or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Apple Cider! Experience and advice?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple Cider! Experience and advice?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I've had some interest in brewing, and I recently did a batch of Apple Cider.

Although a long process and a pain with cheesecloth, I'm going to do a second batch soon.

 

I had some interest in how exactly one goes about producing hard cider.  My search didn't yield much info.

From my understanding Cider is done as per usual, then fermented using yeast.

Could someone elaborate?  Where could you purchase yeast?

 

Also what is the usual alcohol content of hard apple cider?

All help is greatly appreciated.   smile.gif

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
post #2 of 14

I like brewing cider and mead because I think they are the easiest brews to make.

 

The alcohol percentage depends on the type of yeast used.  Typically champaign yeast is used for ciders and it goes up to about 9%.  Simply put - sanitize everything as though you are in an operating room, boil the juice to sanitize it, add the yeast at the right temp (cool but not cold), air lock it and come back in a few days.  IMO the hardest part is bottling it -  You sanitize the bottles, add just the right amount of sugar and then cap it.  I'm an amateur so I never know how much sugar to add and if you add too much the bottles can explode.

 

If even ONE undesirable microbe gets in the brew the taste will be off, that's why sanitation is very important.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Mind linking/posting your recipe for Mead?
In the various stores here I have never seen yeast to my recollection, so I reckon purchasing it online is the best option?

I did enjoy the first batch of Apple Cider quite a bit. Probably has something to do with being something entirely new to me,
and I haven't had anything really "new" in the area of cooking in a while. Anyways more advice and info is greatly appreciated. biggrin.gif
I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
post #4 of 14

Go to www.northernbrewer.com for hard cider yeast. They also have priming tablets for the bottles if you want it sparkling. Their forum also has information on making hard cider.

post #5 of 14

You can delve into brewing as deep as you can stand.  Or you can keep it simple and cheap.  I make beer, ciders, meads, and have made wine.

 

Perhaps the easiest way to make cider is crack the lid and leave it on the counter.  This is hit or miss as the wrong type of yeast(or a bacteria) can get in and make it undrinkable.

 

I suggest a brewer's yeast.  I make my ciders with nottingham yeast but others can be used, such as the wine yeast aforementioned.  IF you have a specific dryness you want in cider, I recommend getting a hydrometer.  They are cheap and critical when it comes to this.  If you buy commercial cider, get one without preservatives.  They will inhibit the yeast you will be adding.

 

My typical process for an easy cider is this:  Buy a gallon of cider(preferably in a 1 gallon glass carboy), add some frozen apple concentrate and sugar to increase the OG(original gravity), pitch yeast, attach airlock(or loose fitting tin foil), and monitor gravity. That is what the hydrometer is for.  Once the gravity I want is reached, I bottle and let them carb up since I like sparkling cider.  That is a very abbreviated version but the process is simple.

 

If you want to try your hand at mead, I suggest starting with this:  http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes-ancient-orange-mead-49106/

 

SUPER EASY and tasty.  Follow the instructions and you'll get a tasty brew.  Some purists will scoff at that recipe but trust me, tastebuds don't lie.

 

PM me if you need any help.  Mike

post #6 of 14

In my cider that's 35 years old, I used champagne yeast and did the final carbonation in champagne bottles raising the carbonation to 5 -7 atmospheres of pressure.

 

0.4% sugar will raise the pressure to 1 atm.  That is, to get 1 atm carbonation, adding 4g sugar per liter fermented (and I mean completely fermented) cider raises the pressure that much.  So, to get 5 atm pressure you add 20g sugar to a liter of completely fermented cider.

 

The cider reached its optimum flavor at the 5 year point and now, decades later, no carbonation remains.  Just the memories of happy stuff.  8^)

 

Prosit Nieu Jahr

 

Checkout any supplier of home wine and beer making.  There you can get chemicals that will test for any unfermented sugar.  I mean, overcharging a bottle can have disasterous consequences should it explode in someone's face.  And I missed that fateful chance by  seconds on my first attempt at carbonation.  Don't leave it to chance.  You'll need a good scale to weight out the sugar.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

So what is the minimum time for fermentation to achieve decent results?

