Sour cider

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Steinaken

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I'm thinking I would like to make a batch of sour cider - its feijoa season right now, and I dont mind the idea of throwing a few kilos into the fermenter and letting em stew for a while...
Aiming to pull ~7 gallons

So my thoughts were to put about 10kg (before freezing & scooping) of feijoa in with 6L of apple juice and 1 tbsp of pectin - leave for a week or 2, throw in a couple of kilo's granny smith apples, a couple kg of pears, leave for another 5-7 days, add 1.5 kg sugar (everything bar supermarkets are closed so will probably use white sugar), top up to the 28L mark with water, add 2 tbl of wine yeast nutrient and pitch yeast (CL23)...

Any ideas or pointers on things I might have missed?
 

madscientist451

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I would suggest figuring a way to get the juice out of the apples and pears you want to use. Look on you tube for examples of a simple press using a 2 plastic buckets and a car jack.
Pears can be problem, they get mushy when ripe and don't want to give up their juice, when they aren't ripe the juice isn't the best.
I usually let them ripen, then freeze whole pears and then thaw them out and put in the press whole.
I don't know if you can get juice out of a feijoa by pressing them, perhaps try to freeze them and press them whole like pears?
 
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Steinaken

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I do have an electric juicer - not a huge fan as I feel like its only about 50% efficient, but I have not problem with spending a few hours juicing apples and pears. as for juicing the feijoas - i feel like i could probably scoop them, freeze the fruit sans skin then run it through a juicer if needed? I doubt very much that they will juice well via press or machine tbh
 

RPh_Guy

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Make sure to use pectinase, not pectin.
So my thoughts were to put about 10kg (before freezing & scooping) of feijoa in with 6L of apple juice and 1 tbsp of pectin - leave for a week or 2, throw in a couple of kilo's granny smith apples, a couple kg of pears, leave for another 5-7 days, add 1.5 kg sugar (everything bar supermarkets are closed so will probably use white sugar), top up to the 28L mark with water, add 2 tbl of wine yeast nutrient and pitch yeast (CL23)...
FYI you're going to have a wild fermentation with that process. Don't forget to punch down fruit to avoid mold.
 
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Steinaken

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@RPh_Guy your right, typo there, definitely pectinase not pectin.

also re the wild fermentation, if I am going for a sour, a little bit of wild fermentation is a good thing no?

re punching down to avoid mold - is that something I would have to worry about in a sealed fermenter as well? only wondering as I have been doing a few brews with fruit in the fermenter - however I guess this is different as that is an airtight set up?
 

RPh_Guy

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Usually the wild bacteria eat the malic acid and metabolize it to lactic acid, which has the effect of making it taste less sour, not more sour.

My experience using whole Granny Smith apples (with the skins in the fermenter) produced an incredibly sour cider, so I think that alone will get you there if that's your goal.

If you leave the fermenter sealed, then mold probably won't be a problem as long as fermentation begins reasonably fast. Mold needs oxygen, so if it sits for several days without yeast fermentation to remove the oxygen, there could be trouble.
Punching down fruit is common because it's common to allow air into the fermenter during the early stages of winemaking. Multiple days of aeration and degassing help the yeast.

I wouldn't recommend delayed pitching of a commercial yeast. I would add it at the beginning or not at all.
 
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Steinaken

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...
Punching down fruit is common because it's common to allow air into the fermenter during the early stages of winemaking. Multiple days of aeration and degassing help the yeast.

I wouldn't recommend delayed pitching of a commercial yeast. I would add it at the beginning or not at all.
the part of punching down the fruit with an open fermenter is making the must right? I thought this was to allow the breakdown of the fruit, drawing more flavours and sugars out into the brew before adding yeast?

I was planning to give it all a couple of days for the pectinase to work its magic, allow a little wild fermentation and flavour profile before I added the yeast? with the intent of giving the yeast a 1-2 day start prior to pitching... If I don't use the wine yeast will there be enough yeast from the fruit to actually carry the brew? and does 3 different fruits = 3 different yeasts?
 

RPh_Guy

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Punching down does help with mixing but the fruit should already be adequately crushed (or frozen/thawed) when it goes into the fermenter. No further mechanical breakdown needs to happen.

Yeast is "added" as soon as you add unpasteurized fruit. A single piece of fruit may have thousands of different microbes on it. A mixed culture can likely ferment into the 9-12% ABV range, and I've had some go much higher. So, yes, the natural yeast can fully ferment your wine, especially if you add a good yeast nutrient with amino acids and vitamins.

Adding commercial yeast after 1-2 days would probably be fine if that's what you want. Your first post said 1-2 weeks, and a wild fermentation would be well on its way or even finished by that point.
 
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Steinaken

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...So, yes, the natural yeast can fully ferment your wine, especially if you add a good yeast nutrient with amino acids and vitamins.
i was going to add wine yeast nutrient, which I assume has most of the necessary nutrients for most yeast, albeit in slightly different levels than some yeasts ma need...

Adding commercial yeast after 1-2 days would probably be fine if that's what you want. Your first post said 1-2 weeks, and a wild fermentation would be well on its way or even finished by that point.
ahk. I was thinking of it as adding the yeast 1-2 days after the ap[ples, but I see what you mean, as obviously the feijoas yeast will have started a week or 2 ahead of that already...
 
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Steinaken

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Im thinking about finishing this brew off with blueberries for flavour, - is the best method for tht going to be juicing the berries and throwing it into a secondary? I don't want a dry mouth feel, so I'm a little bit hesitant since the last brew i threw into a secondary with berries came out very dry....
 
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