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brybry

Hard Cider

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Anybody do a hard cider using real apple cider instead of an extract? I bought some tonight and check the specific gravity just for the hell of it and it was reading about 1.060. Seems like that would be high enough to get a kick ass  hard cider.

 

Anybody ever combine apple cider with an HME?

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I did a cider with unpasteurized apple cider.. and wasn't thrilled with it. too dry.

 

I did another with heat pasteurized apple cider... added sugar to bump up the gravity to around 1.09 I think.. used a champagne yeast. it too was dry as a bone but after I nuked the yeast I back sweetened with some concentrated apple juice in each jar.  that was a little better .. flat but ok.

 

I prefer beer.

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yep, the yeast will eat up every last drop of that 1.06 and it will be approx 6% ABV but dry as a bone.  Very unappetizing.  You'll want to add some lactose for residual sweetness, or as zorak says, add some frozen apple juice concentrate at bottling.  Like zorak, I add sugar to mine also for more kick.  I like my hard cider really hard.  I also prefer some fizz in it, which is easy enough to do.

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Real "unpasteurized" cider?

Real cider from a fruit farm about 5 miles from my house. In season when bought at the orchard I believe it's unpasteurized. But when bought at the grocery store it says flash pasteurized on the label.

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I did a cider with unpasteurized apple cider.. and wasn't thrilled with it. too dry.

 

 

 

yep, the yeast will eat up every last drop of that 1.06 and it will be approx 6% ABV but dry as a bone.  Very unappetizing.  You'll want to add some lactose for residual sweetness, or as zorak says, add some frozen apple juice concentrate at bottling.  

 

What if I mixed the apple cider with an HME maybe the CAL or Aztec? 

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I make cider (hard cider) all the time from locally pressed fruit. In NYS all cider must be pasteurized because of illness and deaths a few years ago from e-coli. Orchards use UV pasteurization which uses light and not heat to kill bacteria. UV has no appreciable impact on the flavor in the way that heat pasteurization does. But that said, a good hard cider can be perfectly dry as long as it is acidic enough - again, local orchards press apples for (hard) cider makers so the gravity is high, the acidity is high, the tannins are present (cider apples are not the same as eating apples).

As for the addition of malt, there are some good recipes on the internet for making apple ale or something called Graff which is a brew of apple cider and beer in a ratio of about 4:1 - quite delicious after an afternoon of weeding or mowing in July or August.

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I make cider (hard cider) all the time from locally pressed fruit. In NYS all cider must be pasteurized because of illness and deaths a few years ago from e-coli. Orchards use UV pasteurization which uses light and not heat to kill bacteria. UV has no appreciable impact on the flavor in the way that heat pasteurization does. But that said, a good hard cider can be perfectly dry as long as it is acidic enough - again, local orchards press apples for (hard) cider makers so the gravity is high, the acidity is high, the tannins are present (cider apples are not the same as eating apples).

As for the addition of malt, there are some good recipes on the internet for making apple ale or something called Graff which is a brew of apple cider and beer in a ratio of about 4:1 - quite delicious after an afternoon of weeding or mowing in July or August.

 

Time for some google research. Damn I'm not going to get anything done at work again today.

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All being said, there are apples that are better for ciders than others.  Found out the Northern Spys we grow are perfect so will be trying some in the next year or two.  And yes, they will ferment out unless you do something to stop the yeast, back sweeten, or use a low alcohol tolerant yeast and have more fermentables than they can handle.  That being said, now that ciders are coming into craze people are realizing that just like beers there are different styles and not every one has to be a sweetened up Woodchuck just like all beers dont have to be Coors.

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So I went all mad scientist, well not really. Here's what I did, I went out and bought a Mr Beer Hard Cider refill and 2 gallons of the local flash pasteurized cider. I boiled 4 cups of water and added 1 of the 2 bottles of concentrate that came with the refill. Poured 1 1/2 gallons of the local cider in the LBK, then the boiled concentrate. Finally added water, by mistake, to the line above the 8.5 quart mark. So I'm guessing I have almost 10 quarts in the LBK. And took an OG of 1.043, and pitched the yeast.

 

That was last monday the 20th, only 8 days ago. The must is already starting to look clear, and I read somewhere that cider ferments quicker that beer, so tonight I took a sample and the SP is 1.002, yes I'm sure. Then I tasted the sample and it has a really mild almost watered down apple juice taste. I wouldn't describe it as dry like often mentioned in this thread, but maybe it's not done yet.

