Cider Yeast

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Windsorbrew
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Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Cider Yeast

Post #1 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

Fall is almost upon us and I will be brewing my first batches of cider. While researching this topic i'm getting mixed bags of info on which yeast to use with different outcomes. I will stay away from champagne yeast, from what I can see it looks as though it dries it out and strips most apple taste from the cider. I wanted some residual sweetness to remain with a good amount of apple character. Will US-04 do the trick, I was also going to use White Labs Irish Ale Yeast on one of the batches as an experiment. My current ambient fermentatin temps to work with will be around 67F - 69F. I wanted to avoid adding sweeteners after fermentation so I was going to do the following:

Raw unpasteurized/non-preservative added fresh cider

1) Simmer at 185 for 25 min (kill any bacterial/wild yeast)
2) Add 1lb brown sugar (at simmer) --From what I can find, raw cider has an O.G of 1.045-1.047- hoping to hit 1.050-1.052--
3) Crash cool to 69f
4) Pitch Yeast
5) Ferment 3 weeks in primary, or as soon as gravity reaches 1.008 dump in some campden tabs after racking into secondary to halt fermentation and keep some some of the natural sugars (will this screw with the taste?)
6) Rack into secondary for 2-3 weeks with campden tabs (5 for 5 gallons?)
7) Keg and force carb
8) Happy wife that will cook/clean/let me get away with drinking beer, watching baseball and football all day every weekend

Thanks!
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan
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Warthaug
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Favourite Beer: The wet kind
Location: London, Ontario
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Re: Cider Yeast

Post #2 by Warthaug » 1 year ago

A few comments:
  1. Heat-pasteurising cider can dramatically impact the taste. Using chemical pasteurisation (0.5 g/imperial gallon of metabisulfite/campden) achieves the same end without altering the flavour. By the time fermentation is complete the sulphate will be driven off. Simply pour the cider into your sanitized fermentation container, mix in the metabisulfite, and pitch your yeast 24 hours later.
  2. For clearer cider, add 2 teaspoons of pectic enzyme/5 imperial gallons, ~12 hours before pitching the yeast.
  3. US-05 is OK in cider, but Nottingham yeast is widely regarded as one of the best yeasts for cider.
  4. Adding yeast nutrient can greatly help fermentation and give you a drinkable cider faster. I use wyeast yeast nutrient at 2X the rate recommended for beer.
  5. Brown sugar will impact the flavour (not necessarily in a bad way); white sugar or dextrose can be used to add gravity without an impact on the flavour.
  6. I would recommend against using metabisulfite/campden to stop the ferment mid-way. The yeast will continue to remove off-flavours for several weeks following the cessation of fermentation; if you kill the yeast mid-ferment you run a much higher risk of off-flavours. Rather, let it ferment to completion and let it age in the secondary for at least a month. Transfer off of the lees and add your campden tables plus 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate per gallon (you must use both to stop fermentation; campden alone isn't enough). You can then add sugar or another sweetening agent to bring the sweetness upto the level you like. I'd recommend making a simple syrup* for this, as mixing in a liquid is much easier than mixing in a powder, plus it sanitises the sugar

*To make a simple syrup, mix equal volumes of water and table sugar. Heat slowly on the stove, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves (it seems like too much sugar to dissolve in the amount of water you add, but be patient - it will eventually dissolve)

Bryan
Visit my blog at suigenerisbrewing.com. Homebrewing, yeast wrangling, wild yeast and more!
Windsorbrew
Posts: 60
Joined: 2 years ago
Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #3 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

Thanks for the insight Brian. I was caught off guard by the cider mill who had pressed 1 week early so I had to pick up the cider yesterday after work, luckily I had stopped in to pick up everything from the LHBS I needed on Tuesday. I packed 3 fermentors with Starsan and tossed them in my truck in the morning but looking back should have marked off a 5/6 gallon marker on the buckets. None the less I ended up with 3 x 6.5 Gallon cider filled fermentors. As soon as I go home I pitched in 13g of metabisulfite in each and stirred. I decided to experiment with three yeasts, US-04, Nottingham and Whitelabs Irish Ale Yeast (with a 1.25L starter). I'll pitch my yeasts /nutrient tonight about 26 hours after I pitched the metabisulfite and let them go at 68f for 2 weeks, rack into secondary and let them go for another 4 as you suggested. Cider was 1.046 O.G. and I'll drop in a bit of dextrose in each to bring it up to 1.050 even. Thanks again for the help Brian, i'll keep you posted on my results.

