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How to use tea bags for tannins

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lurker18

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Going to be finishing my first cider in the next few days when I get some time, need to back sweeten a little and add some tannins. Going to be adding cherry juice for the back sweetening, as it is a sour cherry cider, and will be kegged so hopefully if there is some secondary fermentation, there will be no bottle bombs. Question is on the added tannins. I do have powdered tannin, but I have read here that it really darkens the cider, and right now it is a clear red and I would like to keep it that way. Will tea bag method darken it less or more? And how to go about adding tannins, either powdered form or tea bags. Thanks from a first timer.
 

Rick Stephens

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I use 4-5 bags of english tea, like Earl Gray, boil up a cup or two of water, turn the heat off and drop the tea bags in. Leave them for 10 minutes, squeeze out the tea and let cool enough to add to your cider. It does not substantially change the color of the cider. However, I always did that at beginning of fermentation, not the end, so don't know about color effects at that point.
 

RolandD

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I use 4-5 bags of english tea, like Earl Gray, boil up a cup or two of water, turn the heat off and drop the tea bags in. Leave them for 10 minutes, squeeze out the tea and let cool enough to add to your cider. It does not substantially change the color of the cider. However, I always did that at beginning of fermentation, not the end, so don't know about color effects at that point.
Do the Bergamot oils it the Earl Gray not add unfavorable flavors? Although I haven't used tea for tannins yet, I am planning to soon and had ruled out using Earl Gray in favor of a nice Irish Breakfast Tea like Bewley's.
 

Rick Stephens

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Do the Bergamot oils it the Earl Gray not add unfavorable flavors? Although I haven't used tea for tannins yet, I am planning to soon and had ruled out using Earl Gray in favor of a nice Irish Breakfast Tea like Bewley's.
I had not noticed any odd tastes. Your choice is probably better though, the earl grey was the first one I came across, not a lot of choices in the sticks where I live.
 

bernardsmith

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Hi Rick. You say you use 4 or 5 bags of tea but you don't say what volume of cider you are making. I imagine that this is for 5 or 6 gallons but this may be for 1 gallon. Is it?
 

Rick Stephens

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Hi Rick. You say you use 4 or 5 bags of tea but you don't say what volume of cider you are making. I imagine that this is for 5 or 6 gallons but this may be for 1 gallon. Is it?
I do 5 gal batches. Should have said that.

Rick
 
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