First time brewing help

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

skyzo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
249
Reaction score
4
Location
MT
Hello, I'm new to the brewing community, and just bought a carboy, hydrometer, and an airlock. I tried to read up on as much as I could before asking, but I just had a few questions.
Here is what I was going to do, please tell me if I am doing something wrong

Sanitize carboy
Pour 5 gallons un-pasteurized apple juice into it.
Add some yeast nutrient
Add yeast
Put airlock in and let it sit for a week or so

Does that sound right?

I tested the OG after pouring the apple juice was only like 1.030, how can I get this higher?
Thanks
 

Tusch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
1,379
Reaction score
14
Location
Spring Valley
That seems kinda low for apple juice, it generally is in the 1.040 - 1.060 range. But if you are reading your hydrometer right, check that you are, then you can raise it with any kind of sugar. Juices, white sugar, corn sugar, honey etc.

Only thing I see wrong is the let it sit for a week or so. Try minimum a month. And if you can stand to age it for 6 months, you will be better off for it.
 
OP
skyzo

skyzo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
249
Reaction score
4
Location
MT
Alright thanks for the help. So I think I'll use honey, but at what step do I put it in and how much?
Thanks again guys
 

SeamusMac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
618
Reaction score
6
Location
NS, Canada
I'm leery of using un-pasteurized apple juice to make hard cider, I watched a gardenfork video on youtube (username: erochow) and the host didn't pasteurize his must and ended up with vinegar, or something very similar to it. However, I read an article earlier today on hard cider brewing in Ontario. The brewer said that the wild yeast in the juice created the best cider overall, as compared to a variety of commercial strains. So I guess it's just a roll of the dice. Look into campden tablets if you're interested in inhibiting those wild yeast beasties.

I found a chart online relating to honeys effect on specific gravity. It looks like 2 cups of honey would raise your SG by 0.01 up to 1.040 or thereabouts. I suppose the best way to add the honey would be to heat up some apple juice on the stove (don't boil it) and dissolve the honey into it, then pour it into the carboy with the rest of your apple juice and mix well.

Alcohol & Specific Gravity (SG)
 
OP
skyzo

skyzo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
249
Reaction score
4
Location
MT
Alright, thanks guys, hopefully Ill report back later and tell how it turned out
 

EoinMag

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,165
Reaction score
69
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Colleague who used to make Apfelwein in Frankfurt on his dads farm says they never added yeast, they just let it go naturally. Whenever I tell him of my endeavours he laughs and tells me my wine is "gepuncht" which basically means tinkered with or watered down.
Scrumpy in the UK would also be made from the natural yeasts on the skins of the apples and no yeast is added.
 

ScottM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
I've currently got a cider fermenting that was 3 gal of juice to 2 lbs of honey. My OG was 1.074. I'll agree with the other's that the reading on your juice sounds low, but maybe that's just the grade of juice. Mine was marketed as "Pastuerized Natural Style" no added sugar, but it was cloudy. I plan on letting the primary sit for at least 3 weeks, then probably another 3 in the secondary. So if you can stand it try to let it ride for at least 4 weeks.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
13
Reaction score
2
Location
Manchester, UK
I just started a batch off which had an OG of 1.032. Might be the cup of tea that I watered it down with, thinking about it. Is this going to be OK to after fermenting? Is there enough alcohol content to stop it going bad in the bottle after 3 months?
 

SeamusMac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
618
Reaction score
6
Location
NS, Canada
That is a really low OG man, assuming it ferments to around 0.999 you'll still only have an ABV of around 4.3%! I can't say for sure how long it would keep but you can always add dextrose (or any number of fermentables for that matter) to your carboy to up your ABV.
 
Top