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Old October 17th, 2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default lern me some on making hard cider

We have apple trees overflowing this year. I just got my Jack Lulane (sp) juicer in the mail and started making juice tonight. It is not clear, and has some pulp so I'm calling it cider. Juice is in the fridge overnight and tomorrow I'm heading to a wine shop to buy wine-making materials.

Any advice from experience on how to make the best hard apple cider?
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Old October 17th, 2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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I can tell you how not to. Don't use distiled water. It'll make your wine drier than a popcorn fart.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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It'll make your wine drier than a popcorn fart.
That's almost as dry as an Arab queef.

You better listen to the man.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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I can tell you how not to. Don't use distiled water. It'll make your wine drier than a popcorn fart.
Why would I add water? Do I need to dilute the cider before fermenting? Either way, I have both RO and well water. And if I need more "particulate" than that, I could always pull some from my pond.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #5
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You may or may not want to dilute the cider, depending on what you want the end product to finish like. You may also want to add sugar.

There are plenty of homebrewing forums and books out there, and the guy at the brew shop should be able to guide you through what you need to purchase and do to get the result you want.

Adding sugar can help get you higher alcohol content, diluting can get you lower. Different yeasts have different characteristics, too.

Here's a really quick guide on brewing cider that I found: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/media...outs/Cider.pdf
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Old October 17th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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Why would I add water? Do I need to dilute the cider before fermenting? Either way, I have both RO and well water. And if I need more "particulate" than that, I could always pull some from my pond.
To be honest I don't remember why I added water. I do remember that I used distiled water because I heard that minerals in well water can effect taste. I bought all the equipment to make it. Made one fairly big batch trying to make hard cider. I turned out as a dry wine. All the carbois, hydrometer and other misc stuff sat in my basement for years. I gave it all to a friend this year who is using it to make beer. Worked out great for me, I love free .
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Old October 18th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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First figure out what variety of apples you have, then use google and the local homebrew store of your choice. Different strains of yeast will yield different finishes (read tastes). DO NOT use bread yeast, it will have a dirty cardboard/bread finish.

I have a 6 gallon batch going right now that should yield 20-26%...we'll see how it turns out.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #8
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First figure out what variety of apples you have, then use google and the local homebrew store of your choice. Different strains of yeast will yield different finishes (read tastes). DO NOT use bread yeast, it will have a dirty cardboard/bread finish.

I have a 6 gallon batch going right now that should yield 20-26%...we'll see how it turns out.
Thanks. I'm heading to Livonia today. Figure I'll start with a few 1 gallon batches and maybe try champaign yeast in one, beer yeast in another, and maybe let the third go slowly without any added yeast.

I read online that some people add brown sugar, but it wasn't clear if this is done before or after fermentation.

Some also pasteurize before and after fermentation while others skip the pasteurization. Any thoughts?

And then there was mention of apple jack. What's that? There's a lot of reading to do.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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Last months issue of BYO magazine had a good article on making hard cider. I've never made it but have made plenty of Cyser.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 11:24 AM   #10
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Thanks. I'm heading to Livonia today. Figure I'll start with a few 1 gallon batches and maybe try champaign yeast in one, beer yeast in another, and maybe let the third go slowly without any added yeast.

I read online that some people add brown sugar, but it wasn't clear if this is done before or after fermentation.

Some also pasteurize before and after fermentation while others skip the pasteurization. Any thoughts?

And then there was mention of apple jack. What's that? There's a lot of reading to do.
I'm guessing that it is cider that has been "jacked." I've done this with my homemade wine before. Leave the wine/cider outside when it's freezing or in a freezer and the water will freeze/separate from the rest. Scoop it out and you have a higher content alcohol.
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Old October 18th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #11
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I'm guessing that it is cider that has been "jacked." I've done this with my homemade wine before. Leave the wine/cider outside when it's freezing or in a freezer and the water will freeze/separate from the rest. Scoop it out and you have a higher content alcohol.
mmm hard cider slushie
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Old October 19th, 2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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4 gallons cider-one gallon clover honey,nutmeg&cinnimon,sweet mead yeast.Let ferment AT LEAST 6 months.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 02:09 PM   #13
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For a real basic start and to cut your teeth on I recommend the kiss method (keep it simple stupid) start with 5 gallons of your Apple juice/cider in a 6 gallon fermenting vessel (I use a 6gal bucket that came in my beer brewing kit) add 5 crushed up campden tablets to the mix and stir in (this will kill the wild yeast that can turn good cider into vinegar) wait 24hrs with the lid on and vapor lock in place and then put your yeast (I use champagne yeast) in and cover back up for a week (you should see the vapor lock bubbling within 24hrs. After a week siphon off into another SANATISED fermentation vessel avoiding the sledge on the bottom. Let that sit for 2 weeks, and then if you like clarify it (I use sparkloid powder) after it is cleared out time to drink/bottle. If you don't like how dry it tastes you can now add campden tabs to kill your yeast and add sugar to backsweeten to you liking.

