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smh

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Hi Folks,
I'm setting up to make hard apple cider and have a few questions. I plan on using 3Gallons of unpreserved, but pasturized (flash--I know not UV, but best I can do in the area) cider from a mixture of apples. The questions:

1) Do I need to campden treat since it's pasturized?

2) Should I add pectic enzyme? How much, when and for how long?

3) How much sugar should I add and what method should I use? Dissolve by gently heating in half a gallon or so?

4) I have either Nottingham or Safale S-04 yeast, which should I choose?

5) Do I need nutrient?

6) I will either cold-crash or dishwasher pasturize. I have potassium sorbate too if that's a better option. I want slightly sweet, so what hydrometer reading am I looking for here?

7) If I cold-crash do I have to keep bottles in the fridge? I dont' have much space.

8) I MAY want to carb some. If I do should I let ferment out then bottle carb? Any way to keep this a bit sweet?
 
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smh

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Thanks Parsnip, that's a great resource.

I find that it doesn't answer some of the more specific questions I asked though. Hopefully someone here can clarify these things.
 

Parsnip

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Thanks Parsnip, that's a great resource.

I find that it doesn't answer some of the more specific questions I asked though. Hopefully someone here can clarify these things.
Ah, actually Ive just noticed your making hard cider and the website doesnt cover the distilled stuff I dont think. Sorry :(
 

porterpounder

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1) Do I need to campden treat since it's pasturized?

Nope. You should be fine with the UV pasteurization. I've fermented UV treated cider from the same orchard for 10 years and have some 4-5 year old batches that are still excellent. No vinegar yet.

2) Should I add pectic enzyme? How much, when and for how long?

I usually pitch about a tablespoon into the primary first thing. Clears nicely.

3) How much sugar should I add and what method should I use? Dissolve by gently heating in half a gallon or so?

That's a good method. Take a hydrometer reading of the base cider. This will help guide sugar additions. Usually looking for a potential of 6-7% ABV for a nice cider.

4) I have either Nottingham or Safale S-04 yeast, which should I choose?

Either will give a similar result. I've found that using wine or beer yeast does not really reduce the chance of a dry cider. A well-fermented cider is going to ferment out dry.

5) Do I need nutrient? Yes. Need those FANs to keep the beasties happy.

6) I will either cold-crash or dishwasher pasturize. I have potassium sorbate too if that's a better option. I want slightly sweet, so what hydrometer reading am I looking for here?

A hydro higher hydro reading will not necessarily mean a sweeter cider. Have to go by taste. I like to age a cider out for a year or two and then added about 10-15 ml of simple syrup (1:1 water to sugar boiled for a few minutes) to the final product to back-sweeten. Tough to do with bottle-conditioning, but I tend to keg.


7) If I cold-crash do I have to keep bottles in the fridge? I dont' have much space.

Probably OR drink it quick.

8) I MAY want to carb some. If I do should I let ferment out then bottle carb? Any way to keep this a bit sweet?

See above.

Hope some of this helps
 
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smh

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Thanks porter. That's a huge help. Any reason to think flash pasturization and UV are any different?

The tablespoon of enzyme is into what volume?

Kegging is out of my realm right now, so hopefully someone else can weigh in on how they bottle condition. With and without carbing for a slightly sweet cider.
 

porterpounder

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I believe flash pasteurization is heat-based. Some folks believe that it changes the flavor of the sweet cider, but I have tried both and do not see much of a difference. Maybe the tech is more controllable with UV?

The tbsp is into 5-6 gallons. I usually eyeball it. I haven't had a cloudy or off-flavored cider with the "just a pinch" fly by the pants measuring method.

Kegging is awesome. Nuff said. I found the flavor of cider very hard to control with crashing and different yeast methods. I'm not a fan of crashing as I like the yeast to finish out and clean up after itself. I have tried wine conditioner (sugar plus inhibitor), but it left a tongue-coating metallic off-flavor to the half-batch that I used it in. The other half that I left alone and later back-sweetened never developed that flavor and took home a few medals. Plus, once you add the conditioner, bottle conditioning can't be done.

Maybe the best option aside from waiting the yeast out for a few year is to starve a low-alcohol yeast of oxygen, bottle condition with fresh sugar and then keep it real cold until you consume it. Either that or make a New England style cider that is so high in alcohol that the yeast can't survive, leaving some residual sugar and you may not care if it carbs at 12% ABV.
 
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smh

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Yes flash pasteurization is heat-based. I would imagine UV is more controllable, provided they change the bulbs regularly, they lose power overtime. That being said, these heat-based methods have been developed for over 100 years; I trust them.

I expected that taste changes would be minimal. Lots of people cry over the change in taste of pasturized milk. It does change it a bit, but a far greater contribution in that case is just the fact that unpasturized RAW milk has more fat. Another story though...

What ABV do nottingham and Safale S-04 tolerate? My guess is that you've really got to pack in the sugar before you kill the yeast off with alcohol.
 
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