Apple Cider using fresh juice as base

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AleBoy

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G'day lads n lasses - Long(ish) time beer brewer, noobie cider brewer.
I have a few questions re apple cider brewing.
I've been using the Mangrove Jacks Apple Cider kits a few times & am reasonably happy with results.
Last apple cider I brewed I also added 1ltr of apple & pear juice from freshly juiced apples & pears.

My question is, how do I go about making an apple and or pear cider using only fresh fruit juice as my base?
Do I still need to add dextrose &/or malt extract for body?
And if so, how much?

I have access to LOTS of fruit - cost is not an issue. I used granny smiths & green pears for last cider but am going to use grannys & pink ladys (for tarter hit) for current cider.

Any feedback or hints would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance.

AleBoy
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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Adding more fermentable sugar such as glucose (aka dextrose in brewing world because Septics can't get with the program) will increase the alcohol which will in turn increase mouthfeel but that's a secondary effect.

If you measure* your juice beforehand you'll be able to work out what the final alcohol will be. Take the intial sugar reading in Brix, knock off 1 - 1.5 brix for dry extract and divide by 2 will give you a rough estimate of ABV.

By all means add glucose if you want it higher. I can't see why you'd add malt extract to cider but each to his own.



* Hydrometer or refractometer: refractometers work without needing a correction factor in juice because the dominant sugars are glucose and fructose.
 

timmi9191

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If you cqn refine exactly what you're trying to achieve we can probably give you more specific advice.

Do you want sweet, dry etc?
 

AleBoy

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Thanks Lyrebird but how do I measure sugars in Brix with a hydrometer? I'm a simple sorta bloke so sorta need a bit more info pls.
Cheers
 

AleBoy

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Lyrebird - sorry mate, missed ur 2nd post re sweet, dry etc.
I'm sorta after a semi-sweet taste, no too sweet, not too dry, I'm after a Cinderella cider.
I've been told that fresh juice will ferment out rather dry & I might have to add additional sugars to add sweetness. Correct?
I'm mostly happy with using mangrove Jacks cider kit with added fresh juice & was just wondering similar could be achieved without having to purchase kit.
Cheers
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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I'm not sure I understand the question, unless you mean how to convert the reading from an SG hydrometer into Brix. If that is the case, there are several options.

The simplest is the "divide by four" rule, eg. an SG of 1.0xx = brix of xx / 4, so 1.040 is about 10 oBrix. Not perfectly accurate but good enough for jazz.

If you want a more accurate conversion it's probably best to use one of the published calculators such as Brewer's Friend or Jonathan Musther's Vinocalc.
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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AleBoy said:
I'm sorta after a semi-sweet taste, no too sweet, not too dry, I'm after a Cinderella cider.
I've been told that fresh juice will ferment out rather dry & I might have to add additional sugars to add sweetness. Correct?
Yes, the sugars in the juice are fermentable so it will come out dry.

There are several options to get a semi dry or sweet cider but the simplest is to back sweeten in the glass: add a dollop of sweet syrup in a complementary flavour.
 

Dave70

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AleBoy said:
Lyrebird - sorry mate, missed ur 2nd post re sweet, dry etc.
I'm sorta after a semi-sweet taste, no too sweet, not too dry, I'm after a Cinderella cider.
I've been told that fresh juice will ferment out rather dry & I might have to add additional sugars to add sweetness. Correct?
I'm mostly happy with using mangrove Jacks cider kit with added fresh juice & was just wondering similar could be achieved without having to purchase kit.
Cheers
At least at the home level, I'm convinced kegging / back sweetening with more juice and or syrup is the only way to go. All the alchemy associated with stopping fermentation and bottling is simply to much to bother with. The most pleasing and nearest to semi sweet shop bought drink I've made was about fifteen liters of plain old Aldi juice fermented out with EC 1118, kegged, added another 3 L of juice, then the not so secret ingreident, Bickfords cloudy apple cordial, about a cup or so. For about three weeks there was a little sulfur, but now gone. Just right.
All the better if you have ready access to fresh juice.
 

Dan Pratt

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Hey Dave.

