Going for a strong one this time

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Nukesquad

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I've completed the Ed Worts Apfelwein, and am currently enjoying the successes of that. Also I am finishing up 2 1-gallon test batches, both being variations of the Ed Worts recipe. The first being the recipe with 1.5lb brown sugar instead of the dextrose. The second being the recipe with raspberries/blackberries/brown sugar. I'm excited to be testing these shortly.

However, my current cider project is attempting to make strong cider (~12-15%). My recipe was as follows:

3 gallons Apple Juice
2 cans Apple Juice Concentrate
2 lbs. Light Brown Sugar
~½ cup of plain table sugar
4 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
WLP775 English Cider Yeast

I didn't exactly measure the table sugar (which I regret...but oh well). It is all in a 5-gallon carboy. SG was 1.070. At the beginning, it did produce about an inch krauzen, but that has now died down. It has been in the primary for a little over 2 weeks, and the airlock is definitely slowed down. Currently what I have will get at best a little >9%abv, but I'm trying to bump it up a notch.

Here's my plan (and this is where I could use some help/advice):

Once it's been in the primary for 3 weeks, I'll rack it to secondary with another 2 cans of apple juice concentrate & 2 lbs. brown sugar to go through another fermentation cycle (maybe another 3 weeks...or however long it takes). But I'm curious that if I rack it with additional fermentable such as these, will I need to re-pitch? And if so, could I use the same (WLP775) or should I go with a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance (maybe the Super High Gravity Ale WLP099)?

Let me know your thoughts. I have another week before I attempt any of this, but I've been reformulation my ideas daily.
 

homebrewer_99

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I made one like this

5 gals AJ
2 lbs Honey
2 lbs Corn Sugar
2 lbs Dark Brown Sugar

Came out over 12%.

I took half of it and added Potassium Sorbate to stop further fermentation.
After a couple of days I added 1 gal AJ and 2 thawed out concentrates to the batch.

These ingredients took it down to 9% and was very tasty...;)

I split up the rest into mini-kegs.

In one keg I blended in 1 liter of Oakened Ale. This is aging for obvious reasons, but tasted good going ito the keg.

That's the good thing with making 5 gals of cider...you can split it up and "flavor" them any way you'd like. ;)
 

gratus fermentatio

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My recipe was as follows:
3 gallons Apple Juice
2 cans Apple Juice Concentrate
2 lbs. Light Brown Sugar
~½ cup of plain table sugar
4 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
WLP775 English Cider Yeast

I didn't exactly measure the table sugar (which I regret...but oh well). It is all in a 5-gallon carboy. SG was 1.070. At the beginning, it did produce about an inch krauzen, but that has now died down. It has been in the primary for a little over 2 weeks, and the airlock is definitely slowed down. Currently what I have will get at best a little >9%abv, but I'm trying to bump it up a notch.

Here's my plan (and this is where I could use some help/advice):

Once it's been in the primary for 3 weeks, I'll rack it to secondary with another 2 cans of apple juice concentrate & 2 lbs. brown sugar to go through another fermentation cycle (maybe another 3 weeks...or however long it takes). But I'm curious that if I rack it with additional fermentable such as these, will I need to re-pitch? And if so, could I use the same (WLP775) or should I go with a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance (maybe the Super High Gravity Ale WLP099)?

Let me know your thoughts. I have another week before I attempt any of this, but I've been reformulation my ideas daily.
No need to repitch, there is plenty of yeast in the must & they'll go to work on the new supply of sugars almost immediately. I've never used White Labs yeast, but the info I have on WL775 (English cider yeast) says it should give you 80% attenuation. IMHO 4lbs brown sugar in 5 gal of cider seems like a lot, it might overpower the apple flavour. Maybe you like the brown sugar flavour more than I do though, so go with what sounds good to you. Regards, GF.
 
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Nukesquad

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No need to repitch, there is plenty of yeast in the must & they'll go to work on the new supply of sugars almost immediately. I've never used White Labs yeast, but the info I have on WL775 (English cider yeast) says it should give you 80% attenuation. IMHO 4lbs brown sugar in 5 gal of cider seems like a lot, it might overpower the apple flavour. Maybe you like the brown sugar flavour more than I do though, so go with what sounds good to you. Regards, GF.
I asked the question regarding repitching to the owner of my LHBS, and he agreed with you gratus.

Updates on the progress:

Today marked 3 weeks in primary. SG was measured at 0.994 (~9.96%ABV). I racked it off to secondary, but decided to add the following:

64oz. Apple Cider
2 lbs. Dextrose
3 (12oz) cans Apple Juice Concentrate
4 oz. Raspberry Fruit Flavoring (directly in carboy)

SG after the additions measured 1.026. So I'll see if I can get it to ferment down some more. I'm just going to give the current yeast about 48-72 hours to do their thing, and if I don't see any activity (or change in SG), I may repitch.
 
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Nukesquad

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Updates on the homefront....after a couple of days after racking off to the secondary, there was still no yeast activity. I assume that the combination of the long primary (3 weeks) and that it fermented down to .994 forced a majority of the yeast to drop, thus limiting the yeast transferred during racking.

So I pitched a packet of EC-1118 in attempts to restart ferementation. We'll see how this fares.
 

Tusch

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You are sure that the concentrate and the fruit flavoring were preservative free, correct?
 
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Nukesquad

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Yeah, I had to do a double take to make sure that the concentrate was preservative-free, which it was. I bought the fruit flavoring from LHBS, and the owner ensured that it was presevative-free as well.
 
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Nukesquad

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Check it last night and this morning, and activity has started back up in the airlock. My plan is to wait another week until taking any SG readings, so I'm just trying to remain patient.
 
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