 

So is it really possible to see that big of a drop in SP in that short of time? Is it likely to go much lower, I plan to do another sample in 2 days, but wanted to hear what other had to say?

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The lowest it could go would be 1.000...

I thought I read wine can go below 1.000 and I'm thinking the cider is probably more like wine than beer, but really have no idea. In any case it's going to be interesting to see where it's at in another 2 days.

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And alcohol is around .78 so i guess lower than 1.0 is possible. But there is definitely more than just water and alcohol in this. Theres' close to an inch of trub in the bottom of the LBK

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You can ferment fruits down to .996 or lower without blinking.. Wine yeasts are typically never described in terms of attenuation as all fruit sugars are essentially 100 percent fermentable, so while beers and lagers can have a listed FG of say 1.012 or whatever and that would be the point when you bottle, with wine you would be looking for an FG below 1.000 and if you wanted that wine to be sweeter you deliberately back-sweeten it  to bring the FG  back up.

 

I may be completely wrong but the idea of attenuation in brewing seems to mean that given the process and temperature at which grains are mashed*** and so the starches in the grains converted to sugars (the lower the mash temperature the more fermentable the sugars and so the cleaner the flavor of the brew, the higher the mash temperatures the less fermentable the sugars and so the sweeter the beer). Depending on the mash temperature (145F - 155F or thereabouts)  some sugars will not likely be converted to alcohol by the yeast because of their chemical construction /composition. Some sugars will easily be converted and some sugars may be converted . Yeasts with higher attenuation rates will convert more of the available sugars and yeasts with lower attenuation rates will be able to convert fewer of the convertable sugars. So, going back to that example of a beer with an FG of 1.012 you might expect /hope that your yeast will leave you with 12 points of sugar but some yeasts will leave you with 8 points and other yeasts are likely to leave you with 15 assuming all other things being equal

 

*** Using extracts (liquid or dry) means that Coopers has mashed the grains at specific temperatures for the specific recipes the extracts are used in, and using the yeast provided means that Coopers has selected a yeast with the appropriate attenuation for the FG for that recipe.   

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So since I used the entire packet of the Safale S-04 Dry Brewing Yeast with that came with the Hard Cider refill and I see from multiple sources that Safale S-04 is well known for its fast fermentation and rapid settling" It sounds like I shouldn't be surprised that I have a SG of 1.002 in just 8 days. I'll be curious to see if it's any lower when I check again tomorrow.

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took a sample tonight SG is at 1.000 that gives me a ABV of 5.9%, the sweetness is gone and now it's just slightly tart. Still real easy to drink. I guess I'll do another sample in 2 more days.

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@brybry - there's a good bit of info on a certain Home Brew site that Talks about apple cider and a German hard cider called Apfelwein. It's worth finding & reading about.

 

 ;)

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Maybe I shouldn't have drank that last little bit of my Cider sample with the sediment in it last night. Woke up this morning and lets just say the pressure was building all night and released like popping the top of a beer you just shook.  :huh:   ^_^   :o   :wacko:   :wub:   :D

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@brybry - there's a good bit of info on a certain Home Brew site that Talks about apple cider and a German hard cider called Apfelwein. It's worth finding & reading about.

 

  ;)

Your not recruiting, your just giving a source for information. I don't think anybody will get upset if you say something like "HBT has a really good thread about this" and then post that link.

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Heh - well, some MBs are run very tight and don't want any outside links like that, so I figured "better safe than sorry."

 

B)

 

But yeah, brybry - look up Ed Wort's Apfelwein on homebrewtalk.com. Lots of info, advice, and variations on the recipe there.

 

  ;)

 

(and thanks, Jim Johnson!)

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Heh - well, some MBs are run very tight and don't want any outside links like that, so I figured "better safe than sorry."

