Homemade Cider

Homemade Cider

PostBy: JRDepew On: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:33 am

Every year I go to a cider making party up between Seneca and Cayuga lake. The owner of the place we go to has about 20 apple trees of different varieties (golden delicious, macintosh, etc) as well as concord grapes growing on his property. He has an old cider press as well, you can see it in the picture below. The apple grinder used to be run by a hand crank, but it has been replaced with an electric motor and drive belt. The press part is still operated by hand, with a 5 foot lever when the cranking gets hard. We put out about 240 gallons of cider this year...it was a great year for apples up there. We could have easily kept going but we ran out of containers to put the cider in! Anyway, I had been talking to one of the guys about making my own hard cider/beer, so he showed up with two 5 gallon water jugs, bungs, and airlocks for me to take home.

This pic shows the press, I am standing on the right side of the picture in the hat. There is a hay wagon to the left on this pic, filled with exactly on shitload of apples.

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Here is a little under 10 gallons of cider after killing the wild yeast, and adding in champagne yeast, yeast nutrient, tannin, acid blend, and pectin enzyme:

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And he is as it sat last night, transferred into some secondary containers, all glass at this point, 8 gallons worth of hard cider. They are going to sit about 2-3 more weeks before I begin cold crashing and bottling. I am not sure if I will try to carbonate some, or add some sweetness. The problem with adding sweetness is that if you add real sugar, the yeast will turn it into alcohol, and release more CO2. If you add sugar and bottle, you can let it sit for awhile, then test carbonation, and then cold crash or pasteurize to halt the fermentation of the added sugar...I had no idea it would be this complicated until I had already started fermentation!! Right now it tastes a lot like strongbow cider from england, flat, with a tangy bite and not much sweetness. It is about 5.5% ABV, so it will have a nice kick to it.

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I'm totally new to any sort of brewing, so I have been doing a lot of reading and getting a little overwhelmed, but it is fun so far. I'll let you know how it tastes after sitting a while longer and bottling it up.

Joe
JRDepew
 
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:11 am

Sounds fun thanks for sharing. Keep us updated. :cheers:
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: anthony7812 On: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:16 pm

Looks awesome!
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:13 pm

remember years ago, my dad had apples from apple trees on folks property squeezed, most was jugged for regular cider, but dad made a 35 gallon oak keg of his own brew which he kept in garageduring the winer, wrapped in blakets. fidle with it a few times, then it sat till spring. All i know or knew then it sure tasted good, and tangy with a slight fizzle.... but man it sure made a kid loopey. :stretcher:

Remember having to unplug wooden spigot of yellow hornets everytime i went to QC the beverage.
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: offcoursey On: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:14 pm

If I could remember correctly, I think I used 16 oz. of Lactose for sweetness and mouth feel in the hard cidar I made. Lactose is non-fermentable sugar.
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: JRDepew On: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:23 pm

offcoursey wrote:If I could remember correctly, I think I used 16 oz. of Lactose for sweetness and mouth feel in the hard cidar I made. Lactose is non-fermentable sugar.


I was looking into using lactose to sweeten some of the cider...When I give it another taste this weekend I will decide if I want to sweeten some of it or not. I probably will, as I have the smaller 1 gallon batches to play around with.

Thanks for the input!!
Joe
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: nuthcuntrynut On: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:01 pm

when i make wine i use potassium sorbate to kill off the yeast so sees i can flavor and sweeten to taste, as well i use chicosan to clear after killing the yeast. wonder if you could do the same with cider?
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:04 pm

This is something I MUST learn!! I've got pears, apples, peaches and piles of huge blueberries .. plus a Mulberry tree - I could make lots of juice with all that! :drool: :drunk:
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: JRDepew On: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:05 pm

nuthcuntrynut wrote:when i make wine i use potassium sorbate to kill off the yeast so sees i can flavor and sweeten to taste, as well i use chicosan to clear after killing the yeast. wonder if you could do the same with cider?


I used potassium sorbate to kill the wild yeast before fermentation got under way...then replaced with a champagne yeast. I was thinking I could sorbate again and sweeten to taste but I have no idea if this could have any negative effects. Since this cider is only 5.5-6% alcohol and there is no hops like a beer for preservative effects...will killing the yeast make it easier for the drink to go sour or anything like that?

Great suggestion...I just don't know. I could try it on one of the smaller gallon jugs to see...

Joe
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: JRDepew On: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:07 pm

Also, forgot to mention that me and the woman polished off about a half gallon this weekend. We make some simple syrup (sugar dissolved in hot water) and sweetened with that in our drinking glass...this stuff is GREAT!! Really tastes like an off the shelf cider with a couple teaspoons of simple syrup!

Joe
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: nuthcuntrynut On: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:37 pm

i use the sorbate in wine, to stop the fermentation, that way i can sweeten without the yeast to start working on my sweetener, and i use chitosan at same time to clear the wine, i haven't had any go sour yet, but the wine is a bit more alcohol Level, like 9 or 10%, i cork itafter.
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:36 am

We used to make White Lightning out of Hard Cider. We did not get much out of a barrel of cider granted, maybe a few quarts, but it had a kick now I'll tell you!!!

A lot of people do not know this, but while reading my Great Uncle's Autobiography (in book form) from life on the farm in 1838, we used to grow Hops here in Maine. It was the farms main commodity, but his father got into a heated argument with his grandfather and won, and the boys plowed up the Hops based on the Christian Ethics that the Hops on the farm was contributing to the alcoholism of the community. Today it would be like slaughtering all our sheep or cows for moral reasons and starting to farm something new. In any case, in 1838 we started growing potatoes...something we did until 1988, so I guess it was worth doing.
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: nuthcuntrynut On: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:57 am

they tell me hoops was big up here too. dad said kids used to get paid to pick them by the crate, he said just as they got close to the top someone would kick your box and poof they'd be half full again. i grew for rhizomes up for my own , took three years truly mature, two we harvested though, like the smell of them
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: Ed.A On: Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:31 pm

Brewing and wine making are great hobbies. Been doing both for about 7yrs.
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Re: Homemade Cider

PostBy: nuthcuntrynut On: Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:49 pm

:shots:
Ed.A wrote:Brewing and wine making are great hobbies. Been doing both for about 7yrs.

totallyagree
its my winter time thing
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