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Hard Cider

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12ette

Not sure you will have it by Christmas.

It usually takes 2 weeks primary ferment, and I like another month in a secondary topping off with more cider.

Think Ale yeast.  Ale yeast will die at about 10% abv.  

I like to use dark brown sugar also.  

Raisins add some nice depth of character to a sweet apple juice.

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Spin

Now we're talkin. Love making my own wine and hard cider.

The yeast you use makes a big difference. Buy cider or juice that has no preservatives in it. Pastuerized is fine. Red Star Champagne yeast is about as bullet proof as they come for what you're doing and should give you around 17% achol. content. 1 pkg will handle 1 to 5 gal. of liquid If you can use the jug or bottle the juice or cider came in great, it's food grade plastic or glass and the contents are sterilized. Get a bottle of campden tablets and when the real active fermentation stops.(this can be 5 or 6 days or several weeks depends on temperature, sugar content and acidity) Give it another day or two then add 1 crushed campden, this kills off any in active yeast and acts as a preservative. Let sit for a wk. or 2 then gently siphon off the Hard cider or wine if you like leaving the fine settlings (lees) on the bottom of the original jug. Refill a clean jug or clean sterile bottles and bottoms up and yes it will improve with age but it's plenty good as is at this point.

                                                            Spin :p

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Spin

I know Apple Jack was talked about but here's something you folks might be interested in  link;

http://www.homebrewit.com/aisle/325

I'll be giving it a shot soon, I know there are yeasts that will deliver 22% with no trouble. Anybody here make thier own liquor before? the wine and beer supply store I use in Appleton WI. has ready made kit's for sale altho you don't really need one.

                                                    Spin

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12ette

Spin,

Understand that Applejack, and jacking fermented beverages is illegal.  It is considered a distilled beverage.  I would additionally add that the hangover possessed within applejack is legendary.  

A good reflux still is easy to make for about 75$ and as versatile as you could ask for.

Try using ale yeast in your apple juice.   I like ale yeast as it dies off at about 10%abv.  Let is bulk ferment 2 weeks or so, then rack to a carboy or barrel top off with juice, then let it go 1 month or more until the yeast is dead.  Do not degas and bottle or leave in the barrel and tap as needed.  You can add about 1/8tsp metabisulphate/gal to make sure ferment is over.  I would avoid campden tablets, they leave IMO an "off" or chemical flavor.  

I would also suggest adding 1lb dark brown sugar/ gal.  This will bring out the apple flavor.  Also adding raisins gives nice body and depth.  Lots of good tannin.  

Go nutty and get a good chestnut barrel and the flavor is heavenly.  100ltr is about enough for the season.  

I have a Mead (melometh) that is simply sublime as a holiday libation.

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Spin

Thanks 12ette, I'm actually making a combo Highbush Cranberry/apple wine I've racked 3 times after the first fermentation and moving to a carboy. I added straight granulated sugar, 1 1/2 cups per gallon. No acid/citrus

the Champagne yeast delivered alchol well over 10% but thats not really important to me. I'm a huge fan of Rine and Mosel

so I sort of favor sweeter, fruitier, lower alchol. bearing wines.

Thank's for the tip's and I'll try them. I do use Raisens in a full bodied Saskatoon/Service berry wine I make. You use White raisens in the Hard Cider?

 Looks To me like you have alot more experience at this than I do and I appreciate the help.

                                              Cheer's  ???

                                                   Spin

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12ette

Spin,

I use the raisins that my boy eats... mostly they are regular Sunmaid.  I am lazy, I use what I have on hand.  

I make a mead using bread yeast.  Its great.  

I don't want to sound like I am harping, but instead of sugar try dark brown you will be rewarded, I promise.  I started down this path in a simple way.  

I was cooking with my boy (4yrs) and he wanted to know the difference.  Having Dark, light and white sugar on hand we tried them all.  There is was, taste, taste was the difference.   They are all sweet, its just that the brown sugar has depth of flavor.  I have since switched it in jam, pickles, fudge, cider, just about anything that calls for sugar.  

It is so much fun.

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tmoneysju

Ok, got my supplies and ingredients tonight for my first batch.  I actually found an awesome guy about 10 minutes from my house with a brewing supply store who was the most helpful guy I could have asked for.

Here's a question though, for my first batch I'm going plain, cider, champaigne yeast and regular sugar (not brown and no raisins)  After my first batch I'll do another one like that.  After I dumped in the sugar it basically sank to the bottom and the yeast is more or less floating on top it looks like.  Do I need to stir it up at all or just dump everything into my gallon glass jug and put the airlock on top?

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Spin

You have it in a food grade plastic pail or a jug of some sort? In a pail usually you stir the sugar till it's disolved and you can either activate the yeast first or some just pour it on top(usually done with crushed fruit or berries) then cover with a clean towel and left for several days for primary fermentation, then racked (siphoned or strained) to a sterilized carboy(Glass or plastic jug) that is fitted with an airlock for secondary fermentation. I'm not an expert on making hard cider but if you have this all in a jug already, stick the cap on tight, shake the ever lovin snot out of it, and stick a bug with an airlock on and keep it in a dark location in a temp. range of 60F to 80F within 24 to 48 hrs things should be moving along nicely. 12ette and a few other guys on the site are way past my range of knowledge on the subject.

                                                          Spin

P.S. My Serviceberry wine is ready to go to it's second racking and this bad boy looks to be really fine! I'm having alot of fun doing this.

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tmoneysju

Classic rookie mistake on the first batch, it had preservatives....went back to acme today and I'm trying regular apple juice, fresh pressed, pasteurized, no preservatives.  I'll be sure to really dissolve the sugar this time.

Here we have both apple cider and apple juice, neither have alcohol in them.

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12ette

Don't sweat the details.  I keep it simple as can be.  

Dissolving the sugar on the stove in a pot is my preferred method.  DO NOT BOIL, just get it warm enough to be a syrup using some of the juice you will be using.

If you use the open bucket method you are all set, just add it all together.  If  you are using a carboy add all liquid and shake like mad for a few min.  Or if you are lazy bend up a coat hanger and put it in a drill.  Then pitch the yeast and add air lock.

I don't take measurements for ABV, I don't care.  I use ale yeast, I know about where it will end.  

I had another bottle of a simply brilliant Melomel I made this year.  I am under orders to have it on hand from now on.  Simply fantastic for a warm fire on a cold eve.

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tmoneysju

My 2nd batch looks better, I'm getting a steady bubbling up into the airlock....now we wait.

I'm using a glass jug, rubber stopper with plastic airlock half filled with water as my equipment.

Thanks for the tips

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millerperch
Okay I just bought some Indian summer Apple Juice and some Red Star yeast...gonna give this a try.

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tmoneysju
Okay I just bought some Indian summer Apple Juice and some Red Star yeast...gonna give this a try.

Nice, looking forward to hearing your results.  My batch is on 7 days and still bubbling.  Did you check the ingredients in that juice to make sure there are no preservatives?   That was my first mistake.

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tmoneysju
double post

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millerperch
Yea there aren't any preservatives in Indian Summer. I'm excited to try this stuff. Just trying to keep it as simple as possible to start.

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