Should I do this?

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Hey,

Just getting into this brewing thing, decided to start with cider. I have a couple of batches in right now; one farmers market freshly pressed with champagne yeast straight in a DJ, and another with tesco value apple juice laced with honey and sugar.

I want the proper juice to make areasonably sweet flat cider, and I want the value stuff to be a sparkling rocket fuel brew. Since I'm clueless and learning by reading forums, I wanted to check my plans with you...

1) Sweet cider, OG 1048. Syphon at 1009/1010, and pasturise (don't like the idea of adding chemicals like campden). Bottle it and leave it to clear OR add finings when it cools, then bottle (swing tops). Leav it for 3 weeks, then drink! What do you think? Will this work?

2) Killer brew, OG 1059. Syphon when bubbles are 1 a minute or less (about 1000 I guess), stick a little scoop of finishing sugar in some 1 litre plastic bottles, rack it and leave it somewhere warm for a few days, them somewhere cool. Leave it there for ages to mature and hopefully have something strong and not tasing like old socks.

Basically I want to know if I'm doing anything stupid there, and if you have any other ideas! My next few cider recipes are going to be one with loads of lemons, one with cinnamon sticks and vanilla pods, and one with a strong cup of tea in!

So... am I an idiot? Or does it all sound kool and the gang?

Rich
 

Tusch

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Well if you truly are against campden you should pasteurize, unless of course that already has been done for you by the farm that sold it, which can be common. However, if you do heat the cider, you absolutely must add pectic enzyme to help with its clearing since heating it will set the pectin and create a haze.

For the first one you are going to want to let it ferment to dry and backsweeten if you want it sweet, or use a ale or low attentuating yeast to leave some residual sweetness.

In general though, do not plan to bottle your brew at a certain date, or time frame or when it starts bubbling less then X times a minutes. None of those things are good. You bottle it when it is clear and completely fermented. If you bottle based on any of the aforementioned criteria you have good chances of bottle bombs. The only true way to tell when it is done fermenting is judged by specific gravity readings. Oh and if you are wanting to carbonate the second batch, it will take more then a couple days to carbonate fully, think more 2-3 weeks.

Overall, not a bad plan just incomplete as it stands. Also, I am all for experimenting so I love your plans for new types of cider, be careful with the lemons though, as they are so high in acid. You may want to ferment it and then add the lemons or just lemon juice in secondary.
 
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