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Going to attempt hard cider for first time

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StophJS

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I'm hoping that someone can give me a quick run down of what I am going to want to do for some hard cider, since I am seeing different information everywhere and have some level of established trust with the people on this forum. Tomorrow I'm going to go pick up 5 gallons of UV pasteurized cider from a mill in Grand Rapids, MI. I have a 5 gallon better bottle which I plan on making about 4.5 gallons of hard cider in, or as much as I can get away with. What is going to be my process here to make some good hard cider?
 

benbradford

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Go with edworts apfelwein recipe, as it is a proven good strong version of hard apple cider. The differences with this recipe are the addition of sugar and the choice of yeast.
 

TimothyChurch

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Another point is will cider you can fill up the 5 gallon bottle because it tend to have very little head on top. That way you don't have to worry about a blow off or making a mess like you do with a lot of beers.
+1 for apfelwein I always keep a batch in my rotation
 
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StophJS

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I think I'm going to want to keep my cider above 1.08 or so because I don't want it to be quite that dry and still a little sweet. I want it to retain more of the apple flavor as well. Should I use a different yeast. Should I maybe leave some of the unfermented cider out and add it at the end to back sweeten?
 

AndrewTodd

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Another point is will cider you can fill up the 5 gallon bottle because it tend to have very little head on top. That way you don't have to worry about a blow off or making a mess like you do with a lot of beers.
+1 for apfelwein I always keep a batch in my rotation
+1

My 6 gallon carboy with 5 gallon of fresh cider and 4 pounds of corn sugar did need a blowoff tube for a day (within 6 hours of starting). I thought I had pleanty of head space. Just glad I kept an eye on it.

I would start you cider on a day that you can keep an eye on it and have what is needed to make a a proper blow off setup.

The pic gives you an idea of what I thought was enough head space.
 

Ruckbeat

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Four pounds of sugar in a five gallon batch is a ****-ton of sugar. I have gone two pounds of brown sugar in a similar setup and had no problem with headspace. And after three 24 oz bottles you would have trouble finding the bathroom in your own house! That stuff was quite potent!
 

JonM

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Here's my EdWort's apfelwein AFTER a hydrometer sample. (It's the one on the far right.) Seriously - it was up to the neck of the bottle. Never had even a minute of worry about blowoff.

IMG_0462[1].jpg
 

AndrewTodd

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Four pounds of sugar in a five gallon batch is a ****-ton of sugar. I have gone two pounds of brown sugar in a similar setup and had no problem with headspace. And after three 24 oz bottles you would have trouble finding the bathroom in your own house! That stuff was quite potent!
:drunk: It should end at about 10% ABV...If goes as planned and I rack it at 1.010 and crash it, even if I let it ferment all the way and the tolerance kills th yeast it should be no more than 11 or 12%. This is a trial batch.

Lets just say yeast holds and leaves 3% sugar before the alcohol % kills the yeast. Thats only 1.92 oz in 5 gallon, perhaps a bit more with the natural sugar in the cider. Certainly no more than what my ice tea is sugared to.:)
 

AndrewTodd

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Here's my EdWort's apfelwein AFTER a hydrometer sample. (It's the one on the far right.) Seriously - it was up to the neck of the bottle. Never had even a minute of worry about blowoff.
Did you begin with Apple juice or Cider? I think the thicker local cider may have some to do with a larger krausen. In my case it only lasted less than a day then I was back to a regular airlock.

BTW what is the darker brew going there?
 

JonM

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AndrewTodd said:
Did you begin with Apple juice or Cider? I think the thicker local cider may have some to do with a larger krausen. In my case it only lasted less than a day then I was back to a regular airlock.

BTW what is the darker brew going there?
I just used Tree Top apple juice per EdWort's recipe.

The darker one is a Left Hand Milk Stout clone. Can hardly wait for that one.
 

JonM

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Here's another trick: if you want to carbonate your cider, you can prime it with more apple juice. I'm planning to prime my batch with appx. 5 oz of juice per gallon of Apfelwein.
 

AndrewTodd

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Here's another trick: if you want to carbonate your cider, you can prime it with more apple juice. I'm planning to prime my batch with appx. 5 oz of juice per gallon of Apfelwein.
Given my target of 11% ABV and the Wyeast 4148 I don't know if I could get any carb during bottling. It would be nice but I don't know if its possible. An any event I would have to plastic bottle one and see. IF it hardens then pasteurize. I may just let it ferment all the way out, secondary with no head space and bulk age it for a year or more and then bottle.
 

Ruckbeat

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AndrewTodd said:
Given my target of 11% ABV and the Wyeast 4148 I don't know if I could get any carb during bottling. It would be nice but I don't know if its possible. An any event I would have to plastic bottle one and see. IF it hardens then pasteurize. I may just let it ferment all the way out, secondary with no head space and bulk age it for a year or more and then bottle.
I let a batch sit in primary for roughly a year and a half once and it turned out really great. I can't believe I managed to wait that long!
 

AndrewTodd

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I let a batch sit in primary for roughly a year and a half once and it turned out really great. I can't believe I managed to wait that long!
I know. I am dieing to try it but know it will likely taste crappy until it mellows. Fermentation is slowing now. looks like a week and I'll be racking secondary. I'll get a bit of a taste then.
 
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