New to cider, how should I do this?

Cider is feremented fruit juice, such as apples and pears.

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New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby MaltnHopsrGood » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:10 pm

I am new to cider, but have been brewing beer for about a year and a half, with many batches under my belt.

I received 2 gallons of fresh pressed (pressed by an old school wooden apple press) apple cider. This went straight from the press to the jug, refrigerated, and then given to me. So, no pasteurization, filtering, etc.

What is the best way to use this? Please provide warnings and things to watch out for, what type of yeast to use, a good recipe if possible, if fermentation differs from beer fermentation, etc.

Thank you and I hope to make a great batch of cider! :D
Bottled: Nothing
Keg #1: Dark Chocolate Stout
Keg #2: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Keg #3: Nothing
Keg #4: Nothing
Fermenting: Pale Ale
Next On Deck: India Pale Ale
Brewed in 2017: 50 gallons
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby thetooth » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:52 pm

For yeast, I really like White Labs English Cider yeast (WLP775)

For the juice, you'll have to inhibit wild yeast growth before letting it warm up and pitching your yeast... I think you'll want to add sorbate (campden tablets) to accomplish this, but I can't remember how much off the top of my head. You could boil it, like wort, but if you do it will never clear.

Other than that, cider is cake... much easier than beer.

One last thing, and maybe the hardest... you'll need to let the cider age for at LEAST 3 months before you drink it. It WILL suck when it is fresh. It will mellow to become drinkable after 3 months... it'll be good after 6.
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby thetooth » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:56 pm

thetooth wrote:For the juice, you'll have to inhibit wild yeast growth before letting it warm up and pitching your yeast... I think you'll want to add sorbate (campden tablets) to accomplish this, but I can't remember how much off the top of my head. You could boil it, like wort, but if you do it will never clear.


Just found this on another post:

"Campden tablets are potassium metabisulfite - used to kill any bacteria in the juice. If you are sensitive to sulfates, don't bother with it. You need to wait 24 hours to pitch the yeast, otherwise it will kill it. No need to boil as you are using the campden tablets (2 per gallon of juice). Otherwise you can pitch a large starter into the juice OR heat/cool the juice and then pitch the yeast. There are various schools of thought on this issue."

Not being anywhere near an orchard, I use pasteurized juice from the store, so I'm not really that knowledgeable on how to deal with the wild critters in fresh pressed cider.
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby MaltnHopsrGood » Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:39 pm

Oh, I was thinking of buying some good unfiltered cider from Trader Joes and add to this to make it a 5 gallon batch. Mixing the juices shouldn't cause a problem right?

Also, what about adding cinnamon or other stuff? Should I just go juice alone until I get the hang of it or should I experiment. I like experimenting. :D

Is there anyway to make a good cider faster? 6 months seems like an awful long time to have a fermentation bucket tied up!
Bottled: Nothing
Keg #1: Dark Chocolate Stout
Keg #2: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Keg #3: Nothing
Keg #4: Nothing
Fermenting: Pale Ale
Next On Deck: India Pale Ale
Brewed in 2017: 50 gallons
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby SMITHENHALS » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:33 am

by thetooth on Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:52 pm

You could boil it, like wort, but if you do it will never clear.


First off, I’m no cider expert but I know that you should NEVER boil apple juice.

Try this to get a quick and simple DRY cider.

5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (No preservatives or additives) I use Tree
Top Apple Juice
2lbs Corn Sugar
1pk LALVIN EC-118 yeast, or Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast

Pour apple juice and sugar into fermenter, aerate, pitch dry yeast. Leave in primary for one month. Keg and drink. Secondary is not necessary. This will finish VERY DRY (F.G. 0.998) with an ABV of around 8%. You can back sweeten if preferred, but try it dry first. Thank me later.
On Tap- Pumpkin Spice Ale, Kristie's Very Merry Cherry, India Red Ale, Southern English Brown, Joes Ancient Orange Mead
Primary-
Secondary-
On Deck- Hefe, Dry Stout
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby MaltnHopsrGood » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:45 am

SMITHENHALS wrote:
by thetooth on Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:52 pm

You could boil it, like wort, but if you do it will never clear.


First off, I’m no cider expert but I know that you should NEVER boil apple juice.

Try this to get a quick and simple DRY cider.

5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (No preservatives or additives) I use Tree
Top Apple Juice
2lbs Corn Sugar
1pk LALVIN EC-118 yeast, or Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast

Pour apple juice and sugar into fermenter, aerate, pitch dry yeast. Leave in primary for one month. Keg and drink. Secondary is not necessary. This will finish VERY DRY (F.G. 0.998) with an ABV of around 8%. You can back sweeten if preferred, but try it dry first. Thank me later.


Will this have much apple flavor? Have you ever tried brown sugar instead of corn sugar? If so, how'd it turn out?
Bottled: Nothing
Keg #1: Dark Chocolate Stout
Keg #2: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Keg #3: Nothing
Keg #4: Nothing
Fermenting: Pale Ale
Next On Deck: India Pale Ale
Brewed in 2017: 50 gallons
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby SMITHENHALS » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:17 am

Yes it will have a good natural apple flavor and aroma. It will not however taste like a apple jolly rancher, if that is what you are after, look elsewhere. This will yield a crisp, slightly tart apple flavor. Very light and refreshing, think “apple champagne”. The yeast will consume every bit of available sugar (hence the F.G. OF 0.998) so the use of brown sugar will leave very little or no additional flavor. This is a great recipe that is constantly on tap at my house. It is a real hit with the ladies despite its dry finish. I recommend very high carbonation, around 3 volumes if possible.
On Tap- Pumpkin Spice Ale, Kristie's Very Merry Cherry, India Red Ale, Southern English Brown, Joes Ancient Orange Mead
Primary-
Secondary-
On Deck- Hefe, Dry Stout
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby MaltnHopsrGood » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:33 am