Cheers
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan
Windsorbrew
Posts: 60
Joined: 2 years ago
Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #4 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

I just realized I made a huge mistake, I tripled the rate with the metabisulfite. Instead of 3.25g I had dumped in 13g per 6.5 gal bucket, is there any way to salvage these batches?

..................Stupidity at it's finest
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan
User avatar
Warthaug
Posts: 774
Joined: 6 years ago
Favourite Beer: The wet kind
Location: London, Ontario
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Re: Cider Yeast

Post #5 by Warthaug » 1 year ago

You have a few options:

1) Pitch a wine yeast - they are "bred" for sulfate resistance. I'm not sure which ones work with cider (perhaps champaign yeast).
2) Let it sit; it will eventually off-gas, although I have no idea how long that will take.
3) If you have a kegging system, you can bubble CO2 through the solution; this will drive off a lot of the sulfate.

Bryan
Visit my blog at suigenerisbrewing.com. Homebrewing, yeast wrangling, wild yeast and more!
Windsorbrew
Posts: 60
Joined: 2 years ago
Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #6 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

I'm going to go with option 2. I'll go to the lhbs tomorrow to pickup more yeast to have as backup. I'll let the cider sit for another 48 hours. The Irish and Nottingham yeasts air locks are up but aside from that no activity, US-04 has no activity what so ever. I'll check the gravity in 48 hours and if the gravity went down I'll leave it as, if nothing I'll repitch and hope I can recoup from my idiocy.
I can't figure out what the hell what was going through my head when I did that calculation, I may as well had my 4 yr old niece do it for me.

Measure twice, cut once........

Thanks again Bryan
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan
Windsorbrew
Posts: 60
Joined: 2 years ago
Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #7 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

No drop in Gravity, I aerated the living hell out of the must, re-pitched another pack of yeast in each plus more yeast nutrient once again. Fingers crossed.........
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan
Windsorbrew
Posts: 60
Joined: 2 years ago
Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #8 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

Crappy to say: Had to dump the first batch of Cider....It's unfortunate but at least I can say I learned an expensive lesson....

On a higher note, I picked up another 3 buckets full on Tuesday. When I got home I gave each 6 Gal bucket a 3 gram sprinkle of Metabisulphite, mixed and waited 12 hours and gave each one a dose of Pectic enzyme. 14 hours later I aerated the living hell out of each bucket added my yeast nutrient and then pitched my yeasts and mixed again.

US-04 - There was an extremely high sulfur scent coming from this one within 24 hours, I gave it a shake and removed the lid several times. When I came home from work tonight (48 hours after pitching) the airlock was going ape shit! Finally!!

Nottingham 1+2 - Airlock is up, no smell and no activity. There is no change in smell in the must. It's been 48 hours since pitching, should I pitch another pack of Nottingham in each?

Everything was the same across the board as for prep and additions, is the US-04 less suseptable the reminants of the Metabisulphite?
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan
User avatar
Warthaug
Posts: 774
Joined: 6 years ago
Favourite Beer: The wet kind
Location: London, Ontario
Contact:

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #9 by Warthaug » 1 year ago

Too bad about the first batch. Sounds like the second ia going well. Sulfur is normal (my whole house smells like farts right now), but your notty is odd...usually it rips through quite agressively. I'd get another pack, and make sure you rehydrate it first.

B
Visit my blog at suigenerisbrewing.com. Homebrewing, yeast wrangling, wild yeast and more!
Windsorbrew
Posts: 60
Joined: 2 years ago
Favourite Beer: All Sorts
Location: Windsor, Ontario

Re: Cider Yeast

Post #10 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

Got a little gun shy with the Nottingham so I went with US-04 in one and US-05 in the other. Pitched last night, US-04 is already off gassing that lovely sulfur scent and giving my airlock that nice orange'ish tinge. US-05 seems to be a little slower but you can tell by the tint of the starsan in the airlock there is some off gassing starting to take place. Hoping to see activity by morning.

Thanks for the help and advice, next time I pass through London I owe you beers!

Cheers bud
"You can't win em all, but you can drink em all"

On Tap
1) La Raison de "Saison"
2) Black Lagers Matter (black lager)
3) Uncle Dunkel

Kegged and Charging
1) Marzen
2) Starsan...
3) Starsan...

In Primary
1) Cider
2) Cider
3) Cider

In Secondary
1) It's Porter to 11 Vanilla Porter
2) Starsan
3) Starsan

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