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Just started a Hard Cider w/Monica's Recipe

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Green Mountains

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Just started a hard cider using Monica's recipe. Went with 6 gallons instead of 5 but followed the recipe apart from that.


Also started a yeast starter the day before with OJ, sugar and nutrients. Pitched the starter last night into 80 degree must.

S.G. was 1.10

Added a heat belt this morning though as the temps outside have plummeted to 4* F and the basement (excuse me, WINE CELLAR) is down to the mid 50's.

Will keep you posted.
 

djrockinsteve

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Shoot, and I thought it was cold here. My apple (1 Gal. and a 5 Gal.) are coming along nicely. It will turn out with a very nice color to it.
 

Green Mountains

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Question on this.....Monica feel free to jump in as this is your recipe. Everyone else....dying for opinions.

The Cider recipe is going along great. Excellent fermentation, bubbling well with SG as follows;

Original SG 1.10 (Added brew belt after day three)
Day 5 SG=1.074
Day 6 SG=1.062
Day 7 SG=1.052
Day 8 SG=1.042

The recipe calls for keeping it in primary for 4 weeks and then timing the airlock. I'm thinking that at this rate the fermentation will be done in a week or so from now. Do I leave it in the primary or move it when it gets to 1.015 or so.

I'll post the original recipe from Monica below. So far this thing TASTES GREAT, SMELLS GREAT and LOOKS GREAT.

Original Recipe:

Here is my apple cider recipe. I have had lots of luck with it and it has caused many forgotten nights!

5 - gallons of apple cider. (no preservatives but pasteurized is ok)
10 lbs of sugar
12 - cinnamon sticks
1tsp wine tannin
4tsp acid blend
2 - teaspoons of yeast nutrient
1 pack of Cote De Blancs


For those of you that are in the Lancaster County Pa area, Cherry Hill Orchards is the best place for the cider. As a side note, they also sell cherry/apple cider. Don't use this!! It comes out tasing like Robotussin.

Sanitize your fermenting bucket and pour in a gallon of cider. Add the wine tannin, acid blend and yeast nutrient to the gallon in the bucket. Simmer the other 4 gallons on low heat with the cinnamon sticks. DO NOT BOIL. Once you bring it up to a simmer turn off the heat. Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Pour it into the bucket with the other ingredients. Start the yeast while the cider is cooling. Once it's cool enough to add the yeast stir it in with a big stirring spoon. Put the lid on and attach the air lock. Within 24 hours you should see the air lock bubbling. After about 4 weeks start timing the bubbles in the air lock. Once they are more than 1 minute apart rack it into a carboy. This will not clear completely, its ok that way. Wait 3 weeks and then bottle. I have used beer bottles and wine bottles. Either way it has always come out great! I know that there isn't any sg measurements, but this is they way I've always done it. I did measure a batch once and it came out to 15%. ENJOY!
 

NSwiner

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Could you make this without the tannins ? Sounds really good .
 

Green Mountains

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Question....

I've been at 1.032 for two days. No sign of life in the airlock and no bowed primary lid.

Temps are fine.

It tastes great.

Should I rack it and let it finish out in the carboy or try restarting by pitching more yeast?
 

St Allie

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Could you make this without the tannins ? Sounds really good .
Any reason you need to take the tannins out?.. If not, it adds to the body and the end result is a wine with a more complex structure.. they are also an antioxidant and a preservative. If you can't find or buy the tannin powder, a strong cup of black tea per gallon is a good substitute.

Allie
 

NSwiner

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Well what I should have really asked was is it red or white tannins or does it matter ? I know the red tannins give me a terriable headache thats why i asked .
 

St Allie

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Well white wines have a bit of tannin too..

I suppose I should really ask..

Have you tried a fruit wine where the tannin has been provided by tea, rather than wine skins?.. Do you drink tea as a beverage and does that give you headaches at all?

It may not be the tannin in the wine skins that is giving you the headaches..

Allie
 

NSwiner

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I drink black tea orange pekoe everyday so I know it doesn't give me headaches . I have over the years narrowed it down to what causes them and what doesn't .I have never drank any wine with tea in to my knowledge . I don't drink much fruit wine just tried it here & there . There are lighter wines like the mist wines is the best I could compare them to that i used to drink but don't buy them bery often now ,we only drink the real wines know from liquor store .
 

St Allie

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and liquor store wines give you headaches?

sorry, just trying to narrow it down...


if it seems it's commercial grape wines that are the culprit.. try commercial fruit wines.
Allie All I can think of is, that you should email the winery you want to try the wines of initially.. and just check whether they use grape tannin in their fruit wines.

If they do, buy a bottle and try it.. if you get headaches.. you'll know it's the grape tannin..

( i'm assuming you have already eliminated the possibility of sulphites..)

allie
 

St Allie

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Question....

I've been at 1.032 for two days. No sign of life in the airlock and no bowed primary lid.

Temps are fine.

It tastes great.

Should I rack it and let it finish out in the carboy or try restarting by pitching more yeast?
you started with a really high SG, I'd splash rack to a secondary and airlock it.

no point in adding a new yeast at this point, it will just die because of the alc content.. unless you want to feed it slowly and spend days getting it going again.

In my opinion... cider isn't supposed to exceed 8.5 abv at the most. ( scrumpy)

Exceeding that abv will make an unpleasing finish.. this will be a 'hot wine' rather than a cider.

Allie
 

Green Mountains

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Allie,

EXquisite direction, I believe I'll consider a racking in the morning.
 

Green Mountains

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Well, I did rack it back on the 9th. It appears to be slowly finishing fermentation as I see a constant stream of bubbles crawl up the shoulder of the carboy to the neck. SG hasn't changed a lot but does appear to slowly be dropping.

Where this won't have the high ABV that I originally thought should it be treated before bottling to prevent spoilage?
 

St Allie

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leave it to finish the ferment, when you're sure it's finished ( hydrometer)..bottle it after stabilising.. because you will have residual sugars there after such a high SG.. don't want bottle bombs. oh btw?.. you can bottle it into sanitised, recycled, plastic coke bottles.. all ok for a short term storage like ginger beer/cider and those cheap kit beers..

my cider is a hard cider.. still and unsweetened so it's not stabilised.. plus it's not intended to last a year bottled.... cider can be drunk after a month in the bottle.. personally I leave mine 6 months ( in glass bottles).. the flavour does change and improve immensely, if you can tuck a few away!..

Allie;)
 

Green Mountains

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Bottled 27 bottles today. Gravity was holding steady at 1.02 which brings it to about 10.9%.

Fermentation had certainly removed a LOT of the sugar so after drawing off 1/2 gallon we determined that 1/2 cup of sugar in the form of simple syrup brought the sweetness back just where we wanted it.

So last night we added five cups simple syrup to the remaining 5 1/2 gallons.

This is a good first effort, very tasty and has a nice kick to it.


 

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