entire can for 5 gallon batches, I believe the can of concentrate is 283 ml.

Bottle, allow to condition for 3-4 weeks. Chill and Enjoy.

This is the simplest cider in my recipe book, and it always has fans. Approx 6% ABV but will vary by your juice. Don't worry about the OG, don't bother to boost it, just start with your apple juice and let it ride.
 
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phug

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Approximately 1/5 of the packet. But not more than half of the packet I would assume. I have not done this with more than 1/5 so I can't speak to the results using significantly more yeast. Fortunately ec1118 is one of the cheapests yeasts for me to obtain as long as I go to a local wine supply store that does a large volume of sales.


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jakis

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I see a lot of recipes for cider that recommend adding sugar. No need to do that with this recipe?

Jake
 

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The more sugar you add, the more alcohol you create. The more alcohol you create, the more the apple taste disappears.

Thus, if you want really tasty cider then 6% ABV is fine. If you want to get drunk off your ass but still taste the apple, then add 750 grams of sugar to this recipe. Any more sugar than that and say bye-bye to the apple taste.
 
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phug

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I see a lot of recipes for cider that recommend adding sugar. No need to do that with this recipe?

Jake


No need to add any sugar. The abv will vary but that's okay. This is about as simple as cider gets without just leaving fresh presses cider out until it ferments. It's fruity but dry and I like it.


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thCapn

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I jus buy a four gallon case of cheap apple juice at Cash & Carry and dump it onto the yeast cake of whatever batch of beer I just racked. Three weeks later, wham, cider. Clarify and bottle or keg as you might a beer. It's always good, friends like it, it's cheap and it's almost always 5.5 ABV%.


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phug

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Not needed, you're fermenting dry and only adding priming sugar. The key to this recipe is simple.


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thCapn

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Jakis, I just do what I do when packaging beer. These days I keg and carbonate to serve on tap.

I kegged a batch of cider last night. This batch was fermented on the leftover yeast from my Oktoberfest ale, which I made with Wyeast 1318 London Ale 3 yeast. (Yes, 'Fest beer should be a lager but I didn't have time--The big party is this weekend.) I poured four gallons of cheap, pasteurized, grocery store apple juice onto the yeast 1318 yeast cake, shook it all up, put an airlock on and set it in the corner. My basement has been about 68 degrees lately, so temp control was not needed. Time was short (pending 'Fest party), so I clarified with gelatin and cold crashed next to my Oktoberfest beer in the fermentation chamber, which is an old freezer with a Johnson controller. I kegged both the beer and the cider last night and started the quick-carb process.

The cider is clear and sweet. The sweetness is due to both the short fermentation time (just 1 week) and the yeast (read it on the Wyeast site and you'll see what I mean). ABV is 5.5% and it's going to be a crowd pleaser this weekend.


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I like your simple recipe. I started my cider tonight before I read this.
To 5 gal of cider I also used a pound of corn sugar. SG 1.056
Used Dry Wine Yeast - Montrachet from MB for $0.75
Seems like after full fermentation fg of 1.000 that all the sugars are spent anyway. I like the idea of priming with apple concentrate so I will steal that part of your recipe. Thanks
 
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phug

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Steal away , I'm glad you like it


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graycobra

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I am going to make two batches of this tomorrow. One with mulling spices and one exactly by recipe. Good KISS recipe.
 

madwilliamflint

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The more sugar you add, the more alcohol you create. The more alcohol you create, the more the apple taste disappears.

This is the first time I've heard this said explicitly like this. I've been walking around my house yelling "DUH, of COURSE that's true!" for the last few minutes. I've been cranking up ABV and complaining about lack of character for months without realizing they were directly related.

Thanks o7
 

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This is the first time I've heard this said explicitly like this. I've been walking around my house yelling "DUH, of COURSE that's true!" for the last few minutes. I've been cranking up ABV and complaining about lack of character for months without realizing they were directly related.

