I need help

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hoppygirl

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I'm hoping to make a five gal batch of cider and I'm really not sure where to start. There are just so many recipes. I do have access to Wyeast Cider from the local brew shop-is that the best? Any and all info would be great. Thanks!
 

LambChop4Prez

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just buy some cider, throw in some yeast, airlock, wait, and BOOM cider!
then you can experiment with things and have some real fun!
 

Edcculus

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Yea, that thread is great!

Honestly, I wouldn't follow any cider recipes you find online. Most recipes just add sugar or honey to up the ABV. IMO, it makes the cider take longer to be drinkable, dries it out and thins it out too much.

All you need is apple juice. Perferably, you would use juice from a local orchard. Thats not exactly feasable for everyone, so we turn to store juice. Store juice runs the gamut, but in the end, you want a juice that has no added sugar or preservatives. If Ascorbic acid or vitamin c is present, thats ok. I just made a batch using 5 gallons of the organic juice that comes in the gallon glass jugs from Whole Foods. Its a little more expensive, but is one of the best ciders I've made yet. I plan on visiting some orchards this fall to see if I can get some juice that might be geared more toward making cider instead of just sweet drinking juice.

I brew a lot of beer, and have a lot of beer yeast sitting around. Therefore, I've never actually used a true "cider yeast". I would choose a yeast from AZ's link. I've used Nottingham before and loved it. My latest batch uses Pacman (Rogue's strain) from Wyeast. I'm also kind of interested to use a Belgian strain.

Another obstacle you will encounter is whether you want it sweet or not. Selecting an ale yeast will help, but you still stand the chance of fermenting down to 1.000 or lower. If you don't add extra sugar, your chances of going that far down are less. I like my cider dry, but not that dry. Since I keg my beer/cider, I have the liberty to rack the cider to a keg and stick it in the kegerator when I deem the gravity is where I want it. For people who bottle and still want a sweeter cider, its a little more complicated. If you add more juice or sugar to make it sweet, then bottle, the yeast will continue to ferment and eventually explode the bottles. You can use sulfites, but if you knock out all of the yeast, you won't be able to carbonate in the bottle. I know people suggest using unfermentable sugars like lactose, or sweeteners like splenda to backsweeten the cider once it is done fermenting. Since I've never done this, I can't really recommend one over the other.

Hope this helps!
 

david_42

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KISS - Make your first batch from apple juice and cider yeast. That's all it takes. Boosting ABV with sugar makes something more like a dry white wine, which is okay, but I really prefer the straight stuff. Spicing has its place, as in hot mulled cider for cold evenings.
 

Edcculus

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KISS - Make your first batch from apple juice and cider yeast. That's all it takes. Boosting ABV with sugar makes something more like a dry white wine, which is okay, but I really prefer the straight stuff. Spicing has its place, as in hot mulled cider for cold evenings.
ha, you know, thats all I was really trying to say in my long rambling post!
 

goose1873

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I highly recommend cuvee wine yeast. although nearly any yeast will work, cuvee is 50 cents, has zero krusen (allowing you to fill carboy to the neck), and seems to make awesome cider...

my .02....

I recommend kegging (if you can)...it allows you to sweeten with juice and I just bottle from the keg.
 
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hoppygirl

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Thanks all you've been a huge help. After reading all the post and looking into it a bit on my own I guess I hoped to make a slightly sweet carbonated cider. Is this possible without kegging?
 
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