Author Topic: Making Cider  (Read 4758 times)

Offline dwmirish

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Making Cider
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:26:06 AM »
I just made my first batch of cider. It was in fermintation for 1 week, and I was putting it into a second stage and I decided to taste it. It had a very tart taste to it. I dont know if this will mellow out or did I screw up? It is a sweet cider and I used a Ale yeast. The cider I used was a all natural, nothing added, not pasturized, and no preservitives. Can it be saved, and how do I do it?

Offline Humble Brewer

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Re: Making Cider
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 09:08:24 AM »
Cider takes a long time to mellow, to the tune of 3 to 4 months.  I believe it is referred to as malo-lactic rest and the rest takes the astringency from the cider. I was surprised on my first batch of cider how harsh it could be early.  It was almost paint stripper!  But if you wait it out it will mellow. 

I wait over a month to move it off its lees (yeast cake) and then let it sit out to the 3 month mark.  Then bottle and wait for the 4 month mark before drinking.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Making Cider
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 04:44:25 PM »
Quote
I dont know if this will mellow out or did I screw up?

You didn't screw anything up. There's a world of difference between stuff that got a little bubbly in the fridge on its own, what you get after you allow the yeast to complete the job, and the hard cider you buy in the store. The first has sugar still in it because the yeast isn't done, the second is dry because the yeast ate all the sugar, and the last has been back-sweetened. Three completely different animals.

Quote
I wait over a month to move it off its lees (yeast cake) and then let it sit out to the 3 month mark.

I'm not sure how long I let my last batch of cider sit in the secondary, but it did spend a lot of time in the keg.  Most of a year. I used ale yeast, added a few pounds LME, and force carbonated it.   It never really mellowed and was bone dry. I like a dry wine but this was too much. I'm sure the acidity and tannins didn't help.

I told the guy at my LHBS, and he suggested that next time I add potassium sorbate (interferes with yeast reproduction, available your LHBS) when it's done fermenting, then back-sweeten before carbonating.

Hmmmm. I think I may start a batch while the cider is orchard fresh!
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Offline Humble Brewer

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Re: Making Cider
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 04:53:17 PM »
You know the tip I got was to use frozen apple juice concentrate as the priming sugar. It helps kick the appley taste up a notch while giving sugars to prime with.
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Offline gauzzastrip

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Re: Making Cider
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 12:54:20 PM »
You can also back sweeten it if you want it to be sweeter.

Offline BrewerChick

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Re: Making Cider
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 04:44:23 PM »
Just made my very first batch of cider...small to start but hoping to build.  1 gallon plus 3c dextrose, 1/3 pkg of champagne yeast, and it took off bubbling right away!  I do have a fining agent if needed, but I was planning on bottling it with 1 carbonation drop in each 500ml bottle.  So after it stops fermenting aka bubbling I let it sit on the yeast for another few weeks?  Refrigerated or room temp?  Then I bottle, but will the carbonation drops act as back sweetening?  If I use concentrated apple juice instead of carbonation drops how much do I add to each 500ml bottle?  At what point in the process would I chill it (we have a cold cellar) for a couple of months to let it mellow a bit.  Initial sp.Gr. was 1.075...so about 10% alcohol?!  a little higher than I was hoping for, but here's mud in yer eye!  LOL  Thanks! 

 

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