 

If you have useful 3rd party information, by all means share it. We won't get jealous. ;)

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I have not looked at Ed Wort's (is that his real name or a monicker? ) Apfelwein, but I make my own apple wine and cider and the secret to good cider is (well, there are a number of secrets  but here's one I am giving away for nothing) is to use a yeast that likes apples and loves malic acid. I use 71B and the secret to using 71B (and indeed any yeast, in my opinion) is to ferment the fruit at the coolest preferred temperature for that type of yeast. The higher the ambient temperature (of the room) the more fusels the yeast produce and the more fusels produced by the yeast, the longer you need to age the wine (or cider). That said, the main acid in apples comes from malic acid and malic acid is sharp. 71B transforms malic into lactic and lactic acid is softer and much more smooth. But that conversion takes time. Apple wine (about 12% ABV) needs about 9 months to a year to age and the flavor can be incredible. Cider (with an ABV of about 6 or 7%) takes about 6 months to age but again, the flavors are transformed if you can wait that long. Patience, you see, is another secret.   

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Just a quick correction (I too make wine and ciders): 71B does NOT turn malic acid into lactic acid. No yeast does. Malolactic conversion is a bacterial process, not a yeast action. 71B is tolerant of concurrent malolactic conversion, but it doesn't initiate it.

But I agree that 71B is a good yeast for apples, though I tend to prefer D47.

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I took another sample on Monday evening, I'm now down to a SG of .999 or .998 in 14days. It's beginning to get rather tart.

 

On a side note, I avoided the sediment in the bottom of the glass this time and had no explosive reaction the next morning.

:)

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TMI

 

Three Mile Island, yes it's only about 30 miles from my house. How'd you know.

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I have not looked at Ed Wort's (is that his real name or a monicker? ) Apfelwein, but I make my own apple wine and cider and the secret to good cider is (well, there are a number of secrets  but here's one I am giving away for nothing) is to use a yeast that likes apples and loves malic acid. I use 71B and the secret to using 71B (and indeed any yeast, in my opinion) is to ferment the fruit at the coolest preferred temperature for that type of yeast. The higher the ambient temperature (of the room) the more fusels the yeast produce and the more fusels produced by the yeast, the longer you need to age the wine (or cider). That said, the main acid in apples comes from malic acid and malic acid is sharp. 71B transforms malic into lactic and lactic acid is softer and much more smooth. But that conversion takes time. Apple wine (about 12% ABV) needs about 9 months to a year to age and the flavor can be incredible. Cider (with an ABV of about 6 or 7%) takes about 6 months to age but again, the flavors are transformed if you can wait that long. Patience, you see, is another secret.   

 

I would think "Ed Wort" is a moniker, but I am not totally sure. He does say that his Apfelwein is just starting to hit its stride at about 8 months, and gets better as it ages.

 

 :)

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Just a quick correction (I too make wine and ciders): 71B does NOT turn malic acid into lactic acid. No yeast does. Malolactic conversion is a bacterial process, not a yeast action. 71B is tolerant of concurrent malolactic conversion, but it doesn't initiate it.

But I agree that 71B is a good yeast for apples, though I tend to prefer D47.

I stand corrected   71B "reduces" the amount of malic

http://ajevonline.org/content/58/3/341.abstract

Although this site http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/lalvin-narbonne-yeast-71b-1122claims that 71B neutralizes 40 % of the malic

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I stand corrected   71B "reduces" the amount of malic

http://ajevonline.org/content/58/3/341.abstract

Although this site http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/lalvin-narbonne-yeast-71b-1122claims that 71B neutralizes 40 % of the malic

 

Correct, but that's not a malolactic conversion. That's the yeast consuming the malic acid. Some yeasts like it better than others. As you pointed out, 71B really likes it. It's probably the best yeast for reducing malic acid. Probably one of the reasons I prefer D47 for ciders. I like some malic acid leftover in my ciders. In my wines? No. But in ciders, I feel some malic acid is necessary for balance. And the sweeter the cider is, the more malic acid I'll want. Apple choice also plays a role in my yeast preference. I might use 71B if I'm using very tart apples that are high in malic acid, but with sweeter apples, I'm looking to preserves some acid (sometimes I even add acid manually if it's too low, though when doing this, I usually use tartaric acid instead). I usually do an acid test before I select my yeast.

