My first big batch

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ronoverdrive

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Well after telling some relatives about my homebrew experiments they encouraged me to go through with my holiday cider idea so on New Years Eve I prepped my first 5 gallon batch of cider. So here's the plan:

5 gallons unfiltered Apple Juice (ShopRite brand, tastes pretty good and there's no preservatives)
1 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 packet RedStar wine yeast (its what I had on me atm since my wild yeast experiments failed)
2 Table Spoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Mix it all in a 5 gallon carboy and age in 5.5 gallon brew bucket w/ toasted oak chips and 1.5oz worth of cinnamon sticks for 11.5 months. After its done aging bottle still or carbonate in 1 gallon kegs, back sweeten with more unfiltered apple juice as necessary.

I didn't get a OG because my hydrometer is apparently a PoS because it floats too high to get an accurate reading. Right now its bubbling away in a nice dark place. I'm hoping this comes out well so wish me luck and I'll keep you posted.
 
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My biggest concern is the vanilla extract. If it turns out the way you want, that is great. The problem is that if it's too strong, you can't remove it once added. If you want, next time you can try fermenting the cider without any extract. After it is done fermenting, rack it over to a secondary. Take a steeping bag with vanilla bean and put it inside, then taste it every few days until it has infused enough flavor. Just some advice for something to try in the future.

Also, a note on the oak chips. I would leave them in for a few weeks then remove them. It will likely overpower the flavor if left in for 11.5 months. I would say the same about cinnamon sticks.
 

Nurmey

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Welcome to HBT!

That is a lot of different flavors you have going on in there and I have no idea if that's good or bad. Hopefully good! :D

I would use the bucket as primary for a few months, then rack to carboy with the oak and cinnamon. There will be a lot less head space in the carboy as well as being oxygen impermeable. These are both very good things for long again.

Since you are aging it for a year (good decision BTW), you might lose the vanilla aroma all together.
 
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ronoverdrive

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Welcome to HBT!

That is a lot of different flavors you have going on in there and I have no idea if that's good or bad. Hopefully good! :D

I would use the bucket as primary for a few months, then rack to carboy with the oak and cinnamon. There will be a lot less head space in the carboy as well as being oxygen impermeable. These are both very good things for long again.

Since you are aging it for a year (good decision BTW), you might lose the vanilla aroma all together.
Well the idea is I want to go for an apple pie like flavor. Apple pie is traditional holiday dessert and I wanted to attempt to recreate that in the form of a Cider. :)
 

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