First bash at cider

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First bash at cider

Postby HTH1975 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 20:58

I've had it in my mind to try making a cider for a while. After talking about it at work this week, I finally got my arse in gear and it's done.

I've gone for a small 5L batch in a demijohn. Used 3.75L of pressed (not from concentrate) apple juice, plus 1L of 'juiced' apples (4x bramley and 6x gala). Added half a campden tablet yesterday and waited 24 hours before pitching yeast.

Steeped two tea bags for a couple of hours for tannins and also added a packet of pectic enzyme.

Had a packet of Saf-05 doing nothing, so I've used that. Pitched it two hours ago and it's already blasting away.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed
Drinking: store-bought beer as my bar is dry
Conditioning: choc-coffee oatmeal wheat stout, various ciders, cherry 'brett' brown ale, imperial Pilsner.
Fermenting: Bock (6.5%), IPA (5.5%), Pale Ale (4.5)
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby Rolfster » Sun Oct 30, 2016 21:08

I hope it works for you!
I've done a couple of turbo ciders.... Remember time is your friend!
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 06:39

Cheers Rolfster, It's going great guns with massive krausen. The plan is to leave it in the cellar till next Spring. Might bottle a cheeky 330ml mid-December just to see what it's like.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed
Drinking: store-bought beer as my bar is dry
Conditioning: choc-coffee oatmeal wheat stout, various ciders, cherry 'brett' brown ale, imperial Pilsner.
Fermenting: Bock (6.5%), IPA (5.5%), Pale Ale (4.5)
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby Rolfster » Mon Oct 31, 2016 08:22

Sounds good all round!
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby Robsta » Mon Nov 14, 2016 19:52

Did you not add any sugar to it H

Last one i did I used 5Litres of Lidls 100% Apple Juice then added 200g of sugar and some tanning/Pectolose Left it for a month was a bit harsh so i added some extra Canned mixed fruit in Syrup and the feedback i got on Bonfire night was fatastic,even from people that didnt like cider lol.

CIDER EXPERIMENT Called throw it all in the pot
Just Started a Batch with Cooking Apples that some was giving away on freecyle.waste not want not lol

Sliced 2 bags of Apples added 2teaspoons of Vanilla Extract and and quarter tin of golden syrup and 150g of dark brown sugar filled it with boiling water and will leave for a couple of week will then boil in grainfather and strain into fermenter to add yeast tanning.

Let you all know how it turns out might even enter it into the competition at the homebrew festival if any good.


Good luck with yours H

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Re: First bash at cider

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 21:13

Hi Robsta,

I didn't put any sugar in as I should get a 6% cider as things stand, so that's ok with me.

The plan is to age it till next Spring in demijohns.

Should I leave it on the 'lees' or rack it off to get rid of the shite from the bottom of the FV?

I've heard about ciders having a malolactic fermentation when the weather warms up - not sure how this miracle occurs.

The plan is to back-sweeten with more apple juice, then bottle and wait for a few days for it to carbonate, then pasteurise in the bottle to kill off the yeast so I have a sweet and carbonated cider. Not keen on the 'sweetener' route. Might bottle a few flat too, just coz I can, ha ha.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed
Drinking: store-bought beer as my bar is dry
Conditioning: choc-coffee oatmeal wheat stout, various ciders, cherry 'brett' brown ale, imperial Pilsner.
Fermenting: Bock (6.5%), IPA (5.5%), Pale Ale (4.5)
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby oldbloke » Mon Nov 14, 2016 21:41

I'd take it off the lees/trub, but you do want enough yeast left for the carbing later on, so maybe rack just before it's properly clear.
I spoze you can always add a bit of yeast at carbing time though

The malolactic ferment is done by a bacterium, and converts malic acid to the softer tasting lactic acid, with a few other flavourful by-products.
If the bacterium isn't there, it won't happen but the cider will benefit from the age anyway. You used to be able to culture up the dregs from Old Rosie to get it but they changed their processes. There's a chance it will have come free with your juiced apples.
If you do get it, it looks like a bacterial infection, coz it is, so you have to not panic!
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby graysalchemy » Tue Nov 15, 2016 09:53

The problem with adding sugar is that it is a flavour dilutent. Apples a delicate in flavour at the best of times especially if you are not using cider varieties. Add sugar and the resulting alcohol may knock the balance of the flavour. You should easily be able to get 5.5% out of apple juice if you use a champagne yeast.

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Re: First bash at cider

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:02

I treated the juiced apples with campden tablets - will that have killed any bacteria needed for malolactic fermentation? The problem is that these are true tree-fall apples, and pretty dirty, so I didn't want to risk just washing them and hoping for the best.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed
Drinking: store-bought beer as my bar is dry
Conditioning: choc-coffee oatmeal wheat stout, various ciders, cherry 'brett' brown ale, imperial Pilsner.
Fermenting: Bock (6.5%), IPA (5.5%), Pale Ale (4.5)
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HTH1975
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:05

I used S-05 for the first demijohn and S-04 for the second. They're fermenting right down past 1.000 - I don't think the attenuation is as much of an issue with apple juice (assuming it's to do with the type of sugars it has versus wort).

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed
Drinking: store-bought beer as my bar is dry
Conditioning: choc-coffee oatmeal wheat stout, various ciders, cherry 'brett' brown ale, imperial Pilsner.
Fermenting: Bock (6.5%), IPA (5.5%), Pale Ale (4.5)
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HTH1975
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Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 19:16
Location: Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Re: First bash at cider

Postby robwalker » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:13

All simple sugars in cider, so wine yeasts will chew them dry. Some yeasts give up after a while though - ale yeasts will generally finish just above 1.000 giving a little residual sweetness.
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Re: First bash at cider

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 14:54

I tasted one of mine at 1.002 and it was very dry. Will need backsweetened for sure.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed
Drinking: store-bought beer as my bar is dry
Conditioning: choc-coffee oatmeal wheat stout, various ciders, cherry 'brett' brown ale, imperial Pilsner.
Fermenting: Bock (6.5%), IPA (5.5%), Pale Ale (4.5)
User avatar
HTH1975
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Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 19:16
Location: Thirsk, North Yorkshire


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