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Parente94

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Hi everyone, I’ve started my first batch of apple cider last week I pressed about 80 liters from apples from my trees I’ve read a lot on this forum to help me reach the stage I am now but I’d like to pose some questions directly if that is ok.
so I pressed the apples and poured the juice in to a 100 liter stainless steel keg added the sulfites and 24 hrs later the yeast. Initial gravity reading was 1055.
took about 4 days for fermentation to start and it’s still going but has slowed down a bit by now. Today’s gravity was 1020 suggesting I stil have a few more days to go until it is done. Main question is how long do I wait before racking?
Do I add sulfites again before racking?
I would like to achieve a fizzy slightly sweet cider do I add anything when racking or wait until bottling ?
I know it’s a lot of information so any help will be appreciated
Thanks everyone
 

FLYPacNW

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The fermentation will slow down gradually as it goes. It will take much longer to from 1.020 to 1.000 than it took to go from 1.055 to 1.020. The slower the better actually as this will preserve flavor. (Colder = Slower)

Main question is how long do I wait before racking?

In my experience, this is a good time to rack.

Do I add sulfites again before racking?

No.

I would like to achieve a fizzy slightly sweet cider do I add anything when racking or wait until bottling ?

Wait till bottling

I know it’s a lot of information so any help will be appreciated
Thanks everyone

Good luck!
 

Chalkyt

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Yep, 1.020 to 1.030 is about where I rack to secondary. This is roughly when the primary turbulent fermentation (i.e. lots of foam) settles down.

Sweet and fizzy has a range of options. Add a non fermentable sweetener (Stevia, Xylitol etc, and bottle at 1.004 or so, Let fully ferment and add sugar, juice, AJC etc to the sweetness level that you want plus a bit for carbonation then heat pasteurise when carbonation is right. Keg and sweeten, etc, etc, etc.

Use the Search function at the top RHS, using words like Sweet Cider, Carbonation, etc. These is a wealth of information on this because the same topic comes up every year and always attracts lots of good replies.
 
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Parente94

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Thanks a lot for answering, the cider is in my cellar, I didn’t really measure rooms temp since I don’t have a thermometer yet. But it’s under my house has no windows so I’m guessing between 50 and 60 F. I’ll buy a thermometer to get a better idea of it.
Secondary should be filled up to the top correct?

I will defenetly be reading about fizy cider, thx a lot for all the help
 
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Parente94

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Hi everyone, I racked it to a second container, the problem is it didn’t go all the way to the top. Maybe an inch or 2 is that gonna be a problem ? Should I fill it up with something ?
 

ceebee4

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Or top off the carboy with a finished cider. Just an option.

I always ferment my ciders to complete dryness. I like them unsweetened as do most of my friends who enjoy the ciders I make. But if I want a little sweetness for a change, I only sweeten in the glass. A tablespoon or two of simple syrup gently stirred into the cider right before imbibing is the simplest, and I find tastiest, way to sweeten a traditional style cider. Cheers!
 
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Parente94

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I topped it up with apple juice gonna wait for fermentation to finish again and let it age there for a bit. To be honest I’m a bit unimpressed with the flavor tastes like wine almost and nothing like apples I’m hoping it gets better with time. I plan to sweeten let it ferment in the bottle and then heat it up see how it works
 

ceebee4

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I don't dismiss a cider as a failure until at least 6 months have passed. I find it takes that long for ciders to fully mature. Just fyi
 

MtnGoatJoe

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To be honest I’m a bit unimpressed with the flavor tastes like wine almost and nothing like apples I’m hoping it gets better with time. I plan to sweeten let it ferment in the bottle and then heat it up see how it works
Adding sugar to the bottles will only result in increased carbonation. The yeast will still eat all the sugar. If you want sweet cider, others have suggested methods to obtain that. You can also pasteurize the cider before the fermentation is done to preserve some natural sweetness. I stopped my fermentation last year at 1.020, and it was very sweet. And delicious.

Good luck!
 
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Parente94

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Yes I intend to sweeten and pasteurize.
will wait a few months though see how it turns out. Add some apple concentrate if needed for a bit more apple taste.
As it is my first time I’m sure I have a lot to learn and I read a lot on this forum and even if this one doesn’t turn out great next years will be better.
 
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