Graham's English Cider

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jamesjensen1068

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BC5000, I added my nutrient in without mixing...just forgot? My fermentation with WLP775 has been going gangbusters. I wouldn't worry about just dumping it in. Within a few days it had the sulfur smell, which it's supposed to and just checked it today and the apple smell is returning. RDWHAHB.
 

jamesjensen1068

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After 2 weeks my gravity has gone from 1.056 to 1.002 using WLP775. Do I need to leave this in primary for another 2 weeks or am I good to go as far as transfering over to secondary??? Sample tasted very good, noted lime taste which I'm sure will decrease. It's already very clear.

Cheers
 

Gremlyn

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Sounds like it's ready. Even if it does drop a few more points, it won't be an issue in a secondary even with little head space.
 

jamesjensen1068

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I'll need to top off with apple juice too....how much headspace is ok? I plan on putting 5 gallons of Whole Foods Organic Apple juice on the yeast cake to start another batch. Now the hard part of waiting months. Grrrrrrrr!
 

Gremlyn

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What secondary vessel are you putting it in to? I put mine in a 5gal carboy and didn't need to top off.
 

jamesjensen1068

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I had never used WLP775 so I left about a gallon out of my 5 gallon carboy in case there was any krausen or blowoff. I quickly learned it was not needed. I went ahead and added some of the yeast to extra gallon in a glass one gallon jug. I'll just add the gallon jug of fermented cider to the carboy to top off.

Cheers
 

Gremlyn

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You are going to transfer to a new carboy though, right? Got to harvest the 775 and start a new batch afterall :)
 

jamesjensen1068

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Yep, transferring to new carboy. Then my plan is to dump 5 gallons of Whole Foods Organic Cider on top of the yeast cake. My local HB shop charges $11 a vial for the WLP775 so I need to get a few batches out of it to make up for the cost.

Cheers
 

Gremlyn

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I would collect, wash, harvest, and reuse a portion of the yeast only. You want to keep the yeast generations as low as possible. Resusing the same cake over and over again will lead to off flavours as the yeast get old and start to die off. It's better to use part of the cake and let them regrow into new yeasties, but if you save the majority of the yeast cake from the first batch and split it into 2-3 portions you can use one per batch of new cider. General rule of thumb is to not go past 5 generations with a culture, and definitely don't reuse the same cake multiple times (I wouldn't reuse a whole cake even once).
 

jamesjensen1068

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Sorry Gremlyn1, I went ahead and used the whole yeast cake for my second cider batch. Don't plan on washing or reusing after this batch. Fermenation really took off with krausen compaired to 1st batch....had to attach a blowoff tube. Will see how it turns out???
 

soccernut

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Just Tapped mine. Its great! I think It would make a great lager snakebite due to the tartness of the cider, Oh and It tastes better out of a Man U pint glass...I kid, I kid.
 
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Thanks for the great recipe. I let it age 9 months and it was amazing, lots of compliments. I only have one issue with this recipe... it runs out to quick! I started a second batch with Nottingham and Trader Joe's Organic apple cider. I reduced the amount of tea to 2 bags since it seemed like the cider was naturally tart. I will post the results in a couple of months.
 

jamesjensen1068

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I did a batch of this in October and I have it in secondary. It is crystal clear and I'm thinking of bottling next month. My only concern is that it looks like there is no yeast on the bottom of my carboy. I see a few specks on the bottom but that is it. I need some RDWHAHB therapy please.

Cheers
 
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Freezeblade

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I did a batch of this in October and I have it in secondary. It is crystal clear and I'm thinking of bottling next month. My only concern is that it looks like there is no yeast on the bottom of my carboy. I see a few specks on the bottom but that is it. I need some RDWHAHB therapy please.

Cheers
It'll totally be fine, if you're really worried about it, then pitch about a half pack of fresh yeast into the bottling bucket per 5 gallons at bottling time along with the priming sugar. I've bottled when there appears to be no yeast, and they take a little longer, (like, sometimes 2 months) but have always worked out fine.
 

JRDroid

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I think i am going to start a batch of this either in 3 weeks or in february to give as christmas gifts to everyone but my alcohol hating in-laws next year.
 

martn55

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Literally just got home from buying the stuff. Want some advice. Im going to be making a 5 gal batch. i m looking for advice and comments on the recipe, and the whole process in general.

