First larger batch

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area_man

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I've been doing one gallon experiments for a while to see what I like and what I don't. So far I've learned to use a very small amount of spice for just about anything or it gets really overpowering and unpleasant and winds up down the drain.

This time I tried a recipe that a friend of mine from work used. The last time I made it the stuff bubbled like CRAZY and is still bubbling along briskly three weeks later.

Ten gallon recipe

8 gallons apple cider
10 cans Tree Top that would make 64oz juice ea, but I just put in the concentrate
10 pounds honey
Two quarts cranberry juice. This is actual cranberry juice, not cranberry juice cocktail. Unpleasant to drink straight, but added to the cyser... we'll see.
Yeast nutrients and DME for a crisp, dry finish

I broke the recipe up between two 6 gallon primaries and still have to add some cider to finish off adding ingredients to the recipe. One of the primaries seemed like it might be stuck after the first day, so I just took one of my one-gallon versions of the recipe, swirled it around to pick up everything, and dumped it in the stuck one. Within an hour, it picked up a head of steam and away we went.

I'm going to let them go for another week or so, add some more yeast nutrient and DME, watch them go nuts, and when they start to die down I'll finish adding the cider so there's a 1/2 gallon headspace on each.

Nothing fancy really, just kind of a basic cyser with some cranberry juice. I expect to rack it to a second set of identical carboys and let them age in the garage until it starts to get warm (late June around here) and then rack into one gallon jugs one at a time.
 
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area_man

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Well due to the overwhelming response to this thread I felt obliged to reply to the many questions.

First, I siphoned a gallon off the top to "sample" a little of my creation. First impression is SOUR. I've had sour stuff before, but that was usually a component of it being yeasty/hoochy/pruno. This time I think it might be because of the cranberry juice.

I added yeast nutrient and DME weekly and the airlock was only bubbling about once or twice a day so I figured it's done fermenting if nothing else. I was expecting more sweetness with all the extra AJ concentrate, but I guess it all went where it's supposed to go, right into yeast urine.

There is no clarity to it whatsoever. I have one of those super-duper very tight beam Husky flashlights that anyone at candlepowerforums.com would know about, and the light penetrates maybe 1cm before it starts to go dark, and although the light penetrates to the bottom, it's maybe 10% of the starting brightness.

And there you have it.
 

biochemedic

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Check your gravity to see if you're really finished...if you're stable on the hydrometer over the course of a week or two, then it really is done fermenting, and you can start to consider when to rack it or bottle it.

Questions:
Why did you add DME along with the yeast nutrient? I've never heard of that specifically before.
Why are you planning on racking back to 1 gallon containers? Are you planning on then further spicing various different ways?

I would comment that you may want to look into your nutrient schedule...adding weekly may be a little longer than you need. I generally add nutrients at the start, then about 24 hrs after active fermentation starts, then again about 24-48 hrs later. If you want to get scientific about it, you can monitor your gravity drop and add at specific break points...there's plenty of stuff out there about how to manage staggered nutrient additions.

Regarding the acidity...if you find it continues to be excessively tart, you could consider stabilizing with sorbate and metabisulfate and slightly backsweeten to temper that...
Oh, and if you ever end up thinking your ferment is stuck on this one, consider checking the pH and trying to correct it to see if that will kick up fermentation again...
 
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area_man

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This time I'm upping the ante a little.

8 gallons of Tree Top apple juice in one-gallon jugs from my local Winco
10 cans of concentrate from the same supplier. Each can is 16oz, so the total volume of the concentrate is 160oz. One gallon plus a quart, so we're at 9 gallons and a quart.
18 pounds of honey... the price went up a bit, but whatever, so that's another 144oz, so a little more than a gallon, and we're at ten gallons and almost a half.
Two quarts of cranberry juice to make it 12 gallons in two six gallon fermentors. I suppose I could shave a little more in there, but that's close enough for gov't work so I'll take it.

Going back over it I'm going to shave a gallon off the apple juice and make it seven gallons of Tree Top and make sure to divide it evenly between the fermentors.

That will give me a little room for foam, and let's see how it goes. I have most of the ingredients, so I'll get started tomorrow.
 

delvorak

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Are you taking gravity readings? I'd be very interested to know what the OG was on your must.. sounds like it would be quite high.
 

huesmann

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18 lb of honey in 12 gallons? Even with all the apple juice, I don't think the SG would be all that high.
 

TheBrewingMedic

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SG of apple juice is about 1.04-1.05, 18lbs of honey in 12 gal of water is damn near the same at around 1.05, as for the concentrate 15 cans in 5 gallons of water gives you around 1.09....so just rough guestimations the OG of this recipe probably won't be astronomical....someone much better with numbers could probably actually do the math for much better guess at it than I could
 

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