How does this noob cider recipe sound?

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Reddy

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So I started homebrewing just after the first of the year with an all extract Irish-style stout. A guy I kinda know has a line on some apple cider from the last apple pressing of the year in Amish country. It seems pretty strange that they're pressing apples in February, but he swears it's going down so I thought it was a good time to try my hand at hard cider.

1.) I was planning on buying 6 gallons of cider (which he drops some sulfite in before he leaves the Amish farm, by law I think) off this guy.
2.) In a gallon of boiling water I was planning to dissolve 2lbs of brown sugar.
3.)I was going to hydrate some ale or cider yeast (I've never made a starter, is that necessary?) and pitch that into the cider after adding the sugar water. I'm trying to make an apple-y, sweet cider as opposed to dry wine type cider hence the ale/cider yeast.
4.) I was planning on leaving it in my primary for a month or two, then transferring it to my 6 gal. carboy for another month or two (and possibly adding some maple syrup for some flavor?) Finally bottling the still cider in wine bottles.

I was hoping to be able to drink it at an annual camp out I go to in July. I know that's a little young, but what the heck. DWHAHB right?

Questions:
1.) Does anybody see an problems with this plan?
2.)Do I have to stir it the first few days until fermentation starts?
3.)How about problems with the amount of brown sugar and/or the addition of maple syrup?
 

sirsloop

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Dont see any problems with it. You'll end up with roughly 8-8.5% ABV. It will be totally drinkable by July. No stirring. Ive had cider made from store bought apple juice and real fancy fancy special cider straight from an orchard/juice plant. Honestly... I liked the store bought juice cider better! HAHAH!
 
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Reddy

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Thanks Sir. I figured it would work, but I just wanted to double check...

Basically I took Edwort's recipe and tried to make it a more traditional American cider.
 

placervilledan

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Reading around on the forums you will find that some people age only long enough for fermentation to stop, and others have aged their ciders for years. 6 mos should be just fine.

I haven't tried maple syrup, but it sounds good. Remember though, as with the brown sugar, the sweetness of both is going to fermented away by the yeast, leaving behind residual stuff that will flavor the finished product. That is not a bad thing at all, but if you are going for a sweeter cider you may have to back sweeten at bottling, or experiment until you find a yeast that you like.

It sounds like a good recipe. Make it, then make a BUNCH more. :tank:

By the way, I prefer the fresh pressed juice to store bought. I find that fresh stuff is much tarter than store bought. I like the flavors that the tartness imparts. You just have to experiment until you are happy. Then experiment some more.
 
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Reddy

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I haven't tried maple syrup, but it sounds good. Remember though, as with the brown sugar, the sweetness of both is going to fermented away by the yeast, leaving behind residual stuff that will flavor the finished product.
Actually, I think I might use molasses instead of syrup. Much cheaper and no preservatives or anything. The flavors staying behind are kinda what I'm after. Just as a little experiment....

Now I just have to wait on the guy to get the cider... if he ever does.... *rolls eyes*
 

MollyHatchet

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Sounds interesting, I just started a batch with 5 gal apple juice (store bought) 2 lbs of brown sugar 20 oz of raisins, and I am using White labs English cider yeast. This was started on the 1oth of this month, and I am going to let it go until it ferments out.
I plan on going to secondary when that ferments out, and I would like to bottle some, but was thinking about kegging the bulk of it. I was also thinking about back sweetening it so its not so dry. This sound like it will turn out ok? I been brewing for over ayear, but it's my first cider.
 

Crossczek

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If you're going to back sweeten and bottle, make sure you stabilze it with some sorbate to prevent renewed fermentation.

I too prefer the fresh juice instead of the store bought. The degree of tartness that it leaves behind is perfect. Store bought will work just fine though. Just make sure it's not already preserved or you'll have a tough time getting it to ferment.

Good luck, and cheers!
 
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