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First batch of hard cider!

MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
Well for my Birthday my wife surprised me with the basics to start brewing my own Hard Cider, one gallon at a time.
Tonight I started my first batch. My OG reading is 1.070 which gives me the opportunity to turn out some cider with a 9% ABV. Can't wait to sip it with a fine cigar!


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Comments

  • RolanddeschainRolanddeschain Milwaukee wisconsin.Posts: 810 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Welcome to the brew life!!!!! What yeast are you using?
    Long days and pleasant nights,

    Roland
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    EC-1118 champagne yeast. It will finish out pretty dry but I've read it is a beast of a yeast. I want to try one with an English Ale yeast but haven't found one to try yet.
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I only pitched about 1/3rd of the 5g yeast package. The guy at the brew store said the yeast was for 5-6 gal so only to use about 1/3. Does that sound right?
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MikeTodd said:
    I only pitched about 1/3rd of the 5g yeast package. The guy at the brew store said the yeast was for 5-6 gal so only to use about 1/3. Does that sound right?
    You'll be fine -- the pic above, how long since you pitched?
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pic was taken right after pitching @jarubla.
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is that this evening, Mike? That yeast should go to town overnight. 

    In your airlock are you using vodka or starsan/water? Just curious. I have a buddy who swears by vodka (just gotta keep an eye on evaporation of the vodka in the bubble).

    I was just in my back yard considering my apple trees. Some apfelwein sounds mighty tasty...

    -Jay
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Yep. Just pitched tonight. Added 1 cup of light brown sugar to boost OG and added yeast nutrient and energizer to give it a good start. I am using commercial apple cider (indian summer) which has no preservatives or sorbate. Using sanitized water in airlock. Guy at homebrew store said I could use regular water but I don't want to take any chances.
  • bert873bert873 Jackson, MOPosts: 2,506 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds amazing! Be sure to let us know how it turns out. 
  • rsherman24rsherman24 Scranton, PAPosts: 4,069 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fun stuff.  If you get a chance, try a batch just using the natural yeast.  Just add some brown sugar and spices and let the natural yeasts in the cider do its thing.  Little more risk since the yeast is a variable, but makes a much sweeter cider.  
  • dirtdudedirtdude Green ValleyPosts: 5,045 ✭✭✭✭✭
    thats a cool pastime Mike, keep us posted
    A little dirt never hurt
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks like primary has really slowed down after 6 days. This yeast is really aggressive and has dropped the gravity to 1.000 which means it is currently at 9.1% ABV!
    I will let it sit in primary for another week to let it clarify some and then rack into secondary for some more clarifying and then bottle. Picked up three more different yeast strains to try and some more carboys to start the experimentation. 
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good stuff!
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very cool mike congrats!
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • GuitardedGuitarded AlbuquerquePosts: 3,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very interesting Mike. How about ageing some in a bourbon barrel and bring it to the herf in Chicago? Just kidding. Curious to see how this turns out!
    Friends don't let good friends smoke cheap cigars.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You know I could see aging them in some casks that used to house some kind of ale or pale ale as working really well with the hard cider flavors. Would be very interesting to say the least I think!

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have actually thought about that. I can purchase a barrel from Four Roses for $129. The problem is brewing 53 gallons to put in it!!! I am considering doing some pieces of barrel (you can buy the staves) and putting that in secondary for flavor.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MikeTodd said:
    I have actually thought about that. I can purchase a barrel from Four Roses for $129. The problem is brewing 53 gallons to put in it!!! I am considering doing some pieces of barrel (you can buy the staves) and putting that in secondary for flavor.
    Not a bad idea at all mike, remember that when adding wood it's the surface area that matters. The more SA to interact the quicker it picks up the flavor so bear that in mind ;)

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • YaksterYakster I'm on a Buying FreezePosts: 11,781 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've used mason jars and whiskey barrel chunks to barrel condition green coffee, even tried it with some cheap cigars but it didn't help.   :D  The chunks are pretty inexpensive, PM me and I'll send you an unopened pack if you want to try it out.

    https://www.morebeer.com/category/oak-chips-cubes-barrels-homebrew.html
    I'll gladly bomb you Tuesday for an Opus today.

