How to use Hops, Dried Elderflower, Cinnamon in Secondary

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Verac

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Hello all,

My 5 gal. batch should be about done fermenting and I'm prepping to rack it into 5x 1 gal. carboys.

I want to do different flavors for each 1 gal. carboy. My local homebrew store sells bags of dried elderflower, cinnamon sticks, and hops. I also have some frozen Autumn Olive juice I foraged ealier that I will try in one batch.

I have no clue where to start with quantities, methods, or timing so looking for some insight from you all!

1. For cinnamon in secondary, do I just add the sticks straight in? For 1 gal. how many sticks and for how long?
2. For dried elderflower in secondary, I imagine I'd put it into some kind of steeping bag and add it to the carboy for a set period of time before taking it out? Any idea on quantity/method/time?
3. For dry hopped cider in secondary, I also assume the hops will go into some kind of steeping bag? How much for how long? Also, I read somewhere that hopped drinks are better fresh as opposed to longer aging (I plan on aging the other batches for about 10 months) is that true?
4. For adding autumn olive juice, I don't have a TON of juice so I imagine I'll just add it to secondary and continue on as normal then see what it tastes like.

Additional question: I neglected to add my pectinase to the batch in primary. I read that it won't work as good in secondary due to the ethanol, but is there any downside to doing it?

Thanks in advance!
 

Bad_JuJu_Bad

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I would make tinctures with the cinnamon and the elderflower and then experiment with dosing your cider with the tinctures till you find a ratio you like.

Just pull like a 16oz sample of beer and then split that into 16 separate 1oz samples and dose with different amounts of your tinctures using a pipette until you find a ratio you like. Then just scale that ratio up to 1gal.

This method is how I “barrel age” my beers. I make a tincture using oak spirals and whatever spirit or wine barrel I am trying to emulate (for wine I also use a bit of everclear to increase extraction and prevent infection)

This way you have complete control over how intense (or not) the flavors are in your finished product. You could do this dosing trials method with the juice as well.

As for dry hopping you probably wanna package after 3-5 days and drink ASAP for best flavor.

Cheers! 🍻
 

Chalkyt

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Can't comment on Elderflower and Cinamon but I imagine that the process would be similar to hopped cider which I have made a few times.

See a post of mine on 30 Jan this year. I put the hops in secondary a few days before bottling as the cider takes on the hop flavour very quickly. Taste every day then remove the hops when the flavour is right or it will become overdone. I use about 3g/L of dry hops (roughly 4 teapoons per gallon).

A few hints to make life easy are...

Dry hops disintegrate very quickly and float. Simply adding them to the cider just makes a mess so they do need to be in a teabag or something similar. The bag needs to be weighted and easy to remove. Weighting with marbles can be a problem if you are using a narrow neck carboy as the marbles and hops will all bunch up and get stuck in the neck when trying to remove the bag. I use a piece of stainless steel rod tied to the bag to weight it down. I found that "torpedos" used by beer brewers for hops are too large to fit through my carboy neck.

Cheers!
 
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Verac

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I would make tinctures with the cinnamon and the elderflower and then experiment with dosing your cider with the tinctures till you find a ratio you like.

Just pull like a 16oz sample of beer and then split that into 16 separate 1oz samples and dose with different amounts of your tinctures using a pipette until you find a ratio you like. Then just scale that ratio up to 1gal.

This method is how I “barrel age” my beers. I make a tincture using oak spirals and whatever spirit or wine barrel I am trying to emulate (for wine I also use a bit of everclear to increase extraction and prevent infection)

This way you have complete control over how intense (or not) the flavors are in your finished product. You could do this dosing trials method with the juice as well.

As for dry hopping you probably wanna package after 3-5 days and drink ASAP for best flavor.

Cheers! 🍻
Thanks for the advice. Is there anyway to get a hopped flavor to last a bit longer? How do commercial ciders due hopped? Do they just assume they will be consumed quickly or do they have a trick to keep the flavor stable longer term?
 

Bad_JuJu_Bad

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Thanks for the advice. Is there anyway to get a hopped flavor to last a bit longer? How do commercial ciders due hopped? Do they just assume they will be consumed quickly or do they have a trick to keep the flavor stable longer term?
I’m not expert here but there are some fundamental practices that will help retain hop character.

Eliminating exposure to oxygen is of utmost importance. I honestly don’t bother dry hopping anything that isn’t going to be kegged via closed transfer.

I recently had an ipa whose hop character was underwhelming and I opened the keg briefly and added an ounce of hops and after 24 hours it had the most pungent and delicious hop aroma I’ve ever experienced in a beer, commercial or otherwise. So that’s always an option too.
 
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