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Hard Cider

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Spin

Matt I read that in the past they sometimes added molasses, honey, or maple syrup for flavor and sweetening after fermenting and sometimes in place of sugar prior to adding the yeast. Also I looked at a number of packages of brown sugar and was supprized to see molasses listed on the ingredients. After that I figured "Why Not?" so I went with the

urge. First couple of days the room where I kept the Primary smelled faintly of molasess but it's stopped now. I think I may buy a gallon of fresh apple cider and add it to this 2 gallons when I switch to a carboy(3 gal). I think that I'm going to take you up on your advice on using an ale yeast or perhaps getting a starter going from organic unpealed apples. I tried a sample from my Highbush cranberry/Apple wine made with Champagne yeast and that baby is way up there in alcohol.

Very dry and too high a % to be swilling by the Ice Tea glass on a hot day. Time to go for something lighter and with slightly more sweet fruit taste and light carbonation. This last bach is also going with Champagne yeast and now I don't know if I should let it run it's course or try to kill off the yeast early with campdon. What do you think? I don't think that if I let it go full term and age it well that it will taste bad but man this stuff has a pretty good kick. Maybe I'll bottle in flippers like Grolsch Beer mixed with straight or sweetened juice and refrigerate it. Just tell guys to open it outside or in the shower :D .

                                                      Spin

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12ette

Spin,

Did you take a SG reading at the beginning?  You could test it as time goes by then kill the ferment at will.  

I cannot wait to hear how it turns out.

Sent you a PM.

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Spin

OK fermentation has pretty much quit so I took a little taste of the ongoing batch that has the molasses in it. Different,

full bodied, almost a spicy taste but not very fruity. It is pretty high in alcohol content but actually It wasn't bad, not bad at all. I still plan to add additional raw cider and yes I think I will kill off the yeast well before the stuff reaches "Old Stump Blower" potency. May add some small amount of sweetener like honey, I'll wait and see about that.

   Matt I've got a great recipe for Saskatoon Wine. I don't know if Saskatoon/Juneberry/Service berry are available in your area or not. I get mine up in the UP but this wine is something special. If I had more made I'd buy an Oak keg to age it in. If you like I'll send you the Recipe. We'll talk PM about the Highbush/Apple too. Oh yes something else. Have you ever saved the lees from a racking and reused the yeast culture?

                                                      Spin

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tmoneysju
any of you guys bottle your cider?  If so, did you add corn sugar or any other type during bottling to carbonate the cider when bottled?

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Spin

Yep! The stuff I bottled was processed more like wine. It was quite dry and well up there in alcohol content, but it lacked in fruit taste so I added about 30% fresh apple juice bottled in 16 oz flippers and let it stand for 8hrs at room temp. then cold stored. Came out very nice in fact 2 qrts are going out on the ice with a friend and myself this afternoon.

   I've got 3 gal. that are about fermented out right now

(2 1/2 gal. apple juice, 1/2 gal. cranberry juice. No added sugar or acidifier. Just 2 tsp. of pectin. Tested 1.050 at start and is now at 7.6% alcohol. I'm going to bottle some adding

applejuice concentrate and letting it carbonate naturally and some I'm going to sorbate to kill all inactive yeast and then sweeten add a little extra apple flavor and bottle flat. The batch I tried using molasses for sweetening and flavor got tossed, just didn't like the result. Calk it up to "nothing ventured nothing gained" Outside of that bomb I've had very, very good results and hard cider is much quicker to reach quality drinking stage then wine. Very nice change from beer.

                                                              Spin :D

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12ette
any of you guys bottle your cider?  If so, did you add corn sugar or any other type during bottling to carbonate the cider when bottled?

Often I will back sweeten.  I like to add 1/2tsp per 750ml wine bottle. I add 1/4tsp metabisulphate per 6gal. to prevent carbonation.  I like just a little bubble, so I will not degas either.

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tmoneysju

about that time of year to revive this, anyone doing a cider this year?

Currently I went back to basics (cider, corn sugar and yeast) to test what difference an ale yeast would make vs the champagne yeast I used last year.  I'm looking for less "dry and tart" taste

If all goes well, I'm going to try this recipe, my buddy has this fermenting now and it think it sounds great:

Ingredients:

3 gallons of fresh apple cider

5 pears, halved

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of black ground pepper

4 sticks of cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 packet Nottingham Ale Yeast

8 lbs of ice

Cooking Instructions:

Cut pears into halves and dip into sugar and pepper mixture.  

Pre-heat iron skillet with butter and place pears half-down in the skillet.  

Add cinnamon sticks and use medium heat to caramelize pears.  

Once pears start to turn a golden-brown, fill skillet with apple cider.  

In a large pot, heat remaining cider to a simmer.  

Add cayenne pepper to taste.  

