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Suggestion for a Simple Cider Recipe

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cburke

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Hello,

Have made a a half-dozen batches of kit wine and would like to branch out. Recently got a great deal on a small press (you may have seen the post under the equipment forum asking for suggestions on cleaning/sealing). I was thinking about trying to make a batch of hard cider. Found a few recipes online but was curious if anyone had any simple (emphasis on simple) step-by-step suggestions on making a batch of maybe 3 gallons or so of cider.

Thank you in advance!

Colin
 

Arne

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3 gal. of cider Use at least a 5 gal. or larger food grade bucket
Bring your s.g. up to 1.085 to 1.095
add k-meta
wait 12 hours

check your acid and adjust if needed
add pectic enzime
wait 12 hours
add 1/2 amount of yeast nutrient (amount should be on container)
add 1/2 amount of yeast energizer
maybe add some tannin
Pitch yeast
Keep must at 70 to 75 degrees
stir once or more a day after ferment starts
add the rest of nutrient and energizer at 1.050 to 1.060-
When it gets down to 1.010 or so, snap a lid on and airlock it, or place it into a carboy secondary and airlock it.
When it finishes fermenting, probably .092 to .098 or so, rack it into a secondary if you didn't do it in the step above. To tell if it has finished fermenting, it should stay at the same s.g. (specific gravity) for at least 3 days. If you did the step above, rack it off the gross lees. It will take a couple of weeks or so to let them settle so you can rack off them. Now you can give it a shot of k-meta and let it sit. When it clears, you can give it some more k-meta and sorbate if you want to sweeten it, and you probably will. Make sure you taste it as you go. It can get pretty bad at times and then get magically better with time. We are talking quite a bit of time here, but after it sits and clears, you can drink it. It will get better if you leave it, but I have a problem with drinkin it when it starts to taste good. If I let them sit on the shelf they only get better. The above really ought to get you started, when you get it going, give us a holler and we will try and help. You mite want to add a little vanilla or cinnamon or maybe some other spice you like with the cider you are making. Oops, wine you are making. Good luck with it, if I rambled too much, come back and ask some more, I kinda have my nose in a bottle. LOL, Arne.
 

BernardSmith

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Hello,

Have made a a half-dozen batches of kit wine and would like to branch out. Recently got a great deal on a small press (you may have seen the post under the equipment forum asking for suggestions on cleaning/sealing). I was thinking about trying to make a batch of hard cider. Found a few recipes online but was curious if anyone had any simple (emphasis on simple) step-by-step suggestions on making a batch of maybe 3 gallons or so of cider.

Thank you in advance!

Colin
Hi Colin, and welcome to the forum. Some thoughts. Not really a recipe.
If I were making apple wine I would do exactly as Arne suggests but hard cider doesn't need to have as high a starting gravity as 1.090. The juice I get typically has a pH of about 4.5 and I try to reduce it to about 3.5 before I pitch the yeast. I know with mead there are few buffers and the pH can drop very low when fermentation begins but I don't think apples behave in this way. In any event I have not had any stuck fermentations because the pH was too low and so stressed the yeast.
I have been making gallon batches of cider simply using apple cider pressed at local orchards here in upstate NY and the natural sugar content means the juice is about 1.050 or about 6 percent ABV or thereabouts without any added sugar. If you make the cider in small batches you can experiment with different yeast: 71B, QA 23, Nottingham ale yeast, for example.

You may want to add bentonite to help the fruit particles drop out more quickly, but cider does not need to be as clear as wine.
I tend not to stabilize but after the cider has fermented dry I might add about 20 gms of sugar/gallon to the bottling bucket to make the cider a little sparkling. I tend to bottle in beer bottles and don't degas. Again, because I think cider tastes better with some carbonation. One of my friends adds maple syrup to backsweeten his cider.

If you can bear to store the bottles for about a year the flavors become much softer.
Last point, I don't crush my own apples but depend on the local orchards but I think you want to try to get a good mix of tart and sweet apples if you are pressing them. You might also want to see if you can get some crab apples too. I am still trying to replicate the cider I remember from my youth in Britain. It's a real challenge. I came close once but the cider was at an ABV of about 11 %
Oh, you may want to see if you can get hold of a lovely book on hard cider making by Drew Beechum (The Everything Hard Cider Book). It has just been published and he treats cider like others treat mead: the cider is a base to which you can add other fruit and spices and herbs. He provides 80 recipes all based on one very simple recipe.
 
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LoveTheWine

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simple cider

Press apples and add 1 campton tablet (crushed) per gallon of juice. Add some pectic enzyme and some grape tannin. 24 hrs later adjust SG to 1.055 - 1.065 (with table sugar) and introduce Nottingham Ale yeast to juice.
Ferment until SG down to 1.010 - 1.000 and siphon into glass carboy, topped up.
In a month or two after cider has cleared mostly, rack into another vessel.
Add 3/4 cup of corn sugar and mix well. Bottle in beer bottles and crown cap.
In a month or two the cider should be carbonated and quite clear in bottles.

Chill and drink.
If you want a off dry or sweet, sparkling cider there are ways to do this too but more involved.
 

Kozzie

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Thank you for this. Just bought 5 gals of cider pressed today. I'll let you know how it goes!

simple cider

Press apples and add 1 campton tablet (crushed) per gallon of juice. Add some pectic enzyme and some grape tannin. 24 hrs later adjust SG to 1.055 - 1.065 (with table sugar) and introduce Nottingham Ale yeast to juice.
Ferment until SG down to 1.010 - 1.000 and siphon into glass carboy, topped up.
In a month or two after cider has cleared mostly, rack into another vessel.
Add 3/4 cup of corn sugar and mix well. Bottle in beer bottles and crown cap.
In a month or two the cider should be carbonated and quite clear in bottles.

Chill and drink.
If you want a off dry or sweet, sparkling cider there are ways to do this too but more involved.
 

Rice_Guy

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I am in the process now. Traditional cider has a mix of apple types. sweets (sugar), sharps (acid) and bitters (tannin).
* 3 pails of “organic” no spray apple from the neighbor, has yielded 28.7 liters, used enough to run a 6 gallon carboy, excess is frozen
* tannic crab apples 6.7 kg, crushed and cold soak 5 days with cider from above, pectase was added to steep, (6 tsp) & potassium metabisulphite (1.0 gram)
* acid to drop the pH to 3.2, ,, (40 grams)
* Fermaid, ,, (1 tsp)
* yeast Safale S-04 (good to 8% alcohol)
starting gravity 1.066, color is orange with turbidity I need to deal with, flavor so far a sweet front note followed by an acid note which is followed by a tannic note
* cool fermentation in the garage which is in the 40s F at night

finished cider will be back sweetened with organic frozen apple concentrate

last years variation, a cyser sweetened with honey ferment started at 1.105, the finished wine was back sweetened to 1.010 with apple concentrate ,,,,, and did a blue ribbon in the club contest
 

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