Suggestions please for top notch juice

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CMcPherson

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Well... I just found out that one of the nations premier cider orchards is less than an hour away from me!! :rockin:

I'll be picking up 15 gals of fresh unpasteurized juice from Albemarle Ciderworks today and I'm very excited to try my hand at cider from premier quality juice.
I have Notti and WL English Cider yeast. Since this is from an orchard dedicated to cider apples, I'm thinking of doing the third batch with a natural fermentation.

I would love to hear some advice and cautions that I should keep in mind.
I plan on having my kegs ready for bulk aging and force carbing when these batches are ready.
I'm going to sock these away for at least a year (Bacchus willing).

My plan ATM is to:
Use no nutrients in order to halt fermentation early.
1/2 dose K-Meta in order to take advantage of natural yeast.
Do starters for two of them
Full natural fermentation on the third
Cold crash at 1.010
Add subtle flavors to each (Oak, fruit, hops etc.)
Bulk age in cornies under pressure

Please chime in and help a newbie with his first real cider.
My first 4 have been practices and I would love to see some real quality with these.
 

gratus fermentatio

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If you want the natural yeast to ferment, don't add any sulfites, that would kill or at least severly reduce the population of the natural yeast in the juice.
Regards, GF.
 

Jbones

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I live in Williamsburg and did not know that you could buy straight up juice from Ablemarle Ciderworks. That is great news CMcPherson! Do you know what it costs per gallon?
 
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CMcPherson

CMcPherson

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GF, I did 1/2 dose of Sulfite according to the Juice PH.
From what I've learned this will allow for a natural fermentation while killing the spoilage yeasts.

jbones, it was $10 gal including bulk discount because I brought my own buckets.
Pricey indeed but it's local, not pasteurized and cider apples grown specifically for hard cider. Not sweet dessert apples like is sold in stores.
It measured out to 1.055 and PH 3.5.
 

Nozoki

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I live in Albemarle and never even thought about these guys. We have Carter Mountain Orchard here, too. I don't know if they sell in bulk though. How much is the cider from Albemarle Ciderworks?
 

madscientist451

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I used the Nottingham yeast in 2014 and didn't like it, produced a sulfur aroma and flavor, the WL 002 works better for me and produces an off-dry cider. The WL cider yeast will produce a dry cider. I do about 15 gallons of wild yeast cider a year, its different but good to try. I don't use sulfites at all. I'll put about 5.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon beer carboy then rack to a 5 gallon carboy when its done fermenting and fill it all the way up. Kegs are a good alternative. No need to wait a year, I'd taste it when you rack and then after 3 months or so. When it tastes good, go ahead and drink it, there's no improvement with time like there is with red wine. Thanks for the post, didn't know they had juice.
 
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CMcPherson

CMcPherson

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I live in Albemarle and never even thought about these guys. We have Carter Mountain Orchard here, too. I don't know if they sell in bulk though. How much is the cider from Albemarle Ciderworks?
It was a little steep at $10/gal but it is unpasteurized and specifically made from cider apples.
Carters is good but they buy their juice from an orchard in NOVA and I don't know that it's not dessert apples.
 

CvilleKevin

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Looks like a solid plan to me! Do you have temp control? Ideal for Notty is 60-64 depending on how fast you want it to fement. 58-60 for wild yeast.

What was the apple mix and specs on your ACW juice?

Good luck! When its done, I hope you'll bring some to the next CAMRA mtg!
 
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CMcPherson

CMcPherson

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My only control is an unheated room that stays right around 60°.
I was told that it was mostly Pippins.
It measured out to 1.055, 5 TA and PH 3.5.
A taste test from some experienced cider drinkers would be great.
 
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