Thanks o7

Simple displacement theory.
 

tykenfitz

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I jus buy a four gallon case of cheap apple juice at Cash & Carry and dump it onto the yeast cake of whatever batch of beer I just racked. Three weeks later, wham, cider. Clarify and bottle or keg as you might a beer. It's always good, friends like it, it's cheap and it's almost always 5.5 ABV%.

I'm brewing a 2gal Mr. Beer kit right now, do you think adding 2 gals of apple juice to the yeast cake after I bottle that would work?

Thanks,
-Fitz
 

thCapn

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I'm brewing a 2gal Mr. Beer kit right now, do you think adding 2 gals of apple juice to the yeast cake after I bottle that would work?

Thanks,
-Fitz


Based on my experience, yes. Dump the juice in, shake it up, airlock, and let it ferment. It's low risk, so why not give it a try?


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th Cap'n in Portland, Oregon
 

tykenfitz

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Thanks Cap'n I'll give it a shot as soon as I bottle this batch! Gotta have some cider for my friends who hate beer/gluten haha
 

thCapn

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You bet'cha. If you have a means of clarifying then I definitely recommend it. The yeast tends to hang in suspension quite a bit. If you plan on bottle conditioning then I'd let it condition/carbonate for a week and then refrigerate for 3 or more before drinking. But if time (or thirst!) doesn't allow the drink as you're ready. It'll still taste good, just maybe a little more yeasty than if it sat longer.


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th Cap'n in Portland, Oregon
 
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phug

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Thanks Cap'n I'll give it a shot as soon as I bottle this batch! Gotta have some cider for my friends who hate beer/gluten haha


Don't do that for a gluten intolerant friend/ celiac friend. Start with fresh yeast marked gluten free for them. Under any other circumstances, go for it.


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tykenfitz

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Don't do that for a gluten intolerant friend/ celiac friend. Start with fresh yeast marked gluten free for them. Under any other circumstances, go for it.

Yeah I was thinking about that, I've got another 2 gal mr beer keg somewhere so I can make a clear batch for make for my celiac friend. Labling is going to be very important

Cheers for the heads up! :mug:
 

Paps

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The more sugar you add, the more alcohol you create. The more alcohol you create, the more the apple taste disappears.

Thus, if you want really tasty cider then 6% ABV is fine. If you want to get drunk off your ass but still taste the apple, then add 750 grams of sugar to this recipe. Any more sugar than that and say bye-bye to the apple taste.

I completely disagree with the above statement.
If your high ABV cider has the apple flavor overwhelmed by a rocket fuely taste you have not conditioned it properly.
 

podz

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I completely disagree with the above statement.
If your high ABV cider has the apple flavor overwhelmed by a rocket fuely taste you have not conditioned it properly.

Please define conditioning it properly. Adding 750g of sugar will only yield about 7.7% ABV.
 

Paps

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Age it longer.
I make ciders using this same yeast strain as the OP which have plenty of apple flavor while having ABV`s in the high teens.
IMHO one should treat ciders more like a RIS instead of an IIPA.
Hope this clarifies things.
 

jakis

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How much concentrate for about a gallon batch? It might be a bit less once bottled so should I use less then I gallon would call for?
 
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phug

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Let me check my notes, but if I recall I use 55 ml of ajc when priming a 1 gallon batch


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tykenfitz

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Just pitched the champagne yeast on a 4.5 gal batch, I'll let y'all know how it goes!

Thanks for the simple recipe :mug:
 

tykenfitz

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As far as the conditioning goes, do you condition in bottles at room temperature or in the fridge? I definitely don't have enough fridge space for that many bottles, I could fit maybe 12 haha
 
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phug

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Conditioning at or about 65-70 or so, nothing special


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kgressler

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Not needed, you're fermenting dry and only adding priming sugar. The key to this recipe is simple.


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Im confused by this. If you don't pasteurize wont the bottle blow? Once you add the can of concentrate doesnt this feed the yeast again?