5 gal apple juice
2.5 lbs of clover honey
1 lb brown sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
2 ozs whole cloves
(was thinking about adding some chamomile whole tea)
1 vial liquid english cider yeast(was going to use nottingham yeast though)

now i guess i am looking for fermenting time and length, advice on sweetness and dryness, advice on carbonating, and anyhting else i can get. I wont be starting this until sunday, and i check this site everyday. so any help i can get would be great.
 

EoinMag

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Literally just got home from buying the stuff. Want some advice. Im going to be making a 5 gal batch. i m looking for advice and comments on the recipe, and the whole process in general.

5 gal apple juice
2.5 lbs of clover honey
1 lb brown sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
2 ozs whole cloves
(was thinking about adding some chamomile whole tea)
1 vial liquid english cider yeast(was going to use nottingham yeast though)

now i guess i am looking for fermenting time and length, advice on sweetness and dryness, advice on carbonating, and anyhting else i can get. I wont be starting this until sunday, and i check this site everyday. so any help i can get would be great.
In my opinion that's too much spice, the cloves will overpower it to hell, 2 oz will make it undrinkable, IF you're considering cloves then you should be considering 3-4 whole cloves not 2oz, they're very powerful little buggers. The Cinnamon would also be too much possibly, I'd cut that back to one stick at most. Thing is that you're really on the wrong thread with that spiced cider recipe as it has nothing to do with the original recipe posted apart from the apple juice....
I've made very similar ciders to what you are proposing before, but I'd not use spices myself and I'd also add some teabags as in the original recipe here for tannins, otherwise the body will not be there.
 
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Freezeblade

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I can really only vouch for the recipe as written, which is without the brown sugar, honey or spices.

I really think that IF you were going to do spices, which I don't recomend, that'd be far too much cloves. A much better method for adding spice (IMHO) is to mull the cider when you serve it. As for the camomile, seems strange, the point of adding the black tea is for the tannins to add body.

I've gotten a spicy or herbyness to the cider before, but they were all yeast-driven esters from doing the recipe with a belgian yeast. WLP530 in paticular was very interesting in this respect, if that's what you're going for.

Any time that you add more fermentables (honey, brown sugar) the end result will be drier, not sweeter, and will take way longer to age out in the long run. Again, I really suggest doing as the recipe is written, as that is what gives me the best results, but you are certainly more then welcome to do whatever you want with it. It's your cider afterall.
 

whitebirdfeathers

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My batch has been fermenting for a month now and it at the correct final gravity. I will be aging it in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy. How much headspace do I want? I understand that I will have to top this up with more apple juice but am just wondering how much.

cheers!
 

bpm2000

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Just started one, followed to the T. Now to wait til summer...

edit: actually approximated loose black tea for what might be four bags... and one large lime instead of key limes. Not to the T after all lol.
 

Gremlyn

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I finally kegged that batch I started last May... pre-carbonation sampling is very good :)
 

pandelion

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I've had a batch in primary for over a month now. It's crystal clear and I was thinking about just leaving it in the primary to age. I know there are a lot of differing opinions in this forum about transferring to secondary vs. just leaving in primary...

Question: is the function of topping off with more juice in the secondary simply to fill headspace? Or is there some other function of adding the aj in secondary? Would I be missing out on some fantastic feature of this cider if I were to simply leave it in the primary and not add anything?

Also, I'm using a food-grade plastic bucket. There also seems to be some differing opinions here about whether or not it's ok to age in these buckets.

What do you guys think? Thanks.
 
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Freezeblade

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Question: is the function of topping off with more juice in the secondary simply to fill headspace?.
A: It's just to fill headspace.

As for keeping it in primary for bulk aging, I wouldn't keep it in primary for more than 3 months, even 2 is pushing it. You get some strange flavors if you let it sit on the yeast for that long.
 

Gremlyn

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A: It's just to fill headspace.

As for keeping it in primary for bulk aging, I wouldn't keep it in primary for more than 3 months, even 2 is pushing it. You get some strange flavors if you let it sit on the yeast for that long.
Hey *******! You don't live in San Diego anymore.

And my cider is ****ing tits!
 

findlaym

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Brewed up a batch of this a couple of weeks ago and the gravity is stuck at 1.010. I don't have an OG reading either. I used the apple juice I could get from wallmart here in Canada and it did not have preservatives. Used Danstar nottingham yeast, a yeast nutrient and fermented for about 5 weeks at 65F.

