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First Cider Questions


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#1 matt6150

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:56 PM

Never made a cider yet but will be in the next couple days. I've never really been a cider guy and do not have much experience on what a good cider is. There have been a few people bring them to my homebrew club meeting and there pretty good but just not my thing. But the wife likes them so here we are. Talking to a few people in my homebrew club there just using 1056 for yeast and turning these things around in a month and drinking them. Like I said they taste fine to me but I don't have much experience there. I will basically be following the directions in the FAQ about basic cider and have a starter of 4766 going right now. The question is should I just follow the guide in the FAQ or is this drinkable in a month or so? Also I was thinking of throwing in some brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice, any ill effects of this?


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#2 neddles

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:44 PM

What is the source of your juice?


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#3 matt6150

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:18 PM

Just apple juice.
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#4 StankDelicious

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:45 PM

Just apple juice.

If you can wait until the fall apple harvests come in, you'll be way more pleased with fresh apple cider as an ingredient.  Unpasteurized if you can get it.


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#5 EWW

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:55 PM

Fresh pressed unpasteurized juice, fermentation vessel, and time is all you needStore apple juice ciders are meh at best
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#6 neddles

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 06:05 PM

Yeah you will be much more pleased with the fresh stuff. It can be done with stuff purchased from the store if you really just want to try it out. It just won't be anywhere near as good.


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#7 matt6150

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:01 AM

Yeah I get that, that's why I never mentioned using apple juice in the first place. I just want to give it a whirl and my yeast is getting old so I need to use it plus this is super cheap. I can try the fresh stuff later not a big deal. My questions where about the brown sugar and pie spice and if its a good idea or not? Also the quick turn around thing and what I should expect?
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#8 neddles

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:20 AM

If you try to bump up the gravity with brown sugar, depending on how much you use, you may not be able to turn it around as quickly. Can't comment on the spices as I haven't tried them in cider before.


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#9 johnpreuss

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:44 AM

Not to jack your thread but my wife has me doing the same thing... DAMN YOU ANGRY ORCHARD!!! 

 

Is fermentation temp a factor like in brewing beer? 


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#10 johnpreuss

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 06:47 AM

Yeah I get that, that's why I never mentioned using apple juice in the first place. I just want to give it a whirl and my yeast is getting old so I need to use it plus this is super cheap. I can try the fresh stuff later not a big deal. My questions where about the brown sugar and pie spice and if its a good idea or not? Also the quick turn around thing and what I should expect?

 

I won't bang on you for the store bought juice.  I'm planning on doing the same.  Earthtone has a thread about simple cider using Sams club cider or something similar.  I had the owner of the local make wine on premise store suggest wine yeast... so I"m going to try using Lalvin EC-1118


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#11 neddles

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:31 AM

I won't bang on you for the store bought juice.  I'm planning on doing the same.  Earthtone has a thread about simple cider using Sams club cider or something similar.  I had the owner of the local make wine on premise store suggest wine yeast... so I"m going to try using Lalvin EC-1118

I don't think I would use 1118 in a cider but I have not tried it. I would think it would take it well below 1.000 and be a little harsh. I have had good results using Nottingham @55F. It goes a little slow but leaves a nice hint of sweetness and is pretty good about preserving apple flavor IME. Ferm. temp does matter .


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#12 Mando

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:47 AM

i like to let the natural yeast do their thing.  i'd like to get ahold of better apple juice that was intended for cider.  the stuff i buy around here made from macs and the like is decent but i bet the right apples would make it dynamite!


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#13 MtnBrewer

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:21 AM

I don't think I would use 1118 in a cider but I have not tried it. I would think it would take it well below 1.000 and be a little harsh. I have had good results using Nottingham @55F. It goes a little slow but leaves a nice hint of sweetness and is pretty good about preserving apple flavor IME. Ferm. temp does matter .

1118 might be harsh but pretty much any yeast is going to ferment apple juice to complete dryness.

#14 realbeerguy

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:42 AM

+1 on fresh juice

 

Add about 2#/5 gal Brown Sugar to get a New England cider.  About a # of raisins too.

 

My go to yeast is Cotes de Blanc, but then I like my ciders dry.


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#15 neddles

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:22 AM

1118 might be harsh but pretty much any yeast is going to ferment apple juice to complete dryness.

That's mostly true. I didn't write it down but I know my Notty batches finished no lower than 1.000. EC-1118 is going to take that straight to .990. IME there is a real difference between those gravities and thats why I recommended against EC-1118.


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#16 miccullen

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:45 PM

1118 might be harsh but pretty much any yeast is going to ferment apple juice to complete dryness.

keep it cool and it ferments pretty clean

 

I am partial to ale yeasts with storebought juice S-04 and T-58 are interesting


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#17 Genesee Ted

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:36 AM

Funny that the grocery store apple juice comes up.  At NHC there was a seminar called "Advanced Cidermaking Techniques".  I was intrigued since I make a few every year from tree to press to fermenter to final package.  Turns out this dude giving the presentation was from Whale's Vagina (San Diego) and makes all his ciders from store bought juice, not cider.  :blink:   Not what I expected.  The guy wins awards with them I guess.  He says they turn around pretty quickly, like a month tops.  Make sure you add the proper amount of nutrient.  According to some taste tests he did with a whole bunch of yeasts, English strains were preferred by tasters.   :blush:

 

Not what I would do or call advanced by any means, but it goes to show you that it can be done if you don't have access to good cider or are just trying to make something.  It should clear without finings since the juice is already extremely filtered.  

 

As to fermentation temperatures, of course they matter.  They always matter no matter what you are making.  All fermentations are temperature sensitive.  



#18 johnpreuss

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 06:13 AM

  He says they turn around pretty quickly, like a month tops.  Make sure you add the proper amount of nutrient.  According to some taste tests he did with a whole bunch of yeasts, English strains were preferred by tasters.   :blush:

 

As to fermentation temperatures, of course they matter.  They always matter no matter what you are making.  All fermentations are temperature sensitive.  

 

Ok, I'll bite.  What is the proper amount of nutrient?  Would I be wrong saying I may be better off going and getting a pack of S-04 and leave the wine yeast alone. 

 

I asked the temp question because I have heard that wines are fermented really warm.  I'm a cider making virgin so I'm assuming everything I know is wrong. :wacko:


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#19 Genesee Ted

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:25 AM

Ok, I'll bite.  What is the proper amount of nutrient?  Would I be wrong saying I may be better off going and getting a pack of S-04 and leave the wine yeast alone. 

 

I asked the temp question because I have heard that wines are fermented really warm.  I'm a cider making virgin so I'm assuming everything I know is wrong. :wacko:

Apples make a pretty nutrient deficient must, especially if you add sugar to boost it.  If you want to be very systematic and disciplined, go with HighTest's SNA schedule.  For a simpler plan, just follow the instructions on the nutrient bottle.  

 

It is true that some wines ferment pretty hot, but that is what those individual yeast strains are acclimated to.  They won't do what they do well at 65.



#20 miccullen

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:56 AM

Ok, I'll bite.  What is the proper amount of nutrient?  Would I be wrong saying I may be better off going and getting a pack of S-04 and leave the wine yeast alone. 

 

I asked the temp question because I have heard that wines are fermented really warm.  I'm a cider making virgin so I'm assuming everything I know is wrong. :wacko:

treat your storebought juice cider like your were ferementing a bitter, but with added nutrients, S-04 will make a good cider and drop clear quickly


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