First go at Cider - help!

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New_guy

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Hi

I have 10.5 lts of "Coles finest" cloudy apple juice brewing away with S-04.
I haven't added any sugar or malt extract
This will be going into 330 or 500ml bottles
I wasn't sure re efficiency of yeast / residual sugar / carbonation
Don't want bottle bombs but want some carbonation and a cider that's not bone dry - hence choice of
S-04

Currently this is fermenting like crazy - constant run of bubbles through airlock

Ant suggestions re carbonation and should I have added any sugar / lactose / dextrose

Cheers
 

nathan_madness

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Keep it at 18 deg for 4 weeks then rack into secondary for another 4 weeks then bottle with 8g of sugar per L of cider. Try and not move the primary as I have found with S-04 it settles clear in 4 weeks but if you disturb it and cloud it up it will never clear again. Use SN9 if you try it again.
 

langaandy

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nathan_madness said:
Keep it at 18 deg for 4 weeks then rack into secondary for another 4 weeks then bottle with 8g of sugar per L of cider. Try and not move the primary as I have found with S-04 it settles clear in 4 weeks but if you disturb it and cloud it up it will never clear again. Use SN9 if you try it again.
Just to be clear, racking into secondary is not necessary. And you also only need to keep it in the fermenter until it has stopped.(use the hydrometer) however I do advise leaving it a few extra days for the yeast to settle.

Now before everyone argues about whether or not this will make a better cider, IMO it doesn't make much of a difference. And it confuses new brewers.

If you are going to bottle into 330ml bottles I would advise buying a sugar measure from somewhere(lhbs, big w) or bulk priming. Again if you are a beginner, bulk prime is not the ideal choice.

As for adding anything to it, sugar/dextrose only add to the alcohol content and a juice cider normally comes out around 5%. Lactose will make it sweeter, however there is no formula for this as it is personal preference as to how much you add.

Don't worry about doing anything different now just wait till its done, bottle and make sure you let it age for a few weeks before tasting at least. Then you can start thinking about improvements
 

bum

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langaandy said:
Just to be clear, racking into secondary is not necessary.
The scenario you're arguing against is an 8 week primary/secondary. You're saying 8 weeks is always okay to leave every batch in primary for every yeast? Talk about confusing new brewers...

Secondaries DO NOT hurt a brew. Just keep everything clean. I don't do a secondary myself but I really wish people would stop treating it like it is evil. There are sometimes good reasons to do a secondary. Everyone needs to stop acting like there aren't.
 

New_guy

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Thanks everyone for your input - I appreciate difference of opinon and want to keep it as simple as possible so that I can easily identify errors and hopefully improve next batch

I have a few more questions - the fermenter is a 17lt "cube" that I tapped and put an airlock in the lid

How can I keep it at 18 deg? It's bloody hot in Melbourne currently - I would like to get a fridge in the future but currently don't have that option, I was thinking a standard plastic garbage can from bunnngs - but I was concerned about the ice melting and theoretically getting through the tap at the base and introducing bacteria (I am a nurse - new to brewing but certainly not new to infection control)

I have a sugar dose measurement scoop - does sugar type matter (not sure in such small quantities) ?

I am not confident with bulk priming yet plus I don't really want to open the fermenter lid if possible re infection risk

Thanks re advice of lactose etc - I was hoping for approx 5% ABV

I do have another 17lt cube that could be rigged to become a secondary (airlock, bung and tap) if recommended?

I do have a regular 30lt fermenter but that is currently has a batch of stout in it

Thank lads you have helped heaps
 

langaandy

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bum said:
The scenario you're arguing against is an 8 week primary/secondary. You're saying 8 weeks is always okay to leave every batch in primary for every yeast? Talk about confusing new brewers...Secondaries DO NOT hurt a brew. Just keep everything clean. I don't do a secondary myself but I really wish people would stop treating it like it is evil. There are sometimes good reasons to do a secondary. Everyone needs to stop acting like there aren't.
Sorry, should probably have been clearer. I was saying it doesn't need 8 weeks. If you are using a hydrometer you can bottle as soon as the brew has stopped fermenting. I was confused as a new brewer as I was getting 2 types of instructions, either it was brew and bottle then leave for a long condition, or brew and let sit for weeks then bottle and shorter condition. Again this is just my experience and opinion

I am not arguing against secondary, in fact my next cider brew I am racking into a secondary with mixed berries in it to see what happens.

@new_guy

If you are worried, some people tape a little bag over the tap. You could put it in the bin, fill with water and used ice bricks or bottles of ice on rotation. The water will help keep the temp down as well so you don't need to drain and refill. Just make sure you don't drop temp too low as you may stall the yeast, just keep it between 18 and 20 if possible.

Sugar type does matter only because of different sugar levels in things and because different sugars also give different flavours.
Don't use dextrose IMO it gives an odd flavour and should only be used as a brew fermentable.

Some people like to experiment when it comes to priming and use different sugars. The standard is probably raw sugar, but I have heard people using brown sugar, honey, golden syrup and all sorts. You could try a few bottles with different sugars, Just remember if you want to try something like honey you will have to work out sugar content of the honey.
 

New_guy

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Thanks langaandy and Bum

Will report back when bottled
 

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