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First Cider - Advice?

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Nagaz

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Hi all,

Put down my first cider last week (10 days ago) and all has been going well, but I think the yeast may have stalled.

Re-reading previous posts, I think I mah have shot myself in the foot for not 'activating' the yeast and only dry pitching. (pitched at 24 degrees)

I have kept the fermenter temp controlled at 18 degrees, and initially fermentation started fast and for the first few dyas was very active, but now seems to have slowed/stalled.

Brew details as follows:
10 x 2.4 ltr Beri Apple & Pear apple juice (no preservs etc)
5g of yeast nutrient (at suggestion of a few threads and the LHBS suggestion)
1 pack S-04 yeast (again, at suggestion of some threads and LHBS)

OG: 1060
Current: 1028

Gravity has been at 1028 for the last 3 days so I am not sure if I am just parinoid or if it has stalled.

Reading through a number of other posts, I understand that cider takes longer than beer (usually) but I would have expected over a 3 day period to see some movement in gravity.

Any assistance/advice would be really appreciated!

Nagaz
 

manticle

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Do as you would do for beer. Gentle agitation, warming up a bit etc, racking if need be.

Haven't used s04 much but have heard of it stalling with beer.

Worst comes to worst, get some US05, add it to a bottle of apple juice (fresh with half a cup taken out), shake it up whenever you think of it, loosen the lid slightly and when the yeast is active (watch for carbon dioxide bubbles etc), add the whole lot in. Try the others first. 1028 is far from finished.
 

stakka82

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really quick question, i have done no research whatsoever i know, and im sorry/lazy, but...

do you have to boil the juice to sterilise when making cider? or is it as easy as dumping the juice in the fermenter, pitching, and off you go?

thanks, and apologies.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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dump n burn.

so long as you sterilised you fermenter, etc properly, it will all be good.

cheap as chips, though not as good as the lucky guys that can pick apples and juice, but it does for a cheap drinker.

Goomba
 

stakka82

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Thanks mate... sounds so easy! Next cab off the rank after the aussie lager with wet POR flowers!
 

Renzo

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Thanks mate... sounds so easy! Next cab off the rank after the aussie lager with wet POR flowers!


I've never done a cider before either and would like to give it a try but unsure of how to finish it off.

  • Once it's reached terminal gravity do you crash chill and add finings etc and possibly filter?
  • How long does a cider need to be conditioned for generally before it's drinkable?
  • If you want to make the cider dry do you just add some sugar to the fermenter?
Cheers
 

manticle

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I treat as I would for beer - let sit on the yeast at ferment temps a week after hitting FG, then cold condition for 1-3 weeks.
I find that if I allow the cider a slow, cool fermentation, it is drinkable once carbonated. I ferment between 12 and 14 degrees.
If you want to make the cider dry, just leave it alone. Making dry cider is easy, making sweet cider less so.
 

troopa

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Manticle your paitence is applaudable
for me its EC1118 ferment at 18(usually finished with in 7 days @1.040 down to 1.000-1.005)
Then crash chill over night (basically so its easier to carb into a keg) then drink but again like everything its usually best about 2 weeks later :p
again this is for aldi juice not apples

Ive got my first real batch of apples cider down and this will be conditioned as long as possible but im guessing ill be haveing a few with in the fortnight :p

Great thing is that were back up at the mates place to pick and press more apples this weekend .. YAY
Hoping for about another 40-60 litres and some of the varieties hes got taste amazing
 

Renzo

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I treat as I would for beer - let sit on the yeast at ferment temps a week after hitting FG, then cold condition for 1-3 weeks.
I find that if I allow the cider a slow, cool fermentation, it is drinkable once carbonated. I ferment between 12 and 14 degrees.
If you want to make the cider dry, just leave it alone. Making dry cider is easy, making sweet cider less so.


Cheers. In short how do you make it sweet? Do you just add sugar once it's fermented or is the same brand juice better to add back? And if that's the way to go what % of the total volume is a good starting point to add back?

If I'm kegging is it just a matter of stopping the ferment at say 1.020 by crashing instead of letting it ferment out dry??


Also is it better to use a champagne yeast or just notty/US05 (at 12-14C)?
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Cheers. In short how do you make it sweet? Do you just add sugar once it's fermented or is the same brand juice better to add back? And if that's the way to go what % of the total volume is a good starting point to add back?

