Cider

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metis
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Re: Cider

Postby metis » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:22 am

i'd imagine it'll be fine. you may get some fruiter esters due to higher initial temp, but it's a cider... let it sit in secondary at a cooler temp (not cellar cold, but not heated) and proceed as you normally would.

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jtbarclay
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Re: Cider

Postby jtbarclay » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:58 am

my understanding is that if it hasn't turned to vinegar it'll be alright

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idris_arslanian
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Re: Cider

Postby idris_arslanian » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:35 am

Don't suppose you put one of those aquarium temp stickers on the side to let you know what temp you were fermenting at? High temps aren't as bad w/ ciders due to the esters a high temp fermentation creates are, well, cidery. 5 days is fine for visible activity. I'd let it go for a total of 2 wks and then move it to the bottle. You'll be fine.

bdsimmons2
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Re: Cider

Postby bdsimmons2 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:21 am

Thanks for all the replies gents...

I do have a temp sticker on the side of my primary bucket, although in a rookie move I did forget to measure the OG. It went as high as 72° but was mostly between 66° & 70°
(I just moved and I haven't quite figured out what to do with all 4 thermostats and 2 zones yet to keep the house a constant temp...)

My original "brew space" was supposed to be in the basement, so I'm all set up down there. I just got concerned with how many times the Midwest guys mentioned people having problems with their fermentation stopping because it was too cold where they were brewing. Maybe I took that a little too seriously.

In the future is it better to let the process go in the colder space and take longer, or am I splitting hairs? Yeast eating sugar and pooping alchohol is all I need to know right? Nevermind all this other technical stuff :D

OK, I'm racking into the glass carboy secondary tonight, and then I'll let it go for another 2 weeks and bottle. I've heard cider is best left to age for up to a year, so I figured I'd just leave it in my basement brew space and try a bottle every 2 weeks until I'm happy with it.

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idris_arslanian
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Re: Cider

Postby idris_arslanian » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:32 am

Get too cold and the yeast stop gettin' busy. Too hot and you get off flavors. You want to be the specific temp for the yeast strain. Speaking of which, what are you using? Dry, liquid, specific name? OG isn't a big deal since you're using a standard cider w/o any additives. You should be able to sample your next unyeasted cider to get a base enough OG reading. Also, if you really want to get into specifics, check out the Northernbrewer.com forums. The guys over there make most professional brewers look like amateurs.

-The DTs

bdsimmons2
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Re: Cider

Postby bdsimmons2 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:24 pm

I used Wyeast Cider # 4766 Vinter's Choice Activator "smack pack" it says on the packet "temp range between 70° and 74°", but on their website I'm seeing a range of 60° to 75° for the yeast strain, so the upper range must be for activation of the smack pack, and not the yeast itself. I might even try keeping some of the yeast when I'm done, and throw it at another batch of cider in the near future.

I've been wading through Midwests forums, I'll go check out NorthernBrewer too. Never hurts to have another tool in my box.

Thanks

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idris_arslanian
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Re: Cider

Postby idris_arslanian » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:44 pm

If your sanitation standards are up to par, and you get the next batch on the existing yeast cake quickly, you'll have much better luck w/ your second batch due to an increased cell count. One thing to note on repitching or pitching onto a yeast cake is that you will usually only need half or less. Therefore, if you want to be multiplicative, you could use the yeast cake from batch #1 to brew both #2 and #3 at the same time. You usually don't want to repitch more than 4 times if your sanitation is impeccable, but 2 or 3 times can be done regularly once you get the hang of it. Cider is also more forgiving than beer, as it hides flaws better.

Check this site for more info on repitching or proper yeast starter counts: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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jtbarclay
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Re: Cider

Postby jtbarclay » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:09 pm

idris_arslanian wrote:You usually don't want to repitch more than 4 times if your sanitation is impeccable, but 2 or 3 times can be done regularly once you get the hang of it. Cider is also more forgiving than beer, as it hides flaws better.


On that note, I've got a batch going right now that's 5th generation yeasties. It was resurrected from the sediment at the bottom of a bottle that I added sugar to and left on my stir plate for 2 days. I'll see how it turns out, if it's alright I've got more yeast bottled in the fridge that is either 4th or 5th gen, and I intend to use it rather than spending $6 on more yeast.

Captain
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Re: Cider

Postby Captain » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:58 pm

Hey you guys, I've done some ciders before if you don't mind me chiming in as well. If you are going to press your own apples consider that most orchards today grow dessert apples not traditional cider apples. Real cider apples are very difficult to find now. There are still some grown for the large brew houses out east. A true cider apple has a very low pH which makes it extremely tart and also very high tannin levels. I've heard it said that the old cider apples grown in colonial times would blister your lips if you ate them. That is probably an exaggeration but you get the point. A good cider juice to start with should taste both very tart and very bitter. It is not the same as what we buy at the store. The taste is technically called bittersharp.

The big thing in apples right now is overly sweet apples like honeycrisp. Great for the growers as people love to eat them but not so good for hard cider. If the only flavor present in the apple is sweetness and the fermentation process turns all the sugar to alcohol you are left with very little in the way of flavor in a finished product.

There are two ways around this for the homebrewer. If you are buying store bought juice I've heard of people adding green apple juice concentrate to the mix. In with the frozen apple juice you can buy juice in a green can that is a very tart apple juice from Granny Smith apples. The concentrate helps lower the pH of the mix which thus adds in the desirable tartness. If you are milling your own apples you want to add in a healthy portion of the most inedible crabapples you can find. You want really really bitter ones. These have the highest tannin content.

When the cider mellows out after fermentation the bittersharp flavors will mellow out into a nice flavor profile. One other thing to keep in mind about brewing cider is that you can drink it right away but it is best to age it for along time. In that respect, cider is much more like wine making than beer making. Some cider folks recommend nothing short of two years!

One other tidbit I picked up is that the consensus seems to be that cider ages better with bulk aging rather than in bottles. Bulk age it as long as you can stand it and then bottle close to when you will drink it.

Hope you find that all interesting!

~Captain


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