Hops in cider

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Bierenliefhebber

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My son had been after me for some time to make a batch of cider, so last month, I made a batch using a can of Brewmaster concentrate. The can was ostensibly for 22 liters, I only made it up to 15, and added 300 g each of dextrose and beet sugar, for an OG of 1.045. For yeast, I used the yeast that came with the cider kit, plus a packet of Safbrew S33. Final gravity was 1.004, giving it an a.b.v. of around 5%.

Being a beer brewer who had never made cider before, I figured to boil it for the better part of an hour (50 min), like I would do wort, and I added 5 grams of Tettnanger hops at the beginning of the boil, more for its preservative properties than for the flavor. That having been said, however, I think it also improved the flavor as well.

So, has anybody else tried putting a bit of hop in their apple cider? I don't see hops mentioned in a quick perusal through the posts here, so I'm thinking maybe this is something new. If indeed nobody has tried it, I'm quite pleased with the result, and can recommend it. I would think, though, that one would want to use a noble hop to avoid excessive bitterness, and to keep the amount modest, so the taste compliments that of the apples without drawing attention to itself.
 

LeBreton

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Hops in cider has been around for a while now, but props to you for thinking of it independently!
 

decibelz

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I also did add hops to my cider three different ones actually . But I also added grains to it see I went to the farm by my house since they make it fresh with no additives 100% natural uv sterilized . I got 2 gal then I boiled up my grains as normal then I added the fresh cider as if it was extract I did it slowly so I wouldn't cool it down I figured this would be good to do to kill any wild yeast to be sure . Then I hopped it up added nutmeg all spice and cinnamon oh and brown sugar. My OG WAS 1.060-1.063 it's been in my carboy for a week now and I checked it at 1.010 and its still going I had to taste it . It's dry but not sour at all close to a white wine I would say
 
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Bierenliefhebber

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Thanks for the responses, everyone. I had a nagging suspicion that I had probably reinvented the wheel.

Let me say that this particular batch did, in fact, clear up nicely despite being boiled. Recall that this was a kit, consisting of a can of concentrate. Almost certainly the juice had already been heated to boiling and clarified prior to being put in the can. I have no doubt that, as helpatrol says, I would not have gotten the same degree of clarity had I boiled fresh apple juice.

Being a compulsive label-reader, I note that "malt extract" was listed among the ingredients on the can, so I assume my cider probably tastes similar to decibelz's, minus the spices. In fact, I was considering adding spices next time, or perhaps even some cherry juice.
 

decibelz

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Did you bottle/keg any yet? If you didn't you still can . Just check where you by your kits they should have spice you can add . Cause I added to my punkin ales secondary .

Or you could just wait to open and have glass and spice away as you drink them . I do it all the time it's fun ! I also made the coffee liquor and I drop a shot into my expresso stout . I used to use real expresso but I felt it got you to drunk with that kick of caffeine like a 4 loco :) now it's a 12% with a shot so its 27% It tastes so much better plus your not getting wired anymore :)
 

decibelz

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Oh and I also plan on adding more cinnamon sticks to my ciders secondary also
 
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Bierenliefhebber

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Yes, it's been in the bottle for about a month now. Aging out very nicely, if I may say so. I've also tried adding spices after the fact, just to give myself an idea what the actual brew would taste like. For example, to a glass of my last batch of rye stout, I added a couple of tablespoons of an infusion I made by boiling a bit of licorice root, to see if I might want to add some next time. In fact, this was also the system I used to help me decide whether to add hops to the cider. I didn't have any actual cider on hand, but I did have apple juice, so I boiled a few tettnanger cones in a quarter cup of water and added increasing amounts to a glass of apple juice, to see how it affected the taste. I decided the effect on taste was rather positive, and since the hop would (more importantly) inhibit the growth of bad bugs in my cider, I decided to add a bit to the boil. The cinnamon definitely is worth trying eventually, but since my son is a fan of Kriek, we'll probably add cherry juice the next time we brew up a batch of cider together.
 
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