Sorry for the noob question just keep getting conflicting info reading this site.
Either that or Im not very bright...Which is more then likely the reason for my confusion.
 

z-bob

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Im confused by this. If you don't pasteurize wont the bottle blow? Once you add the can of concentrate doesnt this feed the yeast again?

What I did recently when I used apple juice for priming (don't know how much sugar that was): In addition to my assorted glass bottles I filled one 1L plastic pop bottle. Let them carb at room temperature, and I squeezed the plastic bottle every day to get an idea how much pressure was building. When the plastic bottle was hard (took about 2 weeks) I put them all in the fridge to cold-crash the yeast and to reduce the pressure.

Or you can ferment the juice dry and then prime with a measured amount of sugar (just like priming beer) and not worry about it. :)
 
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phug

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What I did recently when I used apple juice for priming (don't know how much sugar that was): In addition to my assorted glass bottles I filled one 1L plastic pop bottle. Let them carb at room temperature, and I squeezed the plastic bottle every day to get an idea how much pressure was building. When the plastic bottle was hard (took about 2 weeks) I put them all in the fridge to cold-crash the yeast and to reduce the pressure.

Or you can ferment the juice dry and then prime with a measured amount of sugar (just like priming beer) and not worry about it. :)

With this recipe, being five gallons, using one can of apple juice concentrate, we are effectively adding a calculated amount of sugars for priming.

As long as you are fermenting until dry (when your specific gravity no longer changes ) then the amount of sugar we are adding with the can of concentrate is equal to 107grams, if you only calculate from the sugars on the nutritional info, or possibly as much as 125 grams if you use the total carbohydrates value.

The can in question is a 283ml can, with 4.49 63ml servings, each containing between 24 and 28 grams of sugar. 107-125 grams is equal to 3.77-4.40 oz of sugars. Your can of ajc concentrate may vary.

If you check a priming calculator, that gives you between ~2.5 and ~2.7 volumes of carb. Which is a safe amount of carbonation for standard beer bottles, plastic bottles, champagne bottles, swing tops, belgian bottles.

So once your yeast have finished eating all of the sugars from the priming sugar, then there won't be any other edible sugars for them, as they will have eaten all the other sugars prior to your adding the apple juice concentrate.

In effect, we are adding a measured amount of priming sugars, just like beer. No monitoring required, no pasteurization required.

I hope this clears up any questions.

For reference. 12 oz beer bottles are rated to 3 vols. in order to get to 3 vols in a 5 gallon batch with a temp of 60F you would need to add 140g of Sucrose (Table Sugar) or 154g of dextrose. For the record Sucrose is the densest sugar for priming listed on the notherbrewer priming calculator.

So again, as long as you ferment all the way dry, and have a AJC that is not more than 31 grams of sugar per 63 ml serving, in a 283 ml container, you will not exceed 3 vols of carbonation. In other words, just ensure that the total grams of sugar in the can does not exceed 140 grams. grams/serving multiplied by the number of servings in the can. According to the USDA at least .5 grams per serving are dietary fiber.

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kgressler

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phug,

While I am completely confused by the scientific jargon you just typed out. :(
I do appreciate the through reply. When I run by the store tonight I will look at the labels and make sure the sugar for the whole an is under 140g.

And I will google the term priming calculator as well.

Thanks phug.
 
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phug

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Don't worry, you understood the most important part of it.

Here's the priming calculator that I use. http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

It lets you know how much sugar to add to get your desired quantity of bubbles. standard 12 oz beer bottles shouldn't exceed 3 volumes before they risk breaking.

More sugar, more volumes. more volumes, more bubbles.

Bud Light, for reference is about 2.6 volumes of CO2
 

kgressler

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Thank you so much. I am going to try and get this started tonight. I have to get my apple juice brine ready for my turkeys for Thursday so I can kill two birds with one stone.
 

graycobra

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I've started cracking mine open and they're enjoyable. I followed the recipe to the T except I used pectin enzyme because my cheap juice was musselmans.
 
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phug

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Thanks for providing feedback


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