First cider

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Gingie
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Joined: 4 years ago
Location: Ottawa

First cider

Post by Gingie » 4 years ago

Going for my first cider today. Ingredients pic:

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Only 4-5 hours later, already got some fermentation happening (68F):
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This will be a bottled sparkling cider, and I hope to cut some of the dryness with some sugar at bottling. Looking at stovetop pasteurization method vice using non-fermentable sugars.

OG was 1.056

Will probably go to 3 x 1 gal secondaries so I can experiment with aging.
Primary: Kolsch in a tub sink with ice packs
Conditioning: Irish Stout, Kentish Ale, Citra IPA, Sparkling cider
Up Next: Saison

kevin
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Joined: 6 years ago
Favourite Beer: any lager
Location: brantford

Re: First cider

Post by kevin » 4 years ago

Looks good, if you live near an orchard get your cider from there.
It will be alot cheaper than buying store bought.
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Mountain Man
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Favourite Beer: Picaroons

Re: First cider

Post by Mountain Man » 4 years ago

Gingie, how did this turn out? Have you varied your recipe and/or experimented with aging?

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Gingie
Posts: 28
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Location: Ottawa

Re: First cider

Post by Gingie » 4 years ago

Hi - apologies for the late reply. This batch above has all be consumed and I'm now on my second batch.

For the batch above, its was DRRRRRRRRRYY!!! FG was just under 1, and ISTR ABV was just over 8%. The taste was not what I was expecting. There wasn't really an "apple" taste. I mentioned that somewhere else, and it was countered with "Well, wine doesn't really taste like grapes". :-) Carbonation was very, very low, and I believe that may have something to do with the ale yeast not being able to survive in the 8% cider. It was a thirst quenching drink, very clear, but it lacked flavour and bascially did not meet my expectations for a cider.

So, for my second batch I used 4 gals of only the PC-Cider (the cloudy natural stuff) and EC-1118 lalvin yeast. I was (am) going for a sweet, sparkling, bottled hard cider.

I added some yeast nutrient in the primary and let it ferment for a couple weeks. Transferred to a secondary and added some pectic enzyme and sit for around 4 weeks. It did not clear nearly as much as the first batch which was made with mostly 'clear' apple juice to begin with.

On bottling day, I mixed up a solution of about 2 cups water, 1 bag Xylitol (a non-fermentable sugar), and 3/4 bag of corn sugar (I would say maybe 1 cup...its the pre-sized bags they use for 5 gal beer batches). I boiled that and let it cool and transferred to a bucket. Then transferred the cider from the secondary. I added 2 oz of Apple Extract to bump up the apple flavour.

While I was bottling (into Grolsch bottles) I also filled up a plastic pop bottle. The intent being I could gauge carbonation when the pop bottle got turgid.

I've been told I should start pasteurizing at 4 days to avoid bottle bombs. But I haven't done that yet, and here's why... The cider is not bubbly.

When I open a bottle, I get a really loud "POP!", louder than any homebrew I've done. So there is absolutely CO2 being produced. But this is the part that has me perplexed: There's no apparent carbonation in the cider. It doesn't make sense to me. How could there be so much more gas than a beer, which has loads of bubbles in it when I pour, and yet this is essentially a still cider? Should I leave it even longer?

TLDR: Cider has been bottled for 1 week with wine yeast. Loud "pop" when uncapped, but no carbonation in the liquid.
Primary: Kolsch in a tub sink with ice packs
Conditioning: Irish Stout, Kentish Ale, Citra IPA, Sparkling cider
Up Next: Saison

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Gingie
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Location: Ottawa

Re: First cider

Post by Gingie » 4 years ago

I forgot to mention - so far, it tastes much closer to what I was expecting from a cider. Over some crushed ice, it's pretty good. The sweetness is a bit...odd, and I think that may be due to the xylitol. The apple taste is much better. Not sure what the ABV is, but after 1 bottle I was definitely feeling it! hahah! No harsh alcohol taste like my first batch. There's still a bit of a yeasty taste to this, but I think that'll go away once the bottles have had time to settle.
Primary: Kolsch in a tub sink with ice packs
Conditioning: Irish Stout, Kentish Ale, Citra IPA, Sparkling cider
Up Next: Saison

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Gingie
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Location: Ottawa

Re: First cider

Post by Gingie » 3 years ago

OK, third cider brew time now! Going with the Graf recipe from homebrew talk. While I'm at, I figure I might as well try a 3 gal BIAB Magic Hat #9 clone...

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Primary: Kolsch in a tub sink with ice packs
Conditioning: Irish Stout, Kentish Ale, Citra IPA, Sparkling cider
Up Next: Saison

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JimmehBrew
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Favourite Beer: Bass Pale Ales
Location: Barrie Ont CA
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Re: First cider

Post by JimmehBrew » 3 years ago

Gingie I found that my ciders turned out dry from adding sugar to the fermenter, the natural gravity of apple juice is 1.045 and I found using SO4 yeast or Nottingham kept it above the 1.000 mark leaving some apple attributes.

Just a thought to solve dryness. :cheers:

and PS pour the juice into your fermenter add a teaspoon of Pectin enzymes and don't add the yeast for 24 hrs after that.
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Winger
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Favourite Beer: BEER
Location: Creston, BC

Re: First cider

Post by Winger » 3 years ago

Please keep us informed. I've just bottled my first batch of locally grown and pressed cider. I used EC-1118 yeast and added 2 lbs of sugar, bottled when SG hit 1.010 with 2/3 cup of sugar in 3 gal of cider. I'm waiting for the plastic bottle to hit decent pressure and then pasteurize. :cheers:
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

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Gingie
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Location: Ottawa

Re: First cider

Post by Gingie » 3 years ago

For the second batch with the EC-1118, I pasteurized at 9 days. I would put maybe 8-10 swing top bottles in the brew kettle with the water heated to 190F for around 10 mins. No bottle bombs, but a really good pop and nice bubbles. Head disappears pretty quick, around the same time as say from a glass of pop. I was surprised how much it cleared given that I had used 'cloudy' PC Cider for much of the contents:

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Winger - it might have just been me, but I found the plastic bottle trick did not really give me an idea of how much carbonation was going on. I did sacrifice a couple cider's prematurely, but I am glad I waited much longer than the recipe called for as I got the bubbles I was looking for.

For the Graff (my 3rd cider brew), I'll give it a taste before bottling to decide if the 2 lbs DME is sweet enough. If not, I'm going to steer clear of xylitol and other artificial non-fermentables, and instead add more DME or AJ concentrate and pasturize when the time is right.

The Danstar Notty Ale yeast is going nuts in the Graff. 1 packet on 5 gals and I nearly had a blow off less than 24 hours. Not sure if it is supposed to ferment so fast. There was literally a slight CO2 breeze coming out the airlock pin holes! It's been at 68F since pitching, about 2 days in now, and the bubbling has started to slow.
Primary: Kolsch in a tub sink with ice packs
Conditioning: Irish Stout, Kentish Ale, Citra IPA, Sparkling cider
Up Next: Saison

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