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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a forewarning I do not drink alcoholic beverages.

I am going off second hand information from an 18 year old little brother, and a father who also home brews (though he brews beer more than cider, and he considers wine and cider brewers people who cannot keep stuff clean enough and do not have the patience to brew beer)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
step one choose your apples- or if you do not have a way to press apples, just buy cider.

As a rule of thumb remember that fermentation eats sugar, the sweetness decreases, and other flavours become more prominent.

commercial apple juice often has high fructose corn syrup added. When this ferments it has little flavour, mostly just sour. Look on the label before you buy.

Haralson-(sour, but great flavour) when fermented are very dry, and still sour. These are the apples that my family's trees are. (these are just about the only apples that grow around Bozeman)

step one, part two-cider pressing-

way one-you need a bucket that you can drain juice from, a way to crush the apples, and a way to catch the juice.

My families has a bucket with holes in the bottom, a plate that fits just inside the bucket on a big screw, and another bucket to catch the juice.
Some people filter the juice, but we don't because we like having the bits of apples in our cider.

Way two- (I have never actually tried this) core the apples, then run them through a meet grinder (course grind should be fine, but make certain that it is very clean), you could probably use a food processor instead of a meat grinder. Then put the mash into a cheese cloth and drain the juice out.

By the way you can make cakes or pie with the left over apple meat.

Way three- there are some places that will press your apples for you, and giv you back nice little jugs all set to go.

Way four-just buy apple cider from the store- this way is cheating according to my father, me and my brother suggest you do it this way until you get good and want to try the whole process. Just check to make certain there is no high fructose corn syrup added, and that the cider has not been diluted with water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Step two adding yeast.
Yeasts- this is very brief my brother uses cultures that my dad started years ago- they suggest going to a home brew shop and asking for what kind of yeast you should use. My dad says that when he was starting he got a whole bunch of different yeasts and tried them all.

Bread yeast- well I guess if you have nothing else- don't make much alcohol- and has off tastes and flavors

ale yeast-like warm temps

lager yeast- handle low temps better

wine/champaign yeast-ferments cleaner/ fewer ester tastes, less diacetyl, higher alcohol content.

Wild yeasts- sour, harsh, and a very high alcohol content.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oxygenate the cider-

Heat the cider up to luke warm and pour it threw a sieve. You want lots of bubbles and stuff in the cider. If you do not oxygenate the cider well, you end up with a “butter” flavor at the end. My brother and father say this flavor is bad.

Now add the yeast

My father adds fermentation locks(little bubbly things that let co2 out but don't let stuff in) to keep wild yeast out. because he is a beer brewer and this is part of his “keep stuff clean” routine.

My brother just leaves the caps on gallon jugs a little loose and counts on the co2 rushing out to keep stuff from getting in.

cider has a lot of sugar, so when the yeast “kicks”(that is starts growing fast) it tends to be pretty bubbly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After the cider kicks, put it in the fridge. This slows the yeast growth.

My little brother wants “sparkling cider”. So he tightens the caps on the gallon jugs at this point. This keeps the co2 in the cider, and makes it fizzy.

My dad just lets it bubble.

After the yeast stops the cider is ready.

My brother just takes the gallon jugs out and serves them.

My dad wants extra style points so he waits until the yeast settles to the bottom, then pours the cider off the top into bottles or whatever to serve.

If you want fizzy and no yeast, you can use a counter bottle pressure filler, or and this is what I did back when I made ginger ale, and root-beer for my high-school book club, fill the bottle, throw in a bit of dry ice in and cap it quickly.

Another way to have “fizzy in a bottle” is to pour the cider into bottles, throw a little bit more sugar in, them cap it. But this will not work if you have too dry a cider.
 

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I'm just curious, but why did you make this thread if you don't brew or drink? I'm confused by this.

I prefer a sweet carbonated cider, rather than a dry one, so that requires bottling and pasteurization. Once the alcohol content reaches about 5% ABV (as calculated using hydrometer measurements), I bottle the cider into 12 oz bottles. There is no need to add sugar or anything because the cider is still fermenting. I then open up a bottle daily until the desired carbonation is reached (usually in about 4 days, but it can vary depending upon the temperature). At this point if you leave the bottles be, pressure will buildup and you'll have a whole slew of 12oz bottle bombs waiting to go off. To avoid this, you can either pasteurize or keep them refrigerated to halt fermentation. If you use a lager yeast, refrigeration won't halt fermentation. That is one reason why I prefer an ale yeast (specifically Nottingham). I usually pasteurize.


My recipe is pretty easy:

5 gallons of cider (without preservatives... otherwise they'll kill the yeasties)
2lbs brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks

Heat up one of the gallons of cider just enough to dissolve all the sugar. Then mix all the ingredients together in your fermentation vessel. Take hydrometer reading.

1 packet Lallemand Nottingham dry yeast

Sprinkle dry yeast on top. It's best to get a yeast starter going... But I've never had any problems with this yeast starting by just sprinkling it on top.

Let it sit out of sunlight at about 70 degrees and check hydrometer readings until you get your desired alcohol content.

Then bottle it and check daily until you get your desired carbonation. Then either refrigerate it or pasteurize. Whether you pasteurize or not, leaving it in the fridge for a few days will clear up the cider a bit, but this isn't necessary at all.

Easy peasy and ready in about a weeksy.
 

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That would be my fault. I asked him about he process in general BS Thread.

Sent from my ADR6400L
 

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:kickass

Thumbs up for the home brewers. I do a fair amount of fermentation myself, but its all bacterial, yogurt, sourdoughs, and fermented pickles. Got a crock full of kraut as I write this.

Never got into the home brew, can only do so much. Good on you guys!
 
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