Fall means Hard Cider

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by pen, Oct 12, 2010.

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  1. pen

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    I've got a batch going now. Winter will be about over by the time I get into it. Always something nice to look forward too.

    [​IMG]

    pen
     
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  2. wood spliter

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    Hard cider?? Is that some kind of still? Looks real cool.
     
  3. BucksCoBernie

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    nice. I have 6 gallons clearing. Will be ready around thanksgiving, christmas if i want to wait that long haha. Is that a better bottle carboy?
     
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  4. pen

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    That name sounds awfully familiar so I'd imagine, but I'm not sure. Where I've got it doing its business, I can't see under it to read the bottom right now. I inherited it from a good friend so it's whatever he used.

    Do you have a set time you let yours run for before you rack it? Or do you just let it work till you feel like getting back to it.

    pen
     
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  5. pen

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    Not a still just a glass carboy w/ an airlock on the top. I did my part mixing it up, now I just need my fungi friends to do the rest of the work.

    pen
     
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  6. SolarAndWood

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    Great pic, reminded me to check on the two we have going. That will keep you warm as winter is winding down.
     
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  7. jeff_t

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    That's not a Better Bottle, it's a glass carboy. I wish I knew how to post pics from my phone, or you would see mine full of a rockin' IPA ready to bottle. I just finished bottling the other half of a ten gallon batch.
    Better Bottles really are nice, especially if you are clumsy like me, or have small children.
    I like to sit back and admire five and a half cases of a just bottled batch of beer, as well as a cord of just stacked freshly split wood. With a pint, of course.
     
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  8. pen

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    Ok, the better bottles are plastic aren't they. I was just looking at them at the shop the other day. That's why I recognized the name.

    I do beer but do them in 2 gal batches usually with the Mr. Beer stuff. For how easy it is, the product is quite good. I'm not saying that it's as great as traditional methods (since it is the brownie box mix of beer making) but for the few minutes it takes versus the few hours using traditional practices, it's damn nice.

    pen
     
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  9. pegasus

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    I need your recipe, I have a big tree full of sweet apples and I enjoy I good hard cider.
     
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  10. Freeheat

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    Making hard cider do you bring the wert to temp for a period of time then the yeast ?? Looks great wish I had all my beer equipment.
     
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  11. billb3

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    looks just like my carboy of pear wine
    except mine is a bit clearer in the middle
     
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  12. lukem

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    I've seriously got to learn how to make that. I put 22 gallons of cider in the freezer about a month back (and gave another 10 away), so I have no shortage of cider.
     
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  13. Adios Pantalones

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    Very cool. I haven't made it in 10 years, but have some 10 year old "New England strength" cider in the basement. Too smooth, and 9% alcohol. I cut it 50/50 with fresh cider in a punch bowl, but everyone gets slammed on it because it's so smooth.
     
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  14. timfromohio

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    I have a batch going in the basement right now - it's technically a mead, based on honey content, and should finish out at 13%-14%.
     
  15. Backwoods Savage

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    Makes me thirsty just looking at the pictures.

    Around here there are very few apples this year. We got 7 apples total this year. It seems we had a hard freeze just at the wrong time. I feared for the peaches but they were enough past full blossom and we ended up with lots of them. Those 7 apples did taste good though.
     
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  16. northwinds

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    Looks good. I used to make a double carboy batch each fall but lost my apple supply when we moved this spring.

    I'm planning out my new orchard to plant next spring. Cider will be a few seasons away.
     
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  17. pen

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    I use 1 lb of honey per gallon of cider. I start w/ cold / cool cider and only warm as small amount as necessary to get the honey to dissolve and add when the carboy is about 3/4 full, then top it off. If you start w/ hot cider in there as it cools, it will be drawing in in backwards through the air lock. If you start w/ cold cider, it will look like it is bubbling as it warms up then allows the yeast to take action.

    I don't add yeast to mine just use whatever may have been in the cider. As such this batch will probably take about 6 months. That time could probably be dropped to about 2 months if an outside yeast source was added.

    Many people I know start w/ this as a base recipe then go from there. Most everyone agrees that it should be racked in about a month to 6 weeks time. At that point, some people say to just let it go as it is. Others say to top it off w/ more cider / honey or more cider or apple juice, etc. Some people rack more than once / some people add raisins / etc.