                  Join us on the New Zoom vHerf (Meeting # 2619860114 Password vHerf2020 )
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Went ahead and got batch number two going. This time it is just 100% pure apple juice (not from concentrate) with vitamin C in it and has been pasturized. I brought the OG up to 1.070 with 1C Light brown sugar. Added the energizer and yeast nutrient to give it a good start. Also added the pectic enzyme to ensure clarity. I pitched Muntons Ale Yeast to go for a sweeter cider. The ABV will be lower but it won't completely dry out.


  • RolanddeschainRolanddeschain Milwaukee wisconsin.Posts: 810 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MikeTodd said:
    Looks like primary has really slowed down after 6 days. This yeast is really aggressive and has dropped the gravity to 1.000 which means it is currently at 9.1% ABV!
    I will let it sit in primary for another week to let it clarify some and then rack into secondary for some more clarifying and then bottle. Picked up three more different yeast strains to try and some more carboys to start the experimentation. 
    If I were you I would leave it for an additional week in primary and forgo the secondary. Cold crash it in your fridge for a day or two before you bottle it and it will perfectly clarified. Secondary is, in my opinion, a step that isn't necessary unless you are doing hop additions or racking over fruit, and it's another chance for infection.

    Long days and pleasant nights,

    Roland
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MikeTodd said:
    Looks like primary has really slowed down after 6 days. This yeast is really aggressive and has dropped the gravity to 1.000 which means it is currently at 9.1% ABV!
    I will let it sit in primary for another week to let it clarify some and then rack into secondary for some more clarifying and then bottle. Picked up three more different yeast strains to try and some more carboys to start the experimentation. 
    If I were you I would leave it for an additional week in primary and forgo the secondary. Cold crash it in your fridge for a day or two before you bottle it and it will perfectly clarified. Secondary is, in my opinion, a step that isn't necessary unless you are doing hop additions or racking over fruit, and it's another chance for infection.

    Wouldn't cold crashing inactivate my yeast and not allow me to bottle carbonate? I don't have kegging abilities. 
  • RolanddeschainRolanddeschain Milwaukee wisconsin.Posts: 810 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It wouldn't kill it, just go dormant. It would reactivate with your priming sugar and warming up.
    Long days and pleasant nights,

    Roland
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the info!
    Just found out that my local orchard will do fresh unpasteurized and preservative free cider this fall!!!  
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @MikeTodd, no time soon by any means and this is technically not dry begging as I would send something for compensation, but one of these days would love to setup a trade for some of your home brewed cider as I have never tried it before! I think your idea of trying out the staves is a killer one and really has a lot of merit to it! Congrats on getting number 2 up and running, cant wait to see what you do with the next guys too!

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Absolutely brother! In a week or so I should be bottling the first one. With an ABV of 9%, it will technically be more or a "sparkling apple wine". I am excited to taste it and see how it ages as well.
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Went by the local homebrew store. They had cases of bottles onsale for $7.50 (24 12oz bottles).
    Also picked up one more ale yeast to try and some truly American bottle caps!

  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very exiting Mike congrats on a successful first bottling, way to go and enjoy yourself!

    Brett
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • Big''nBall''nBig''nBall''n Lincoln, NEPosts: 789 ✭✭✭✭
    Ball'n!  looks tasty 
    The Names Ball'n.... Big'nBall'n! 
  • MikeToddMikeTodd IndianaPosts: 970 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks! Got more stuff today for two more test batches. One will be with another ale yeast and one with another wine yeast. One of them will have cherry apple juice added to make Unicorn's Blood and one will be oaked.
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