Most importantly EVERYTHING that comes in contact with your cider must me SANATISED or you WILL have a lovely bucket full of mold. Ask your local home brew shop what to use to sanatise with.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #14
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Buy a gallon of cider. Buy a fifth of Jim Beam Red Stag Apple Cider bourbon. Throw into a pot over low heat with five or so cinnamon sticks. Warm up... cool off... warm up... cool off... NEVER LET IT BOIL. All the alcohol will go up and get God drunk.

Let it cool. Add honey to taste. Chug that shit and forget you ever made it.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #15
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I'm on day 1. Visited both the Wine Barrel in Livonia and Adventures in Homebrewing in Ann Arbor this weekend. Today I peeled, cored, and juiced about 100 macintosh apples from our trees to make 1 gallon of cider. Crushed, dissolved and added 1 Campden tablet and am letting it kill off the native yeast for the next 48 hours. Also have the hardware soaking for the next 48 hours in Straight A detergent.

On Monday I will sterilize the hardware for 5 minutes in Star San and then make the brew in the 2 gallon plastic primary fermentor as follows:

1 gallon cider
1 lbs brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Pectic enzymes
1 teaspoon acid blend
1 teaspoon Yeast Nutrients
1 Packet of yeast

I've been reading a LOT and this is the concensus. The only question, what type of yeast would you use?

Nottingham Ale Yeast
Safale US-05 Dry ale yeast
EC-1118 Spakling Wine yeast
K1-V1116 Wine Yeast

I bought all of these to play around with as I'm going to make 4 batches of 1 gallon each over the next month trying different recipes. Any recommendations?
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Old October 19th, 2013, 07:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by amc78cj7 View Post
I'm on day 1. Visited both the Wine Barrel in Livonia and Adventures in Homebrewing in Ann Arbor this weekend. Today I peeled, cored, and juiced about 60 apples from our trees to make 1 gallon of cider. Crushed, dissolved and added 1 Campden tablet and am letting it kill off the native yeast for the next 48 hours. Also have the hardware soaking for the next 48 hours in Straight A detergent.

On Monday I will sterilize the hardware for 5 minutes in Star San and then make the brew in the 2 gallon plastic primary fermentor as follows:

1 gallon cider
1 lbs brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Pectic enzymes
1 teaspoon acid blend
1 teaspoon Yeast Nutrients
1 Packet of yeast

I've been reading a LOT and this is the concensus. The only question, what type of yeast would you use?

Nottingham Ale Yeast
Safale US-05 Dry ale yeast
EC-1118 Spakling Wine yeast
K1-V1116 Wine Yeast

I bought all of these to play around with as I'm going to make 4 batches of 1 gallon each over the next month trying different recipes. Any recommendations?
Sounds like a good plan. I made a batch with the k1-V1116 a few years back and liked it, I currently use Red Star Champagne yeast and it's simular to EC-1118. I personally did not care for the brown sugar in my cider but that's just personal taste. I would do 2 batches with the same yeast 1 with and 1 without brown sugar to see how you like it. Good luck, we may need to set up a meet-n-greet home brewers only to pass around our brews.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #17
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Sounds like a good plan. I made a batch with the k1-V1116 a few years back and liked it, I currently use Red Star Champagne yeast and it's simular to EC-1118. I personally did not care for the brown sugar in my cider but that's just personal taste. I would do 2 batches with the same yeast 1 with and 1 without brown sugar to see how you like it. Good luck, we may need to set up a meet-n-greet home brewers only to pass around our brews.
Sounds like a plan. I have a feeling cider is a gateway brew...
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Old October 19th, 2013, 09:00 PM   #18
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Sounds like a plan. I have a feeling cider is a gateway brew...
I started with a kit the local home brew store put together and had the local cider mill sell it, it had a vapor lock, yeast, and instructions on how to stove top pasteurized and brew in the gallon jug the cider came in. Now I have well over $300 in brewing equipment.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 05:58 PM   #19
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Batch 1 is cooking:

1 gallon fresh made cider from 100 macintosh apples with 1 capden tablet for 48 hrs.
1lbs. light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pectic enzymes
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon acid blend
1 packet EC-1118 Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ex-boyanus) yeast
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Old October 21st, 2013, 08:08 PM   #20
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Batch 1 is cooking:

1 gallon fresh made cider from 100 macintosh apples with 1 capden tablet for 48 hrs.
1lbs. light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pectic enzymes
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon acid blend
1 packet EC-1118 Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ex-boyanus) yeast
Sounds great, don't be afraid to carefully sample an ounce or so every week, it won't be amazing but it will give you an idea of what's to come. I use a device called the thief to sample and check gravity in.
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