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Claire

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Hey everyone!

I'm just getting into cider making and am looking for some recipes.

So far I have made a batch with an apple cider blend I bought from the store (which is about to be bottled) and a batch made with fresh pressed granny smith juice (which is just fermenting).

I'm mainly interesting in making a tart, crisp, off-dry cider and in a perfect world... I would like it to be super clear! I'm also interested in cranberry and pear variations...

Please pass on any recipes and tips you may have for me!

Thanks!
 

Maylar

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The recipe for cider is pretty simple - apple juice, yeast and time. The biggest influence on the final product is the apples.

Your Granny Smith batch is likely to be rather tart - those babies have lots of acid. They play well in a blend of more aromatic and sweet apples like Mac's. You also need some bittersweets for tannin.

Time alone will clear cider, but I always use pectic enzyme in mine to speed that up.

Beyond the apples, your process also can have an influence on the outcome. Yeast selection and temperature being the major factors.

So.. Do you have access to other juice pressings, and can you ferment in the low 60°F range? The answer to those questions will help us guide you toward what you're looking for.
 
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Claire

Claire

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When you say time is what clarifies the cider... is that time once the cider has been bottled? I can get pretty much any kind of apple to press, I'm currently working with a grape press but it's working pretty well. I'm just storing it in my basement so the temperate is a little closer to 66°F.

So far I've been using champagne yeast, pectic enzyme, camped tablets, and sugar. I did one batch with brown sugar and one batch with corn sugar.
 

Maylar

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If you're using pectic enzyme, that will clear cider nicely. Without it you would either have to wait before bottling or use some other fining agent. Some people like the "farmhouse" style with pectin haze and bottle their ciders cloudy. It's a personal decision is all.

66° works well for most yeasts. I don't add any sugar at all in my ciders and get about 6-1/2% alcohol naturally.
 

Chalkyt

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Welcome to the fun. I am a couple of years further down the track than you but still "beginning", as I had produced some fairly ordinary results before discovering HBT.

Your Granny Smith brew is similar to what I did in Fall 2017 (May, here in Oz). Mine was 2/3 Granny Smith, 1/3 Pomme de Neige (because they are among the trees that I have in our small orchard). Grinding and pressing your own is theraputic and thirsty work!

The Granny Smith cider was a two litre trial batch with EC1118, fermented at 60 degrees F and bottled after two weeks in primary then six weeks in secondary which by then had run down to 1.000. Using Brewers Friend Calculator, 14g of sugar was added at bottling for a planned 2.5 vols of CO2. I now simply add sugar, FAJC and/or plain juice to increase gravity by 2-4 points above the stabilised FG for carbonation when I bottle.

I tried a "Granny Smith" after about a month and it had good petilant carbonation, dry, tart, and a bit acidic but O.K. and very clear golden yellow.

Fast forward 14 months and I opened the last one this week. Much improved with the strong tartness gone and just nice Perlant carbonation... time does wonders!

The apple trees have been full of blossoms since early Spring and with only mild frosts it looks like a bumper crop this year. Typically my juice can range from OG of 1.055 to 1.075 so the resulting ABV can be anything from 6% to 8%.

I plan to bottle some batches at around 1.010 then stove top pasteurise at around 1.008 which I hope will retain just a touch of sweetness and perhaps drop the ABV a bit. The current batches from April 2018 are now six months old and are based on SO4 and WLP773. With these yeasts they seem to have retained just a touch of sweetness/appleness after having stopped at around 1.002 then had FAJC and unfermented juice added to bring them up to 1.005 for bottling. Carbonation is Petilant at this stage and they are "drinking well".

Another 2 litre "trial batch" from 2018 is Cherry Cider on SO4 with 250g of (our) frozen cherries added to the juice of 5kg of mixed Pippins, Pink Ladies and 1kg of Beurre Bosc pears. This lot started as a trial to see if the sorbitol in pears would give a bit of sweetness but the temptation to add the cherries to secondary was too much so there are two variables in the "trial" (pears and cherries) so I don't know which had most effect on the excellent result. I might add more cherries next time.

In all cases I have not added any extra sugar but have used Campden, a tsp of DAP nutrient and also pectinase at primary. Probably the most useful information I can give you is "KEEP NOTES", enjoy the tastings and have fun.
 
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