If I'm kegging is it just a matter of stopping the ferment at say 1.020 by crashing instead of letting it ferment out dry??


Also is it better to use a champagne yeast or just notty/US05 (at 12-14C)?
I used Montrachet Red Star Yeast (so I could ferment outside the fridge whilst I had a beer on).

I found that in the time it takes to get down to cold temp, it can eat up another 5 or so gravity points. But otherwise, that's pretty much it.

I got a semi sweet at 1.018, but it was 1.012 and a little drier.

Goomba
 

Nagaz

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Do as you would do for beer. Gentle agitation, warming up a bit etc, racking if need be.

Haven't used s04 much but have heard of it stalling with beer.

Worst comes to worst, get some US05, add it to a bottle of apple juice (fresh with half a cup taken out), shake it up whenever you think of it, loosen the lid slightly and when the yeast is active (watch for carbon dioxide bubbles etc), add the whole lot in. Try the others first. 1028 is far from finished.

Thanks mate..

I'll give it a shot... I have some EC1118 and US05 handy at home.. I'll agitate and increase temp 10 about 20ish over the weekend.. If no movement by Monday night, ill add the EC1118 and 2ltr of juice... More cider is better then none!

Thanks again!
 

Renzo

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I used Montrachet Red Star Yeast (so I could ferment outside the fridge whilst I had a beer on).

I found that in the time it takes to get down to cold temp, it can eat up another 5 or so gravity points. But otherwise, that's pretty much it.

I got a semi sweet at 1.018, but it was 1.012 and a little drier.

Goomba

Cheers. I'll give it a go and start crashing at 1.020 and see how that ends up.



Just found a great link on cider here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/results-ju...eriments-83060/
 

manticle

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Remember gentle agitation - stir with a sanitised spoon, gently, or swirl the fermenter gently. I'm not sure how like beer cider is in regards to oxidation but since its related to how yeast are treated during fermentation, I can imagine it's a similar process.

Renzo: Multiple ways to make cider sweeter. If kegging you have an advantage but i'm not a fan of the idea of halting fermentation - yeast still works after it has eaten sugar and made booze. Stopping early means no tidying up the mess they made.

You can add stuff to stop/slow fermentation like sulphites and potassium sorbate. Again I'm not a fan of additives and sulphites give me a headache.

You can bottle pasteurise. Something about the idea scares me ut I've never tried it so I can't knock it.

You can rack multiple multiple times. Never can be sure you've got all the yeast out and each rack is an extra step involving some risk to the produce.

You can add artificial or natural sweeteners that can't be fermented by yeast. I've only ever tried lactose (not that sweet anyway so it just holds it back from being bone dry, tastes OK but no good for the lactose intolerant) but you can use stevia or splenda among other things. May have a flavour impact, never tried so can't say.

You can look up keeving - old french cidermaking method - does involve some additives and some time I believe.

You can backsweeten. Add apple juice to the keg (keeping cold should stall the yeast) or to each glass in the proportion you like.

Add some pear juice to the original cider - slightly less fermenatble and leaves some residual sweetness. Vary proportion to taste.

Use a yeast that will leave a bit of sweetness - I belive 05 might be one but I've never made a cider with it so don't rely on me.

Add some malt extract - look up brendan's graff (not really cider strictly but related and you can tweak amounts - again I've not tried it).

These are all the methods I know of, very few I've tried as I don't mind a tart, dry cider and it's simple to make and involves no additives..
 

Renzo

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Remember gentle agitation - stir with a sanitised spoon, gently, or swirl the fermenter gently. I'm not sure how like beer cider is in regards to oxidation but since its related to how yeast are treated during fermentation, I can imagine it's a similar process.

Renzo: Multiple ways to make cider sweeter. If kegging you have an advantage but i'm not a fan of the idea of halting fermentation - yeast still works after it has eaten sugar and made booze. Stopping early means no tidying up the mess they made.

You can add stuff to stop/slow fermentation like sulphites and potassium sorbate. Again I'm not a fan of additives and sulphites give me a headache.

You can bottle pasteurise. Something about the idea scares me ut I've never tried it so I can't knock it.

You can rack multiple multiple times. Never can be sure you've got all the yeast out and each rack is an extra step involving some risk to the produce.

You can add artificial or natural sweeteners that can't be fermented by yeast. I've only ever tried lactose (not that sweet anyway so it just holds it back from being bone dry, tastes OK but no good for the lactose intolerant) but you can use stevia or splenda among other things. May have a flavour impact, never tried so can't say.

