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Flavoring Questions for Cider

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NateBodnar

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Hi all!

I currently have my first 3, 1 gallon batches in secondary. Looking to flavor at least once of these gallons as a cranberry cider. After doing some light reading on older flavoring posts I had some questions about the different methods on adding flavoring to ciders. Trying to compile the advantages and disadvantages of different methods and want to grab the opinions of those who are more experienced.

1. Can straight fruit juice of desired flavor (no preservatives) be added to secondary? Will this result in said fruit flavor or would all the flavor disappear with the sugar due to secondary fermentation?

2. Has anyone had success with flavoring using extracts/natural flavorings (the little 4 oz bottles commonly found at the local brew store) right before bottling? If I go with this method how long should I age in bottles to ensure a decent flavor or is this an immediate flavor?

3. If full fruit what is the best type to use? Dried, frozen, or straight raw fruit? At what point do you add the fruit and how long do you keep the fruit in secondary? Is there a easy way or some reference table based on fruit type to convert lbs of whole fruit to an S.G. increase?

Thanks for the help, its much appreciated!

-Nate
 

RPh_Guy

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Hi Nate
1. Can straight fruit juice of desired flavor (no preservatives) be added to secondary?
Absolutely! Freeze & crush/puree for faster results. There will be a noticeable increase in tartness from high acid fruits like cranberry.
2. Has anyone had success with flavoring using extracts/natural flavorings (the little 4 oz bottles commonly found at the local brew store) right before bottling? If I go with this method how long should I age in bottles to ensure a decent flavor or is this an immediate flavor?
Absolutely! The flavor is immediate, and you can add as much as you want based on taste.

It's super easy. Bulk prime in bottling bucket. Bottle as much regular cider as you want, and then add flavoring to however much is left in the bottling bucket and then continue bottling.

I run a tasting trial in advance to determine how much flavoring I want.
3. If full fruit what is the best type to use? Dried, frozen, or straight raw fruit? At what point do you add the fruit and how long do you keep the fruit in secondary? Is there a easy way or some reference table based on fruit type to convert lbs of whole fruit to an S.G. increase?
Freezing is beneficial to release the juice, as is mashing. Dried fruit may have oil or other additives, so watch out for that.

The s.g. of fruit juice is widely variable. I'd recommend simply ignoring the fruit addition when estimating your ABV.
If you insist, you can measure the s.g. of your fruit addition and then do a weighted average with your cider. Though of course some of the fruit weight is solids so without first pressing the fruit and only using juice you'll really not have a super accurate way to calculate ABV.

Add fruit/juice after primary fermentation is complete (rack onto it). If using whole fruit, punch down frequently to avoid mold. Allow it to reach a stable gravity and then package.

Consider using sulfite to sanitize whole fruit additions.

Hope this helps
Adam
 
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bmd2k1

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I use 100% fruit juice concentrates from Brownwood Acres.....tart cherry, cranberry....and FGJC & FPJC Kroger & Old Orchard brands...

All after cold crashing primary & racking back into 1gal containers.

Hi all!

I currently have my first 3, 1 gallon batches in secondary. Looking to flavor at least once of these gallons as a cranberry cider. After doing some light reading on older flavoring posts I had some questions about the different methods on adding flavoring to ciders. Trying to compile the advantages and disadvantages of different methods and want to grab the opinions of those who are more experienced.

1. Can straight fruit juice of desired flavor (no preservatives) be added to secondary? Will this result in said fruit flavor or would all the flavor disappear with the sugar due to secondary fermentation?

2. Has anyone had success with flavoring using extracts/natural flavorings (the little 4 oz bottles commonly found at the local brew store) right before bottling? If I go with this method how long should I age in bottles to ensure a decent flavor or is this an immediate flavor?

3. If full fruit what is the best type to use? Dried, frozen, or straight raw fruit? At what point do you add the fruit and how long do you keep the fruit in secondary? Is there a easy way or some reference table based on fruit type to convert lbs of whole fruit to an S.G. increase?

Thanks for the help, its much appreciated!

-Nate
I use 100% fruit juice concentrates from Brownwood Acres.....tart cherry, cranberry & wild blueberry....and also FGJC & FPJC Kroger & Old Orchard brands...

All after cold crashing primary & racking back into 1gal containers.

S04Batch5gal.jpeg
 
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NateBodnar

NateBodnar

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Hi Nate

Absolutely! Freeze & crush/puree for faster results. There will be a noticeable increase in tartness from high acid fruits like cranberry.

Absolutely! The flavor is immediate, and you can add as much as you want based on taste.

It's super easy. Bulk prime in bottling bucket. Bottle as much regular cider as you want, and then add flavoring to however much is left in the bottling bucket and then continue bottling.

I run a tasting trial in advance to determine how much flavoring I want.

Freezing is beneficial to release the juice, as is mashing. Dried fruit may have oil or other additives, so watch out for that.

The s.g. of fruit juice is widely variable. I'd recommend simply ignoring the fruit addition when estimating your ABV.
If you insist, you can measure the s.g. of your fruit addition and then do a weighted average with your cider. Though of course some of the fruit weight is solids so without first pressing the fruit and only using juice you'll really not have a super accurate way to calculate ABV.

Add fruit/juice after primary fermentation is complete (rack onto it). If using whole fruit, punch down frequently to avoid mold. Allow it to reach a stable gravity and then package.

Consider using sulfite to sanitize whole fruit additions.

Hope this helps
Adam
Thanks Adam, some really good information here!

I use 100% fruit juice concentrates from Brownwood Acres.....tart cherry, cranberry....and FGJC & FPJC Kroger & Old Orchard brands...

All after cold crashing primary & racking back into 1gal containers.

I use 100% fruit juice concentrates from Brownwood Acres.....tart cherry, cranberry & wild blueberry....and also FGJC & FPJC Kroger & Old Orchard brands...

All after cold crashing primary & racking back into 1gal containers.

View attachment 580719

Question: If you cold crash the primary, do you leave your fruit juice concentrated cider in the fridge? What stops the remaining dormant yeast from eating the sugar from the concentrate, assuming this is not the desired outcome?

Fruit Concentrate to gallons of cider ratio?
 

RPh_Guy

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There are many ways to make sweet cider, ranging in complexity.
One of the easiest is to cold crash, rack, and keep refrigerated. The cold temperature drastically reduces or stops activity of most commercial yeasts.
 

kegtoe

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You can treat your cider like a wine to stop yeast activity with potassium/sodium metabisulfate and sorbate, then add fruit/juice. Those extract bottles have some pretty bad flavors with them I'd stick with juices, concentrates, and real fruit extracts.
 

bmd2k1

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Thanks Adam, some really good information here!




Question: If you cold crash the primary, do you leave your fruit juice concentrated cider in the fridge? What stops the remaining dormant yeast from eating the sugar from the concentrate, assuming this is not the desired outcome?

Fruit Concentrate to gallons of cider ratio?
Once I cold crash my primary...I then rack back into the 1gal containers & add the Brownwood Acres fruit concentrates - typically 1/2 to 1 ounce/gal...depending on what I'm doing....and the 1gal containers get tossed back into the fridge. When I use FGJC or FPJC I do 1/2cup per 1gal. I tend to get Very little additional fermentation, if any, whilst sitting in the fridge -- depends on which yeast was used. My ciders tend to have a nice light carbonation beginning to end.

Cheers & Good Luck [emoji111]
 
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