SMITHENHALS wrote:Yes it will have a good natural apple flavor and aroma. It will not however taste like a apple jolly rancher, if that is what you are after, look elsewhere. This will yield a crisp, slightly tart apple flavor. Very light and refreshing, think “apple champagne”. The yeast will consume every bit of available sugar (hence the F.G. OF 0.998) so the use of brown sugar will leave very little or no additional flavor. This is a great recipe that is constantly on tap at my house. It is a real hit with the ladies despite its dry finish. I recommend very high carbonation, around 3 volumes if possible.


That's what I'm going for. Thank you! This one will be for my wife, since I like dark beer and she likes Coors Light :evil: , she doesn't like the winter ales I'm brewing this time of year.
Bottled: Nothing
Keg #1: Dark Chocolate Stout
Keg #2: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Keg #3: Nothing
Keg #4: Nothing
Fermenting: Pale Ale
Next On Deck: India Pale Ale
Brewed in 2017: 50 gallons
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby Beer Hunter » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:46 am

I tried this once, using fresh pressed cider from the local apple orchard. Since I was making it for my mother-in-law, I left out the potassium metabisulfite (big mistake). Long story short, I had 5-gal of apple cider vinegar.

I may have to try this again but with pasteurized, store-bought cider (withouth preservatives, of course).
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby SMITHENHALS » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:53 am

by MaltnHopsrGood on Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:33 am

This one will be for my wife, since I like dark beer and she likes Coors Light


This is fixable, most people don't honestly like Coors Light, they just haven't found what they like so flavorless nothing is what is palatable. My wife was the same way until she discovered the most woman friendly (and my personal favorites) beers in the world.....Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout, and Youngs Double Chocolate Stout. Smooth, silky, chocolaty, slightly roasty, and not at all bitter. Trust me on this one, go pick up a bottle of each and serve them to her ice cold in a snifter glass.....again, thank me later :wink:
On Tap- Pumpkin Spice Ale, Kristie's Very Merry Cherry, India Red Ale, Southern English Brown, Joes Ancient Orange Mead
Primary-
Secondary-
On Deck- Hefe, Dry Stout
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby thetooth » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:40 pm

MaltnHopsrGood wrote:Oh, I was thinking of buying some good unfiltered cider from Trader Joes and add to this to make it a 5 gallon batch. Mixing the juices shouldn't cause a problem right?

Also, what about adding cinnamon or other stuff? Should I just go juice alone until I get the hang of it or should I experiment. I like experimenting. :D

Is there anyway to make a good cider faster? 6 months seems like an awful long time to have a fermentation bucket tied up!


If you mix the juices, it'll be really hard to duplicate a batch if you have random juices from random apples this time. If you don't care about replicating the exact flavor next time, though, it won't hurt a thing.

I would suggest trying it along to have a baseline of taste before you experiment... but by all means, feel free to do so. I'm still having fun with that. My problem is that my wife likes it as is, so it's hard to convince her to let me experiment much without making even more of the stuff. I just made an experimental batch with apple and cherry juices (from a recipe I got on these boards). It's just aging now.

Please don't tie up a bucket for 6 months. You'll oxygenate the hell out of the cider by leaving it in a plastic bucket for 6 months. You'll either want to bulk age in a carboy/keg or you'll want to go ahead and bottle it after fermentation is complete. I use a keg, then in 6 months I put it in the kegerator and carbonate it to serve.

You can always drink it earlier if you wish, but it's really not very good when it's fresh out of fermentation. It really does need some time for the flavors to come together. My wife and I poured out our first batch of cider before we learned this because it was awful. I was bottling back then and used to squirrel away a 6-pack of everything I made to try it later. I ran across a 6-pack of this in that stash about 6 months later and it was actually pretty good. Now I just make/keg a batch every time I tap an aged one so it'll be aging while we're drinking the other. With 6 taps, the cider easily lasts a few months on tap and this way my wife always has cider available.
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby SMITHENHALS » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:12 pm

The recipe I posted is great after one month. No secondary or aging needed.
On Tap- Pumpkin Spice Ale, Kristie's Very Merry Cherry, India Red Ale, Southern English Brown, Joes Ancient Orange Mead
Primary-
Secondary-
On Deck- Hefe, Dry Stout
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby bewm » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:18 pm

SMITHENHALS wrote:The recipe I posted is great after one month. No secondary or aging needed.
Never done a cider but my wife wants one, so I think I'll give yours a go. I don't keg yet so bottling it is the same as any other beer, right? Just prime it?
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby SMITHENHALS » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:28 pm

Yeah, just prime with 3/4 cup corn sugar. If you want it very carbonated try 5.80 oz corn sugar(assuming room temp is 70F).
On Tap- Pumpkin Spice Ale, Kristie's Very Merry Cherry, India Red Ale, Southern English Brown, Joes Ancient Orange Mead
Primary-
Secondary-
On Deck- Hefe, Dry Stout
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Re: New to cider, how should I do this?

Postby bewm » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:30 pm

SMITHENHALS wrote:Yeah, just prime with 3/4 cup corn sugar. If you want it very carbonated try 5.80 oz corn sugar(assuming room temp is 70F).
Thanks!
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