You can look up keeving - old french cidermaking method - does involve some additives and some time I believe.

You can backsweeten. Add apple juice to the keg (keeping cold should stall the yeast) or to each glass in the proportion you like.

Add some pear juice to the original cider - slightly less fermenatble and leaves some residual sweetness. Vary proportion to taste.

Use a yeast that will leave a bit of sweetness - I belive 05 might be one but I've never made a cider with it so don't rely on me.

Add some malt extract - look up brendan's graff (not really cider strictly but related and you can tweak amounts - again I've not tried it).

These are all the methods I know of, very few I've tried as I don't mind a tart, dry cider and it's simple to make and involves no additives..
Cheers for all that. So many variables with cider.
 

troopa

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Some really good advice there from manticle and all of it is very relivant
Even Lactose leaves a slight taste at 300g-500g to 20L which leaves it about Monteiths level of sweetness And as manticle said is really bad for intolerant people (Just found out one of my mates who hasnt yet tried my cider is extremely intolerant.. )

I too havnt used US05 yet either but as i would assume its alcohol tolerant so to leave some sugar you would need to start at 1.048+ to stop fermentation before 1.000 so most store bought juice would need sugar of some sort added
Pear juice is nice but if you want a straight cider its no good plus the level of pear is high to get any sort of sweetness and will change the taste considerably
Steavia is something i may try in the future but i too am concerned about the type of flavor it will impart(might try this with a aldi juice before trying on real pressed juice)

Kegging and filtering at about 1.005 is my preferred way but if you want to then bottle and pass on a few bottles to friends can cause issues. Although i have just used SO2 in my last batch as a trial and am aware of headaches but dont mind them.. i drink enough red wine :p

Manticle mentioned racking several times ... this with maybe your own cultured yeast of EC1118 using only the highly floculant yeast of the bottom of the fermenter after 2 or 3 batches may end up stalling the yeast
I had 2 of my last batches finish at 1.004 with EC1118 and refuse to go any lower with coaxing and was one of the best bottled juice cider ive made with a totally different profile. Im no yeasty expert and this could of been something else that caused this :)
 

brettprevans

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A.few ahb guys use stevia. A quick search will bring up their experiances. From memory they wete all positive reviews
 

Renzo

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Kegging and filtering at about 1.005 is my preferred way but if you want to then bottle and pass on a few bottles to friends can cause issues. Although i have just used SO2 in my last batch as a trial and am aware of headaches but dont mind them.. i drink enough red wine :p



What about filtering > kegging > counter pressure bottle filler?
 

troopa

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My experience isnt high enough and can only hear say
If you are certain you removed all yeast in filtering then i suppose theres no issue but yeast+sugar = bottle bombs if not stored cold as we all know... and most of my mates usually have no idea what your talking about when you warn them .. maybe you have smarter friends :p

Edit: Quick side note incase of miss understanding me(It happens) :p.. Im talking about something like EC1118 champagne yeast that will go below 1.000 so it will leave a fair chunk of residual alcohol tolerance if filtered at 1.005 and create possible bombs
With something like US05 where its already at 5%+ then the risk once carbed will be lower of bombs if filtered and CPF into bottles

I have a feeling that more experienced people would be better to listen to in this case as im still working this out and have no studies to back this info up
 

Nagaz

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OK, so over the weekend I agitated, raised the temp to 20C and agitated and agitated...
(sounds excessive, but a gentle stire with a sanitised paddle...)

After 3 days and no movement, I thought 'to hell with this' and i used a pack of EC1118 yeast in a spare bottle of juice. Left it over night and this morning, with lots of activity, poured it in the fermenter.

Left it for a gould 12 hours, and as curiosity has it, I had to check the gravity.

Did a read, 1.030! Up 2 points!

I'm guessing thats because of the extra 2 litres of juice being introduced...
I'll give it a few more days at 20C and see what happens.. Still tastes quite sweet with a hint of dryness..

Any adice would be appreciated...

I'll keep you informed...

Nagaz
 

Nagaz

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So i did another read this morning...

Same SG at 1.030

Temp is at 21C to see if I can kick start it again. I did take a cup full, covered with glad wrap and put it in the house (ferm is on the shed in a temp controlled fridge). Hopefully I'll see some movement in the cup and Ferm in a few days...

Any ideas???


Nagaz
 
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