I've been able to tee up with my local beverages place to supply me with 20Lts of cloudy apple cider for just over $1 per litre, the same apple juice they would bottle with to go on retail shelves.

It's my first time making cider so reading your post above I like the back sweeting idea.

Is that the best yeast for cider, I've read English S04 works pretty good too?
 

Dave70

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Pratty1 said:
Hey Dave.

I've been able to tee up with my local beverages place to supply me with 20Lts of cloudy apple cider for just over $1 per litre, the same apple juice they would bottle with to go on retail shelves.

It's my first time making cider so reading your post above I like the back sweeting idea.

Is that the best yeast for cider, I've read English S04 works pretty good too?
All I can say Pratty is thats what worked for me. To be honest, I had a keg spare and its so low fuss I thought I'd give it a whirl. We're in the throws of selling and moving house currently so AG has taken a hiatus. The technique was something I pinched from Bribie G and certainly not my idea. And it works a treat. Also, as the the yeast keeps ticking over (even at 3 deg), the cider becomes progressively dryer so you can really tune it the way you like it. You could also use different juices, pear, apricot or whatever to sweeten if you were so inclined. Not sure about S04. I went with something that was wine / cider specific because, well, I was brewing a cider.
 

damoninja

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Dave70 said:
Not sure about S04. I went with something that was wine / cider specific because, well, I was brewing a cider.
I've done ciders using S04, this and a bit of oak now my go to for ciders...
 

wareemba

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I was going to start a new thread but this is here on the page 1 so here's my quick question regarding fresh juice for cider:

is there a difference between using cloudy vs clear? mainly in terms of taste (I don't care about appearance)

I am going to try East Coast fresh juice ($2.50 per litre delivered):

http://www.eastcoastbeverages.com.au/catalogue/juice/apple-juice---2ltr
or
http://www.eastcoastbeverages.com.au/catalogue/juice/cloudy-apple-juice---2ltr

I have the choice of EC-1118 or 71B yeast for it...
 

Dan Pratt

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The only difference would the appearance but possibly the flavour as the cloudy is unfiltered so it may keep a little sweetness after ferment.

IM going to use SafCider from country brewer for my first batch. Fermentis for beers have always been reliable.
 

djsmi4

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Brewing with the fruit alone will be enough for a full strength cider. I added a kilo of dex to ~20L of cider and ended up with a 10% monster.

I went through two full eskies' worth of apples (~360 midsize pink ladies) to get 20L of juice via a much-punished juicer, although I could have always gotten more out of the pulp. I'd typically fill the esky with apples, then fill with an SO2/water mix until the apples were all immersed. I'd quickly rinse off each apple prior to juicing.

Juicing took a few hours from go to whoa, and resulted in a layer of pulp fines that had gotten through the juicer, the juice itself, and a thick head of foam. The juice oxidised over that period. I carefully removed the foam prior to adding the yeast & fermenting. The pulp fines dropped to the bottom of the fermenter & weren't disturbed/didn't make their way into the bottles during bottling a few weeks later.

I used SN9 yeast, it gave a fair chardonnay taste to the dry-as-balls cider, which I'm not sure if I liked or not. I like a dry cider, but next time I'll try a different yeast, a lot of people here (& in this thread) have mentioned S04 & that will be what I'll go with next time.
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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wareemba said:
is there a difference between using cloudy vs clear? mainly in terms of taste (I don't care about appearance)
Yes.

In wine, fermenting in the presence of juice solids gives a distinct character which is most apparent on the finish. It's hard to describe, we just call it solids ferment character. It can be obtrusive if there's not enough fruit flavour to carry it. Most white juices are clarified prior to fermentation for this reason.

I usually see this character in cloudy apple cider and can certainly see it in the one I made recently from "Nudie" cloudy apple juice.
 

Rod

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I have made several batches using Berri apple juice from Woolies

works OK

I make it using OZ tops

http://www.oztops.com.au/

take a bit out from the 2.4 litre container

let it ferment , you can tell by the pressure in the plastic container

add it to bottles

add lactose to sweeten , about a teaspoon

cap

drink in a few weeks
 

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