Anyone else end up stuck at 1.010?

It tastes pretty good. dry and tart. there's also a bit of an acidic taste, almost a subtle vinegar flavor. I added a little extra lime juice because SWIMBO hates anything sweet. Will back sweetening help out the acidic flavors?
 

Gremlyn

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Vinegar tastes are not good. Maybe try adding some campden tablets and killing off anything that might be currently active, then backsweeted and see how it tastes. If you don't like it then, you can try adding more yeast and seeing if fermentation will get going again?
 

findlaym

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it's certainly not a strong vinegar taste like from cider vinegar. just sort of a mild tang. I tossed in some more yeast nutrient and there was in instant effect. quite something to see I must say.

I don't want to use campden if I don't have to because I will be bottle conditioning but I see where you're going with the idea.
 

bkwing

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Did a batch of this about 2 weeks ago, really fantastic recipe.

I stopped mine at 1.010, since I wanted semi-sweet and was done with the ferment in about 7 days. It was excellent straight out of the fermenter, but I filtered, kegged, and am already enjoying this one.
 

timmer76

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I made this receipe per instructions w/ S-04 yeast. 1 month in primary, 2 in secondary. Bottled w/ 4oz sugar (roughly 3/4 cup) 4 weeks ago. The cider is already tasty, but has very little carbonation. Opened 1 bottle after 2 weeks and one after 4 weeks and both had the same amount of carbonation. anybody else have this problem? Am I SOL on this batch or should I hope for more?
Thanks
Tim
 

bpm2000

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Just moved mine to secondary - there was just some lees on the bottom but it was pretty clear otherwise. Tasted drinkable already but hoping to age some of the green-ness out in the secondary. Also could use a little carb from what I tasted so far.

Looking forward to summer!
 

Rahahb

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With the ONLY deviation to the recipe(besides quantity) being temperature, how high can this safely go?

My house is a bit on the warm side during summer and it's already started to warm up here.
 

Gremlyn

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Depends on the yeast. Cider and win yeasts are a little happier at higher temps. I used WLP775 and didn't pay much attention to temp, probably 70-75 ambient in the closet where it sat.
 

bkwing

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With the ONLY deviation to the recipe(besides quantity) being temperature, how high can this safely go?

My house is a bit on the warm side during summer and it's already started to warm up here.
If you're using the Safale-04 from the recipe, you don't really want to get past 68-70 degrees...and even that is pushing it, since the fermenting cider will be at least a degree or two warmer (2-3 in my experience) than the ambient. Easiest way to keep it cool is grab a cooler that will fit your bucket or carboy, fill it with water and toss frozen water bottles in a few at a time to keep the temp down. Once my water is around 62, I only have to add a bottle or two for the entire day.
 

Rahahb

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Thanks. Guess ill try to find a small container to use the ice method because I know my house will be very warm. Probably around 76.
 

bkwing

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Yeah, that'd be too high. It'll ferment just fine, you'll just get some funky flavors with it...and there's nowhere for that stuff to hide in a cider.
 

maltoftheearth

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I plan to start a 2.5 gallon batch of cider this evening using the OP's recipe. I have some questions about differences in batch size:

* I am using EC1118 yeast. Should I pitch one full yeast packet if I am doing half the total of the OP's recipe? Will that extra yeast create any issues?

* Should I cut the lemon and tea in half as well?

* I don't have any yeast nutrient, is this a problem?

Looking forward to brewing this up, my SWMNBO fell in love with dry ciders from Aspall and Original Sin at the Raleigh Beer Festival. She hates the taste of beer but has helped on every bottling day (and plus some) so it would be nice to give her a reward for her support.
 
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Freezeblade

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* I am using EC1118 yeast. Should I pitch one full yeast packet if I am doing half the total of the OP's recipe? Will that extra yeast create any issues?

* Should I cut the lemon and tea in half as well?

* I don't have any yeast nutrient, is this a problem?
I really suggest using an ale yeast, wine yeast will produce something much more like wine than cider, too dry.

Cut the lime and tea in half if you're doing a half batch.

You don't need to use yeast nutrient, but it'll take longer to condition, and will create the "rhino farts" if you do a HBT search, you'll see plenty of complaints on it.
 
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