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Old Philosopher

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If I missed the right spot for this question, please move it.

I started some "hard cider" about 3 days ago from pressed apples.
The SG started at 1.046 with straight juice (no extra sugar), right in the ball park from what I understand.

The way it's been behaving, I checked the SG today and it's at 1.000! It dropped that much in 3 days, and it's still perking like an old Maxwell House commercial.

I know Luc, a while back, mentioned he'd had some wines done in a week. Is it possible this cider is going to bottom out my hydrometer, and still be fizzing?

Any insight here would be appreciated.
 

Wade E

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Its possible, or it can slow down very fast also and just be giving off lots of trapped C02.
 

Old Philosopher

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:u
Okey dokey... After only 5 days, this cider went from 1.046 to .996. There is about 1 1/2" of sediment precipitated out. One gallon jug. It's still gassing, but from the taste of it (bleah!) I'm pretty sure the natural sugars are just about gone.
So...I'm going to rack into another jug, put an airlock on, and see what happens. Would this be the time to add some simple syrup, to get the sweetness back, and work with whatever yeast may still be alive?
 

Wade E

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Do you want to make more alc from it? Thas what will happen unless you stabilize it with both sulfite and sorbate, If you are looking to add some carbonation to it then rack it to clean vessel, add some sugar(not sure of the amount needed for cider) and bottle it in beer bottles or bottles that can hold the small amount of carbonation for a hard cider making sure to stir it very minute so some of it doesnt end up flat and others bottle bombs.
 

Old Philosopher

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Do you want to make more alc from it? Thas what will happen unless you stabilize it with both sulfite and sorbate, If you are looking to add some carbonation to it then rack it to clean vessel, add some sugar(not sure of the amount needed for cider) and bottle it in beer bottles or bottles that can hold the small amount of carbonation for a hard cider making sure to stir it very minute so some of it doesnt end up flat and others bottle bombs.
Sounds like the way to go, Wade. It's around 6%-7% abv right now. I guess I can just let it sit until my sulfite and caps get here.
 

Old Philosopher

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Which way are you planning to go?
Sweeten it at bottling time, to give a little carbonation. I could go the other way, but wouldn't I be more into a wine, than cider then? Plus, the ABV would skyrocket.
 

Hillbilly Bill

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OP... I just read last night on a certain retail outlet's website (recipes) where it said to add your antioxidant (ascorbic acid? potassium sorbate?) and 1/4 cup sugar per gallon just before bottling.
Remember... this is 3rd party info... never done this, but will be trying it in a couple of days.
HB
 

TheTooth

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You don't need to sweeten it unless you have to drink it right away. The sweetening will make it more palatable that way.

The best thing you can do to improve the flavor is give it some time. I cellar my cider for about 6 months. It goes from "apple juice mixed with turpentine" to "tasty cider" in that time. All the great apple flavor and aroma comes back and some people don't even realize it's alcoholic until we tell them or they look at the tap handle (I keg mine).
 

Old Philosopher

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You don't need to sweeten it unless you have to drink it right away. The sweetening will make it more palatable that way.

The best thing you can do to improve the flavor is give it some time. I cellar my cider for about 6 months. It goes from "apple juice mixed with turpentine" to "tasty cider" in that time. All the great apple flavor and aroma comes back and some people don't even realize it's alcoholic until we tell them or they look at the tap handle (I keg mine).
...or, until they have to hang onto the floor to keep from falling off. :)
Thanks for the tips, gang!
William, let me know how it goes. You are ahead of my schedule, so I'll learn from you!
 

Hillbilly Bill

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William, let me know how it goes. You are ahead of my schedule, so I'll learn from you!
I don't think you'll learn much from me, OP, but I will tell you what I am doing.
Yesterday I added the bentonite slurry... When I took the lid off of the bucket (I am not racking until I am finished fining because I didn't have that much precipitate... I used clear bottled juice. I was surprised to see that it had already begun to clear, but I added the slurry anyway... bullheaded old fart, that's me.
I am going to give it a couple of days, then I am going to add some gelatin, since it has the opposite charge as bentonite does. I am going to give the gelatin a few days also and then I am going to rack the good(??) stuff off.
The plan from there is to add a 1/2 gallon bottle of apple juice and give it a preliminary taste test. Here is where I have a problem...
Since this is my very first batch, I don't have any other wine to drink while I wait for this to age... even a little... so I may have to add a little lactose so SWMBO can have something to drink besides Boone's Farm Dacquiri Wine.
You can see what I am up against...
I got 2 more buckets and 3 more carboys in this week and I plan on getting enough wine going so that I can let some age a little. I have a kit of Blackberry Merlot coming from George and I plan on throwing together a couple more batches of Apple Juice must.
Then... I will take a look at some different types... maybe a Port or a Zin...
Anyway... I'll keep in touch.
By the way, I finished mine a 0.997 but since I started it at 1.105 I should be ok. I'll probably play this one by the seat of my pants and do the next one on a more conventional schedule.
Good to hear you in there again...
HB
 

Old Philosopher

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My gallon of cider is "done", basically. Very dry, about 7% abv. I'll probably f-pak it with apple juice if I can't taste the apples, but my first inclination is just a simple syrup. I'm not going to bottle it, just seal it in a gallon jug. Once 3-4 of us start hitting it, it won't last long enough to justify the bottling process. :)
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Will you just sweeten it, or will you be adding some apple flavor also?
HB
 

Old Philosopher

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My gallon of cider is "done", basically. Very dry, about 7% abv. I'll probably f-pak it with apple juice if I can't taste the apples, but my first inclination is just a simple syrup. I'm not going to bottle it, just seal it in a gallon jug. Once 3-4 of us start hitting it, it won't last long enough to justify the bottling process. :)
Will you just sweeten it, or will you be adding some apple flavor also?
HB
By f-pak I meant flavor/sweeten it. Just how is still in question.
 

Hillbilly Bill

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Gotcha...
I wouldn't be doing all of this other stuff, but since this 1st batch is an experiment anyway, what the heck?
HB
 

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