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
Reply
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePiece View Post

So what is the minimum time for fermentation to achieve decent results?


The slower, THE BETTER!  A month or so at 60F - 70F.  You really need to google for more info on cider making.  Mine was made using raw and unfiltered cider btw.  During that time you'll need to siphon it off of the lees once a week or so. 

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #9 of 14

There are some differences between beer and cider but maybe not so much that you can't use knowledge of one for the other.

 

Sometimes, slower and colder IS better.  Not always.  The yeast is going to do what it does.  It may take 5 days for fermentation to complete or 5 weeks.  This is dependent on available sugar, nutrients, type of yeast, viability of yeast, temperature, oxygen, and probably some other things I'm missing.  No matter the yeast, the lower end of the recommended temp is usually a safe bet.

 

Now, just because fermentation may be complete does not mean taste will not change.  In beer, after fermentation is complete, the yeast can clean up off flavors that may have popped up during the  process.  However, if you leave the beer on too long, yeast autolysis can cause off flavors.  Some people scare easily and take it off very soon.  I've left brews on for 1-2 months with no repercussions.   I imagine lees in cider is the same way so research the common time to transfer off the lees.

 

Depending on what you like, you could have a drinkable cider in 2 weeks.  It won't be as good as one that has aged appropriately, but that is up for you to decide.

 

The main thing I recommend is starting simple.  Find a good recipe and try it.  You may find that you make a couple batches and decide to just buy commercial.  You might really get into it and buy equipment.  No need to overwhelm yourself and get discouraged.  :)

 

Good luck.  Here's a recipe that I've been wanting to try, but just haven't yet.  Just to give you an idea.  http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/grahams-english-cider-107152/

 

The cool thing about this one is you just let the yeast go all the way, prime with a set amount of sugar(already calculated), and wait for the bottles to carb up.  Judging by the amount of replies and satisfied brewers, this recipe is a keeper.  I might do it soon now that I posted this. ;)

post #10 of 14

My Dad used to make scrumpy or screeeech and as he never used bought yeast I presume it fired up because of air borne yeast.This is a similar method.

http://www.somersetmade.co.uk/oldscrump/recipec8.php

post #11 of 14

Certain strains of yeast can, indeed, impart a certain flavor to your final product.  And realize that airborne yeast can include the strain that produces vinegar. 
 

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Sometimes, slower and colder IS better.  Not always.  The yeast is going to do what it does.  It may take 5 days for fermentation to complete or 5 weeks.  This is dependent on available sugar, nutrients, type of yeast, viability of yeast, temperature, oxygen, and probably some other things I'm missing.  No matter the yeast, the lower end of the recommended temp is usually a safe bet.

 

Now, just because fermentation may be complete does not mean taste will not change.  In beer, after fermentation is complete, the yeast can clean up off flavors that may have popped up during the  process.  However, if you leave the beer on too long, yeast autolysis can cause off flavors.  ...

 

 

That's why I stated "...siphon the brew/cider off of the lees about once a week...".  And there will always be residual yeast in the final brew long after it's been bottled no matter how much siphoning is done.  I've even made root beer using the yeast found at the bottom of bottles of Guinness Stout.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

Certain strains of yeast can, indeed, impart a certain flavor to your final product.  And realize that airborne yeast can include the strain that produces vinegar. 
 

It is the dreaded vinegar fly not airborne yeast over here, hence the wonderful water filed air thingy.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post

 

That's why I stated "...siphon the brew/cider off of the lees about once a week...".  And there will always be residual yeast in the final brew long after it's been bottled no matter how much siphoning is done.  I've even made root beer using the yeast found at the bottom of bottles of Guinness Stout.

I assumed that is why you mentioned it.  I was merely providing a different opinion on the length of time you could potentially leave the cider on the lees.  I'm a fan of easy and simple, and I sure wouldn't want to have to tend to my brews once a week.  Plus the increased chance for infection isn't worth it imo.  One transfer to a secondary is sufficient and if you choose to bulk age, you can let it go for a long time.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Apple Cider! Experience and advice?