Apple Cider Experiment

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Noobberry

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I'm using Monica's apple cider recipe, or a version of. I made my own cider with all spice and cinnamon etc. etc. And thought I would try to make it alcohol. Yesterday I heated up the cider and then added 1 gallon plus 1 quart water to bring my total volume to 2.5 gallons. Added half the yeast nutrient, half the acid blend, enoigh sugar to get the sg to 1.6 and a full package of yeast. The mix was a bit warm when I tested the beginning sg but I'm confident it wasn't too hot for the yeast. Anyways, my question:
It seems to be off to a slow start. It is bubbling nicely on top but the yeast seemed to want to stay suspended and not travel down. I just stirred it (hadn't planned on stirring bit thought it could help) . Is a slow start normal for apples with these spices in there? Also, the sg has increased today to 1.7, is that common or what it's supposed to do? I may throw a heater belt on to warm it up a bit. My skeeter pee in the same room in a glass carboy is reading 20 c right now.
Update: temp is for sure at 20c right now.
 
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BernardSmith

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Hi Noobberry. Sorry I don't know Monica or her recipe but why would she have suggested that you dilute apple juice but almost its same volume with water? The specific gravity of apple juice is typically about 1.050. You dilute that with water and you dilute the flavor but you also need to increase the sugar you chaptalize the must. But that said, I think there is something off with the gravity figure you provide . 1.700 would be incredibly dense. Did you mean 1.070? And why would you heat the apple juice. You heat apple juice if you are making jam - you want to set pectins. With wine you want to avoid the haziness that pectins produce - which is why many folk add pectic enzymes to ensure that the pectins are broken up.
Last point - while the finished cider or wine might need additional acidity it does not make a great deal of sense to me to add acids a) before you ferment the juice - too low a pH will stress the yeast and can stall the fermentation while b) unless you have tasted the finished cider you have no good idea whether it will need more - or less acidity. Flavor is less about the pH and more about the TA (not the strength of the acids but the amount of acids)... Now to your question... what do you mean when you suggest that you think that the yeast should NOT want to remain suspended but should want to flocculate from day 1? Yeasts will tend to flocculate but while alive and active they should remain nicely suspended in solution... They drop out of suspension when they die or become inactive due to cold temperatures..
 

Noobberry

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Yeasts will tend to flocculate but while alive and active they should remain nicely suspended in solution... They drop out of suspension when they die or become inactive due to cold temperatures..
Thanks for this. I had a kit of red wine once that I could actually see the change in the fluid move from the top down and thought that is what normally happened. I am happy to hear my yeast is healthy and doing what it should.

As for the sg, yes, you are likely correct that I meant 1.070 (see alias "noob")

And I didn't dilute apple juice. I made a cider using apples and the spices. I am hoping for a positive outcome because this is very much am experiment.

I heated the cider because it sat in my fridge for a bit before I decided what to do with it and so I figured heating it would be a good idea. I added water because it was very dense and I knew it could handle a little water and still keep its flavor.
 

bkisel

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The raw apple cider to wine I've made has been a big hit with family and friends. The 6 gallon recipe I use is similar to what was linked to above. I use brown sugar, honey and frozen apple juice concentrate for back sweetening. Got twelve gallons that'll be bottling sometime next month.
 

BernardSmith

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OK - and thanks for that recipe. But I guess I understood that when you wrote that "then added 1 gallon plus 1 quart water to bring my total volume to 2.5" that you must have started with just over a gallon of juice and so the added water was to dilute the juice. Was it concentrated juice that you started with?
 

Noobberry

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OK - and thanks for that recipe. But I guess I understood that when you wrote that "then added 1 gallon plus 1 quart water to bring my total volume to 2.5" that you must have started with just over a gallon of juice and so the added water was to dilute the juice. Was it concentrated juice that you started with?
Yes I guess you could say it was concentrated. I didn't measure the sg of just the juice. But when I poured it in the pot it was about as thick as tomato soup.
 
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