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Cider time

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by begreen, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Very yellow and clear. Did you add any fining agents or filter it? Was your raw cider clear like that? Mine is always quite cloudy which I like but I wonder why yours is different.

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  2. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    thanks guys. begreen nice looking beverage
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I added pectin in the beginning, but that is all. Multiple rackings are what I used to get a clear product. It started out looking cloudy just like Pen's picture shows. I'm getting ready to rack last week's batch today to get it off of the lees. Then it will sit in the carboy for a month. Then I rack it again to leave any sediments behind and bottle right away (with back carbonation).

    BTW, it's interesting to see how this cider ages. It tastes more applely now than it did 6 months ago and the color is a bit more golden.
  4. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    The color and clarity are really nice. The clarity particularly is surprising to me.

    We use Irish moss when brewing beer as clarifier to coagulate the solids. Does pectin do that with your cider?

    Do you add a sugar with your yeast, or do you get all the fermentables you need from the cider?

    If anyone has a link to a straight-up hard cider recipe they like a lot, I'd appreciate the reference.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The beauty of cider and particularly straight-up cider is that it is just that, cider. The only thing you can do is change apples or yeast. My favorite batch so far was with 100% honeycrisp apple cider and nottingham ale yeast. Of course, I added some brown sugar to get to my desired OG but the apple is what makes the cider.

    I am not fond of racking beer or cider. I don't mind cloudiness in either. It doesn't taste any different but sitting on the lees for an extended period may introduce some funk. The cider does get better with time.

    BG, you're still bottling right? Add corn sugar to carbonate?
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's said that some of the least tasty apples make the best ciders. At this point I am too much of a neophyte to verify that claim, but I have done several taste offs with local cider producers and agree that some of their ciders are more complex with a richer bottom. That's why I added some other, more tart local cider to mine this year. We'll see. I am a month or so from bottling.

    Sitting on the yeast makes that taste more prominent. Getting it off the lees helps create a more pure apple flavor. Yes, I back carbonate with corn sugar. I picked up some xylitol and am going to try adding that to one gallon of cider to see if I like the sweeter product or not. It's made from birch bark and less sweet than regular sugar and doesn't have a chemical aftertaste like saccharine or aspartane. I'll let you know how that experiment turns out.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  8. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    That's exactly what I was looking for, begreen. I am always inclined toward more information than less.

    Thanks!
  9. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for your suggestions.

    I've racked and not racked beer. I don't mind cloudiness, but I like the more subtle flavors I get when I get it off the trub.
    Highbeam and pen like this.
  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Great to experiment and refine your tastes. My latest trick with beer is brew-to-belly in one week with the pale ale type recipes. No racking. With kegs it won't hurt if the yeast aren't quite done so long as they've eaten enough to develop the desired finished product.
  11. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    arn't you afraid of making bottle bombs? i've made beer that wasn't even close to being bottled after 2 weeks sometimes 3 weeks.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I switched to corny kegs this summer. These are 5 gallons, stainless steel, with a high pressure blow off (140psi) just in case. Bottling takes too much time and effort, not only in the actual bottling process but also time for the yeast to carbonate naturally. Then you get that nasty gunk on the bottom of every bottle.

    I've toured the Georgetown brewery several times (Manny's pale ale, and Lucille IPA) and their famous Manny's is a one week brew to belly. It inspired me to rush the process for fresh beer without waiting.
  13. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    It's been a few years since I made hard cider, but I always used Wyeast 1056 to get a sweeter cider without sweetening at the end with sugar. One of the attributes of this strain of yeast is that the yeast die when the alcohol reaches a lower level of alcohol than a yeast like Nottingham. The other way to avoid sweetening at the end is to use an ale yeast and then cold crash the cider. Ale yeast will not continue to ferment at low temperatures. Works very well with Corny kegs because you force carbonate anyway.

    BeGreen, maybe I missed it in the thread, but what type of cider maker do you have? I'm going to pull the trigger one of these years and buy my own. My father-in-law has one, but we're not the best of friends. :)
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if this is the best solution. I'll have to research cold crashing but the first thing I do after transfering to the kegs is to stick them in the fridge at 35 degrees and pour the gas to them. That would stop an active fermentation?
  15. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I always make mine go cold before bottling to help clarify at the end. With the yeast I use, they will keep munching even in the cold. I like it as alcoholic as I can get them to take it.

    I like my cider so that 2 good glasses gets the job done, 3 is over the line, 4 is right out.

    pen
  16. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Here's an explanation/discussion. Pay particular attention to Kevin's post. I store mine refrigerated, but he claims that he stores at room temperature after cold crashing/racking.

    It does make sense.

    http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=65723
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That would be a great way to reduce brewing time and also maintain some sweetness. What do you suggest for a target FG to maintain a "sweet" or commercial level of sweetness in the crashed cider? I'm going to try this on my next batch. Which might be awhile due to the high ABV of the current one.

    I just found a source of year round fresh pressed non-pasteurized cider. They buy/store whole apples until weekly pressing.
  18. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Almost all of the retail cider around us is pasteurized. There's one place that has fresh cider in the fall unpasteurized. $7/gallon and kept in a cooler.

    I like my cider to finish at 1.015. The Beer Judge certification program has categorized cider this way:

    • Dry: below 0.9% residual sugar. This corresponds to a final specific gravity of under 1.002.
    • Medium: in the range between dry and sweet (0.9% to 4% residual sugar, final gravity 1.002 to 1.012). Sometimes characterized as either 'off-dry' or 'semi-sweet.'
    • Sweet: above 4% residual sugar, roughly equivalent to a final gravity of over 1.012.
    Highbeam likes this.
  19. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I never buy raw cider anymore if I can get UV pasteurized.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, that sounds interesting. Is it within a reasonable range of Tacoma?
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Closer to Olympia, I can get a location for you, it's an actual business. They sell pasteurized or non-pasteurized and press each weekend. No mexican fruit, I guess that's a big deal? 5$ per gallon sold in gallon milk type jugs. I don't know how they pasteurize whether it is with UV, heat, or chemicals.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Bottling day. I think this is going to be a good one. It's clear and tasty. After siphoning it into a bucket for the final racking we ended up with 56 bottles of brew. Should be ready for imbibing around Christmas.

    Cider_bottling.jpg Cider bottling.jpg Cider bottles.jpg
    Jags likes this.
  23. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    Looks great!

    See if you can figure out a way to post a link so we can all sample the brew! :)
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    LOL, I'll try virtual straws.

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