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Thanks Josh, Very interesting post. I guess here in upstate NY we have so many apple orchards that cater for cider makers (amateur as well as professional) that we can quite easily get gallons of apple juice pressed from apples blended for hard cider - high malic, high tannin, high sugar, low pH - and my LHBS works with some of these orchards to get us buckets of this juice in the fall. My default yeast is 71B and I really like my cider and my apple wines. (Not to blow my own kazoo - but I was at a wine tasting event held at the NY Botanical Gardens last Sunday and I had an opportunity to taste the cider made by what is reputed to be the oldest winery in NY State (Brotherhood) , and IMO my cider is head and shoulders better than theirs. Theirs had very little apple flavor and very little "zing!" My guess is that they use too vigorous a yeast (EC -1118? or some other champagne yeast) and they ferment their apple juice at too high a temperature

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Ugh...why does everyone insist on using Champagne yeast? It kills flavor and aroma. Especially when fermenting at high temps. :wacko:

Anyway, I just made a killer cider using Gravenstein apple juice. I used an English ale yeast (S-04) and it came out really nice, with plenty of residual sweetness, some tartness, and a lot of apple flavor and a medium body. The juice was pretty expensive, but definitely worth it.

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Where do you get gravenstein apple juice? Gravensteins are classic cider apples! I bet your cider tastes incredible. :)

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I got it at a little health food store around the corner from my house. It was $14 per gallon. Pretty pricey, but it did make some amazing cider. I know you can get it at Trader Joes's (not sure if you have those where you're at) and I think Whole Foods has it, too.

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Trader Joe's is a trip and whole foods is a real journey... but I will see what there is around here.

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Bottled my Hard cider tonight and had a hard time keeping the sediment out of the slimline. I did a 4 day cold crash, but the trub/sediment was still very loose, it didn't get firm during the cold crash.

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It really didn't after racking the trub was loose enough to pour out of the LBK without adding any water or stirring.

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As I wiped the bottles this morning to remove the no-rise cleaner residue I noticed a bit of sediment in the bottom of every bottle. When I was bottling yesterday I thought of racking through a coffee filter but didn't. Now I really wish I would have.

 

Would it cause to much oxygenation if I opened the bottles and gently poured them through a coffee filter and then re-bottled?

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Yes, it would.  The sediment will settle to the bottom and with gentle pouring be fine.

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Yes, it would.  The sediment will settle to the bottom and with gentle pouring be fine.

 

Somehow I new you'd be the one to answer and confirm it's a bad idea.

 

For next time what about filtering when I transfer to the slimline for priming & bottling?

 

Or maybe I should filter before I add the cider to the LBK?

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Somehow I new you'd be the one to answer and confirm it's a bad idea.

 

For next time what about filtering when I transfer to the slimline for priming & bottling?

 

Or maybe I should filter before I add the cider to the LBK?

 

Ding, ding, ding.  I run my wort through a strainer as I add it, filters out most of the hops and grain particles, not all.

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Ding, ding, ding.  I run my wort through a strainer as I add it, filters out most of the hops and grain particles, not all.

 

And actually any oxygenation at this point id a good thing, right? Isn't that why the instructions say to stir well before pitching?

 

I guess I'll just need to drink my mistakes in a couple of weeks. Oh the horror :o , how will I survive  ;)

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Yes, oxygenation before fermentation begins is good.  After is bad.  So pouring through a strainer is fine.

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Sampled the first Hard Cider this weekend. SWMBO commented that it was a bit tart and didn't have much of an apple flavor, which I'd agree with. My though is the lack of sweetness is the real culprit.

 

Thoughts?

 

I know there isn't anything I can do for this batch. But next time I'm thinking about adding some Lactose to help retain the sweetness. Any suggestions how much to add to a LBK batch?

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The lactose won't give you much sweetness. Here's my recommendation, and I just did this with a recent cider that came out AMAZING. Find a really good gallon of apple juice or apple cider and use it with your Mr. Beer apple cider kit. I used Gravenstein apple juice, but any good quality apple juice/cider will do. Use the gallon of juice in place of the gallon of water you will add to the LBK to top off the recipe. If you used a good quality juice, you should get some residual sweetness, even more so than when using lactose. You will also get an amazing body and mouthfeel. Like I said, I just made this cider recently and it came out fantastic. It wasn't too sweet, but it also wasn't too dry and had just the right amount of acidity. This is the best way to get some natural sweetness into your cider without having to use kegs and Co2 tanks. Just be sure it's REALLY good juice/cider and not that Tree Top stuff or other "mainstream" brand apple juices (the best stuff comes in glass jugs and can usually be found at your local grocery store or food co-op). Just be sure the juice is pasteurized.

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