Old School Cider

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SleepyCreekBrews

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Back when we were juvenile delinqu ....I mean young bucks, we'd go to the farm stand down the street in the fall and buy gallon jugs of fresh cider, and then hide it out in the woods. We didn't know nothin about fermentation, or carbonation, but what we did know was that after about 2 weeks it turned "picky" (carbonated) and gave you a buzz. :)

It was actually pretty tasty, and the unique part about it was the carbonation , sometimes you'd have to degas it really slowly for like 10-15 minutes or risk losing half your cider from the gusher that might happen if you opened it too quick. It came in glass jugs so that's why it carbed so well.

It would be cool to do something like that again, but I have no idea if you can get fresh natural cider in 1 gallon glass jugs.
 

myndflyte

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You can get fresh natural cider and 1 gallon glass jugs, so it's like a match made in heaven. But for safety reasons, I'd probably not let it ferment closed, but if it's natural and unpasteurized, it'll probably eventually ferment on its own.
 

AkTom

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Oh yeah. Some of the best tasting cider I've had was about a week in the sun. My friend would only give 1 glass of it... I say, do it. And in a week, start another. Repeat.
 

bernardsmith

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But probably a great deal safer to allow the juice to ferment in plastic jugs. Flying shards of broken glass caused by the pressure of the CO2 is not a joke. Seriously.
 

madscientist451

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I usually do one "wild ferment" cider each season, your post gave me an idea...a few weeks wild ferment then siphon to swing top bottles, let it sit for a month or so and see what happens....
 

Kees

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According to our local distributor of Brouwland (home brewing supplies) bottling at SG of 1.015 in Grolsch swing tops is safe. A Dutch publication of cider making claims that industrial producers that sell naturally carbonated cider bottle at a SG of 1.010.
 

Maylar

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According to our local distributor of Brouwland (home brewing supplies) bottling at SG of 1.015 in Grolsch swing tops is safe. A Dutch publication of cider making claims that industrial producers that sell naturally carbonated cider bottle at a SG of 1.010.
That's scary. I've heard of bottling in champagne bottles at 1.010 but a beer bottle will go boom if that ferments dry.
 

Kees

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For what it's worth: the Brouwland distributor told me he once had a couple of Grolsch bottles that broke due to too high a pressure. All of them broke where the bottom of the bottle meets the sides of the bottle. No explosion. He claims these bottles are made to give at that junction. Many years ago I put an unopened Grolsch bottle into the freezer because I wanted a cool beer fast. I forgot the bottle and many days later the beer was frozen solid and had pushed the swing top up a bit to release the pressure. Bottle had not cracked.
Some more info here:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/psi-tolerance-of-grolsch-bottles.403931/
 
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Maylar

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And, for what it's worth, a typical carbonation level of 2.5 volumes consumes 2-3 gravity points of sugar. So for a beer that will stop at 1.012 it's possible to bottle at 1.015 without getting bottle bombs. But ciders can finish anywhere from 0.996 to 1.005 depending on a bunch of variables and for us home cider makers it's not really predictable. Too scary for me.
 

ExperimentalBrewer

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your post brings back memories. My family used to press apples from our trees (old neglected orchard that produced small, hard, tart apples), it would sit in the basement in jugs as we drank it. I became wonderfully tart, carbonated and buzz forming. Great memories.

In hindsight, I think what is missing from my current ciders are the bee carcasses :)
 

Gnomebrewer

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Why not try it in PET bottles (soda bottles or homebrew plastic beer bottles)? No risk of explosion and easy to release some pressure if you want the carbonation a bit lower.
 

MarkKF

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I just did something like that except I put it in a two gal. Bucket with an airlock for the first ten day then moved it to a one gal glass jug with an airlock. It’s slowly clearing and I plan on bottling this weekend.

P.S. it tastes great
 

johnnyseko

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Is there an ideal ferment temperature range for letting it 'go wild'? I didn't have much luck with one I had but that was left @72F. Would 60F be more appropriate?
 

MarkKF

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I’ve had it go in the fridge at 38 deg.! But this was in the basement at 60.
 

johnnyseko

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Yep that's what happened to mine. Started in the fridge - I couldn't believe it! I should have left it in there to finish. Pulled it out and the results were not good. Next time I'll keep it cool.
 

bernardsmith

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I don't know that the temperature was necessary to blame for the poor results, johnnyseko. The indigenous yeast that fermented the cider may not have been a strain that might have produced any flavor profile that you would prefer. That is always the risk when you embrace wild vs lab cultured yeast. With the latter we know what the flavor profiles are likely to be. With indigenous yeast it's a crap shoot. Only sometimes you are a winner. But what you do when you are is you harvest that colony and you use it to inoculate the next batch of cider... and the one after that.
 

johnnyseko

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But what you do when you are is you harvest that colony and you use it to inoculate the next batch of cider... and the one after that.
Excellent point! Hopefully I can make this happen. Just have to find some unpasteurized juice or get enough apples to do a gallon.

This brings back memories of when I was a bit younger (like high school) - getting a wine making book from the library (pre-internet days). Growing up in Apple Valley RI, it seemed like the right thing to do. Purchased a bunch of apples, ran through food processor, added sugar and water and let it all ferment in my parents basement in a 5 gal bucket. Bottled in wine bottles and corked. Corks were shooting all over for weeks... Never could drink the stuff. I think I made jet fuel!
 
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