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Thread: Need cider help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    118

    Need cider help

    Hello all,

    I'm trying to make a cider for my non-beer loving cousin. He's tried a lot of different ciders and it turns out he likes them for the most part, however the simpler the better. His favorite appears to be strongbow or something along those lines. Does anybody have a recipe with something similar?

    I don't really know anything about making cider either, like, do you boil it? and What kind of apple juice do you use?
    So any tips are strongly appreciated.
    Homebrewing.....it's more addictive than alcohol.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    6,445
    cider is really easy. You don't have to boil it, but some people will pasteurize fresh juic by heating it to 170F and holding it there for 20 minutes, or add a Campden tablet.
    I make one cider every fall from my trees and a neighbor's trees, but I also make a couple from Walmart pasteurized juice. Make sure it has no preservatives.
    You can use pretty much any dry yeast, I like Nottingham and I even made a batch with Safale-S58(I think that's the number) Sanitize the carboy, pour the hydrated yeast in and then just add the apple juice. Put the airlock on it and keep it cool like beer. It will stink pretty bad, it throws a lot of sulfur so be prepared to hear some snide comments from the family members about who has the bad gas problem.
    When it' finished fermenting I rack it to secondary for several months, then rack it again to a keg for serving.
    Variations are easy too. This year I made a spiced cider with several pounds of honey, some clove, ginger and cinnamon. I'm looking forward to tryingit next fall. A lot of people use brown sugar too, there's no "right" way to make a good cider as long as you're patient.
    It's always time for a beer

    On tap:Oatmeal Stout, ESB
    Primary:Imperial HoppyRoggenbier
    Bottled:2006 crabapple cider,Cherry Brett,Black Braggot,2 Prickly Pear Meads(1996 and 2006),Sour Pumpkin
    Lagering: Pecan Rauchbock
    Secondary: apple cider vinegar
    Next: Sticke Alt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Thanks Corky! That does sound pretty straight forward. Is there anything you would suggest adding for a first attempt at cider besides just apple juice?
    Homebrewing.....it's more addictive than alcohol.

    Primary:apa
    Secondary:
    Kegged: experiementale
    Up Next: iipa

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    124

    Super simple cider

    I make a super simple cider, but have never had the commercial one you mentioned so I can't compare. My wife is starting to get used to big beers, but back when she didn't like them I started making this cider to keep her happy with my new obsession. I use four gallons or so of apple juice. I have used fresh-squeezed or even "from Concentrate." I just look at the label to make sure there are no additives besides the apple juice or the concentrate and water. I also add a couple cups of honey. I've used commercial and also unfiltered natural honey from a friend. I don't boil anything. I heat some water to boiling and put the honey jar in that while I sanitize and prep everything. I usually make this after I move a porter from primary so I wash the yeast cake with water. Stir the honey into the juice, rack all into fermenter and put the washed yeast back in. I have a batch fermenting right now made of 'from concentrate' and a commercial honey. This weekend it will likely go into secondary and after a couple weeks in secondary I'll bottle and then try to keep my wife out of it. The OG was 1.059 and in the past it has fermented out fairly dry.
    "The selling of bad beer is a crime against Christian love." 13th Century law of the city of Augsburg.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    124

    One more thing

    Actually, in the past it was hard to get her to let the cider carbonate. I just got a tap-a-draft system and will probably try to force carbonate part of it.
    "The selling of bad beer is a crime against Christian love." 13th Century law of the city of Augsburg.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    533
    I've gone through a bunch of different commercial juices at this point and have found that I like the product better when I mix between a couple different kinds. Also, if you find that your first batch is too tart when you finish, try cold cashing your second batch at about 1.02 for a couple of days to pull the yeast out. I've only done one batch like that, but I enjoyed the results. Best of luck with your experiments!

    PS - if you use store bought cider (cloudy with pulp) and you want it to clear out better in the end add some pectic enzyme.
    Last edited by maltyapples; 11-01-2012 at 04:32 PM.
    Two ciders please, I'm thirsty!

    On deck: Soon Cider
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    Kegged: Carbonated Water (enjoying home made soda syrups)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smh77
    Hello all,

    I'm trying to make a cider for my non-beer loving cousin. He's tried a lot of different ciders and it turns out he likes them for the most part, however the simpler the better. His favorite appears to be strongbow or something along those lines. Does anybody have a recipe with something similar?