    I'm kinda thinking that this year I'm going to rack it 2 - 3 times, and add more cider and honey so that I can stop this in a few months by having a high enough alcohol content to do away w/ the yeast and yet be able to maintain some sweetness (having sugar that can't be consumed since they are all dead) so that's it's not too dry.

    My mood will determine how I finish it out.

    pen
     
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  18. Highbeam

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    I see you left nearly no head space. Does the cider not get a foam head on it like beer does? I purposely use the big 6.5 gallon carboy for a 5 gallon beer batch for just this reason. 11 days ago we bottled 5 gallons of blackberry wheat ale made from 5.5 pounds of our blackberries. This last batch was either going to be the blackberry wheat or my first try at a hard sparkling cider. I didn't think it took so long to make the cider.
     
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  19. pen

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    If I were to have added yeast, then I would have left a lot of head space. Since I'm using whatever was available naturally in the cider the fermentation takes place much slower and doesn't work up as much. I think it crawled up maybe 3/4 of an inch, but that is it.

    I haven't done beer since May. I'll have to get it going again now that fall is coming. I have never used blackberry's but had great luck w/ boisenberries. That sounds like some good suds. Wish I could share one w/ ya.

    pen
     
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  20. begreen

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    You folks have inspired me to try this myself, but now I am a little concerned we started off wrong because the instructions I just read say that we should have added pectic enzyme to the pulp before pressing the apples. Can this be done post pressing to the juice?

    I have enough cider to do 2 batches, so I could do a yeast added batch and a natural yeast batch. That would make like 10 gallons of cider. Is that risky business for a neophyte? Seems like a lot of brew to consume.
     
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  21. northwinds

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    I've never added pectin enzyme either pre or post pressing. The enzymes help break apart the pectin, making more sugars available to the yeast (either natural or commercial), inducing increased fermentation and leading to faster clearing of the cider. If you keep your cider long enough, it will usually clear up on its own. I've never worried about whether my cider is clear or not, so long as it tastes good. But the answer to your question is that it can be done post pressing. I've never heard of it being added to the pulp.

    Personally, I wouldn't try a natural yeast batch. When a homebrewer has a bad batch, it's almost always because a wild or natural yeast has overcome the pure strain of commercial yeast. Some natural yeast will create a flavor that is good, but others can produce a sour, unpleasant flavor. Why take a chance on a bunch of tasty apple juice?

    A lot of commercial yeasts will produce a really dry cider with high alcohol content. I starting using Wyeast 1056, which is what is used for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The yeast doesn't do well at higher alcohol levels, so the yeast dies off while leaving some nice residual sugar in the cider and a lower alcohol
    level.

    If your cider is good, you won't have trouble finding people to help you consume it. :)
     
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  22. pen

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    I've never added enzyme, also, I suggest leaving more headspace than what is shown in that picture at the top of this thread
     
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  23. Pallet Pete

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    You know I do either depending on what I feel like usually Norfolk, munitions or coopers. For traditional I use brewers best usually and to be honest the extract tasts really good if you age it properly as good if not better than traditional beer process.
    That cider looks good pen that's one thing I have not tried hard cider maybe I will soon.

    Pete
     
  24. pen

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    This year we used 1lb of honey (goldenrod) and 1/2 lb white sugar per gallon. Last year we did 1lb honey and 1/4lb white sugar. We were happy with last year's, but figured we'd add a little more sugar for our tiny friends to feast on.

    Just racked it the other night and we were very happy with how it's coming. Once we get it where we like it, I will add a stop agent this year. Last year we didn't and it dried out more than what we wanted come spring.

    Really, we're making apple wine since we let it run until clear. We'll bottle some without the stop agent in 22oz beer bottles to go fizzy (cizer) probably next time we rack. The rest we'll let run longer.

    We also did a test gallon each adding raspberries, blackberries, and pear. Also, I use champagne yeast now as well.

    The operation is growing ==c
    185262_435116803191789_453487545_n.jpg
     
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  25. begreen

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    That's impressive! We're launching carboy #1 tomorrow. Today I added pectin, yeast nutrients and 5 ground-up campden tablets to the mix. Tomorrow it goes into the big bottle after I pitch the yeast. I'm using champagne yeast on this first batch. These were sweet apples. Without added sugar I'm reading 1057 sp. gr.. Fingers crossed, hope it works.

    Keep me posted Pen. I want to know how the test batches come out too.
     
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