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Old Medic

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I have never done a cider, been nearly 10 years since my last batch of beer. We have an orchard with tons of leftover apples. Got 3.5 gallons of fresh juice and figure I'll have around 10 gallons over the next few days. I have several yeasts on hand, 71B, Red Star Classique, Safale 04 & 05. Also wondering about mixing with honey for a mead. Have glass carboys and buckets, Kegs possible to secondary. open to your knowledge and suggestions.
 

CKuhns

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Apple juice alone I would go with SO4 / 5 if adding honey for a Cyser and kicking the gravity up I would go with the Red Star Clasique. 71B would be just fine as well.

With 10 Gallons consider doing one of both to get a sense of how they work with and without the honey.
 

CKuhns

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Yep 1.050 to 1.060 is pretty typical.

SO4 / 5 without additional nutrients works well. Temperature at close to room temp and rack from primary at about 1.010. Usually stops somewhere near 1.004 leaving some residual sugar.

Cyser with enough honey to 1.100 plus or minus a bit with some additional nutrients (Fermaid-O works well) and ether the Red Star or 71B should go dry. If you add some acid to taste and perhaps a little vanilla and let it age for 3 to 6 months or so (or more) should work just fine.
 
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Old Medic

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Got 5 gallons sitting with campden added. Got a bunch more apples to go. Calling for rain all week so it gives me an indoor project.
The wife made up some Burbon vanilla extract...
 
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Old Medic

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Well after a few days using a heating pad in a freezer, temps staying around 62-65, the SA-04 is working.. but dang the SMELL...
Its a sulfur rotten egg oder even with the lid closed. Never had a beer smell like that... very glad I didn't but it in the closet in the camper..
 

CKuhns

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Sufur smell (Rhino farts) do happpen on accasion. I often attribute them to stressed yeast. (But not entirely sure why on some and not on others with similar apple juice and process.) The good news is after fermentation is complete you can degass by stirring, using a vacuum pump and or letting it sit to age. It will naturally degas if your concerned about oxidation by adding air while stirring.
 
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Old Medic

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ill go with the stressed yeast idea, been hard keeping a constant temp. Using a heating pad that has an auto shut-off. temp controller wont work since it resets to off. been a constant pain to keep up with. but happy to say its clearing and the bubbling and odor have decreased. will check my SG later today.
 
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Old Medic

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Dropped to 1.004, around 6.7%, Flavor is OK, but still rough on the nose. Cold crashed overnight and will rack to a secondary today.
Nexy self test is to wash and save the yeast.
 
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Old Medic

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Well Its crystal clear, racked into a keg, and the sample was very nice. Not real sweet and a little on the dry side. CO2 at 25 Lbs and try again in a few days. Wifes working on a Cyser recipe for next, got 3 gallons of fresh cider left.
 
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Old Medic

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Next batch, Got 3.5 gallons of cider, added a gallon of water with 4.5 lbs of dissolved honey. Took a sample for SG (1.085) and a taste... AWESOME.. Saved some for the wife to try... But I also added a splash to my cup of the 1st cider to backsweeten... OMG... Now I wish I had added some honey to it before carbing.
 
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Old Medic

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What a difference in odor... used Red Star Premier Classique keeping the temp 60-64. sweet apple, and no taco farts this time.
 
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