    I don't really know anything about making cider either, like, do you boil it? and What kind of apple juice do you use?
    So any tips are strongly appreciated.

    Here is my personal Cider recipe, never had a single complaint.

    5 gallons Cider(boil 20 mins if not pasteurized, if it is skip the boil) NOT Apple Juice, make sure its the brown stuff that actually says CIDER on it. If you use Apple Juice your better off Doubling the sugar using a high end wine yeast like eau du vie and aging it for at least 1 year. The recipe below is ready to drink in 3-6 months.

    2lbs Dark Brown Sugar
    5lbs white table sugar
    5 teaspoons yeast nutrient
    5 teaspoons yeast energizer
    Your fav Wine or Ale Yeast i use Nottingham

    Ferment out at room temp for 30 days, rack and bottle with 1/4 cup priming sugar. Or just bottle if you want it still. It does age well if done in wine bottles. If you want is stronger use wine yeast and more brown sugar.
    Last edited by vance71975; 11-09-2012 at 10:06 PM.
    The mind is like a beer, it does the most good when it is opened.

    Author of Bizarre Brews 101 Now for sale online!

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    My spiced cider from last fall is extremely dry, I may have to backsweeten the keg. For me it's great, but others think it's too dry and tart.
    Vance, that's almost an apple flavored sugar drink. I've never used more than a pound, I like to make the apple sugars do the work. I will often add a couple of cans of frozen apple concentrate, and I can see using some honey but7 pounds of added sugar seems like way too much for a cider.
    It's always time for a beer

    On tap:Oatmeal Stout, ESB
    Primary:Imperial HoppyRoggenbier
    Bottled:2006 crabapple cider,Cherry Brett,Black Braggot,2 Prickly Pear Meads(1996 and 2006),Sour Pumpkin
    Lagering: Pecan Rauchbock
    Secondary: apple cider vinegar
    Next: Sticke Alt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    64
    I've made cider exactly once, but I've been meaning to do it again. A friend's parents have an apple orchard here in WA, and he gave me a few one-gallon jugs of cider from their trees. I didn't pasteurize it, I just poured a pack of champagne yeast into one of the jugs and put an airlock in it. I might have sanitized the stopper, but I didn't sanitize anything else. A month later I primed it like beer and bottled. I'm sure I sanitized the bottles.

    For the first several months it was undrinkably dry. Well... "sour" might be more accurate than "dry". I honestly thought it was ruined, but I figured I may as well let it sit on a shelf as pour it down the drain. Finally, in the last month or two it turned into a mighty tasty (although still very dry) beverage.

    It was an experiment, I wasn't at all sure how it'd turn out. Since the cider was free, I'm only out $1 for champagne yeast and the price of priming sugar and a few bottle caps. But I only made one gallon. Now I'm wishing I'd made more. I'm down to the last three bottles, which I intend to open at Christmas.

    Next time I'll probably do some proper pasteurizing, sanitizing, and the like. But going whole-hog on the "raw" factor worked really well for me. Maybe I just got lucky.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    2,324
    Quote Originally Posted by corkybstewart
    My spiced cider from last fall is extremely dry, I may have to backsweeten the keg. For me it's great, but others think it's too dry and tart.
    Vance, that's almost an apple flavored sugar drink. I've never used more than a pound, I like to make the apple sugars do the work. I will often add a couple of cans of frozen apple concentrate, and I can see using some honey but7 pounds of added sugar seems like way too much for a cider.

    Well Corky, i tried it once without sugar, and well the abv may have been 2% to 3% of I was lucky, I could have drank all five gallons in a setting and felt nothing at all from it. I know it seems like a lot of sugar but 7 lbs only comes out to around 6.24% ABV add the 2% or so you get from the cider, and your at around 8% abv Maybe 9% if your lucky, which to me isn't all that strong, Remember i brew mostly all BIG BEERS lol. At least with the cider i can get locally, it is NOT sweet at all.

    Remember 2lbs of that is Dark Brown Sugar, and is a lot less fermentable.
    The mind is like a beer, it does the most good when it is opened.

    Author of Bizarre Brews 101 Now for sale online!

    http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000460972

    Or Just Google Bizarre Brews 101!

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