In the primary fermentation bucket add the 8 lbs of ice and then add each pear half.  

Add the remaining caramelized pear juice to the simmering cider.  

Mix and dump cider into the primary fermentation bucket.  

Once cider cools, add yeast.

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Guest
OK - so you guys are an evil influence on me... This weekend I picked up all the gear and some awesome local, unpastuerized, no-preservative fresh pressed apple juice. I added brown sugar and crushed campden tablets tonight. Tomorrow I'll pitch some ale yeast and see where it heads. Shame on all of you!

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gaberdeen

Reviving and old topic here. Reading the posts on making cider while passing time at work at night has given me the bug to give it a try. Stopped by the home brew store yesterday and bought some supplies( 6 gallon carbouy, gas lock, corn sugar, yeast and a few other things). Went to the local orchard but they haven't started pressing any apples yet although they said soon. Excited to give it a try and might hit the bookstore tonight and see if there's any books one the subject. Anyone recommend any? How about it whose still brewing?

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Spin
22 hours ago, gaberdeen said:

Reviving and old topic here. Reading the posts on making cider while passing time at work at night has given me the bug to give it a try. Stopped by the home brew store yesterday and bought some supplies( 6 gallon carbouy, gas lock, corn sugar, yeast and a few other things). Went to the local orchard but they haven't started pressing any apples yet although they said soon. Excited to give it a try and might hit the bookstore tonight and see if there's any books one the subject. Anyone recommend any? How about it whose still brewing?

Actually you can find all the information you'll need online. You can make some pretty dandy hard cider using good old socialist brand Walmart brand Apple Juice and do it right in the original bottles. I've found that their juice is pretty uniform batch to batch, you don't need to sterilize the bottles just buy rubber corks that fit the neck opening. You will not need to add any extra sugar if you use Pasteur Champagne yeast. Just as is you'll get cider with about 8/12 to 9% alch. content. You wind up with a drier cider with a bit of a kick. Age it at least 6 mos. to a full year before drinking. It Does make a big difference in taste. Pasteur Champagne yeast is as bullet proof as yeast gets. Oh yes, you'll need to pour off some of the Apple Juice from each bottle before starting fermentation. The bottles are somewhat odd sized too.

Good Luck and Better Living Through Chemistry!  :D

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Grifish

Great time of the year for this apples are getting ripe and presses are getting wiped down.  You should be able to get fresh unprocessed cider soon.

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gaberdeen
1 hour ago, Spin said:

Actually you can find all the information you'll need online. You can make some pretty dandy hard cider using good old socialist brand Walmart brand Apple Juice and do it right in the original bottles. I've found that their juice is pretty uniform batch to batch, you don't need to sterilize the bottles just buy rubber corks that fit the neck opening. You will not need to add any extra sugar if you use Pasteur Champagne yeast. Just as is you'll get cider with about 8/12 to 9% alch. content. You wind up with a drier cider with a bit of a kick. Age it at least 6 mos. to a full year before drinking. It Does make a big difference in taste. Pasteur Champagne yeast is as bullet proof as yeast gets. Oh yes, you'll need to pour off some of the Apple Juice from each bottle before starting fermentation. The bottles are somewhat odd sized too.

Good Luck and Better Living Through Chemistry!  :D

Thanks. I never considered this but it seems an easy way to go,

1 hour ago, Grifish said:

Great time of the year for this apples are getting ripe and presses are getting wiped down.  You should be able to get fresh unprocessed cider soon.

My local orchard said they start in about 2 weeks. Hope,to have some for Catskill next year!

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Spin
On ‎12‎/‎15‎/‎2006 at 5:21 PM, Guest said:

I used real apple cider that was pasturized. The recipe I found called for the yellow apple cider in the groecery store. it should start doing its thing in 24 hours.

I drank my 1 gallon at 10 days and still have a 3gallon going.

the 1 gallon tasted great, cold or warm. They say the older the better.

That mag is great!

I love doing things the old way!

mountain<><

You're short changing yourself. Hard Cider should be aged at least 6 mos. and a good year is much better still. The best cider I ever put up was made with unsulfered

black strap molasses as a sweetening agent. This was common during the early settlement. 1700's thru the early 1800's before heavy German immigration  brought

beer. A grain product it was easier to brew than cider which depended on fresh apples and in short order beer supplanted hard cider as the USA's favorite alcoholic drink.

I had 3 gallons aging of my Molasses sweetened cider. I tried some at 5 months and it was awful. In fact it was so nasty I dumped 2 of the Gallon jugs. Something told meet to hang on to the last jug. At around 14 months I tried it again and surprise! Ambrosia!

    The Moral of the story is = Keep your mitts off the stuff till it's aged a good year after fermentation (bubbling) has stopped. If you do you'll be rewarded.

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