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idea for cider - good or bad?


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#1 pharmer

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 05:08 PM

I'm underwhelmed with my apple cider

 

It's drier and less apple-y than I'd like

 

I'm going to get a still someday soon and am thinking about distilling about five gallons of the cider down to a gallon of apple brandy.

 

Then get some more of the same juice (local guy has it frozen) and add let's say an ounce of the brandy into a mug of the apple juice and drink that on the rocks.

 

I know at this point I'm not talking about hard cider anymore, probably more correct to call it a mixed drink or a cocktail but I really like the idea of much more apple in my cider.

 

Is there any reason why this will not work? Any history of this being a bad idea?

 

It will be a bit clumsy in that juice will have to be thawed to be useful but we do what we have to do....

 

My goal is to end up with something cold and refreshing with a full apple-y taste and be able to keep the alcohol level down to that of beer as opposed to wine.


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#2 Juthro

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 06:42 PM

I like where your going with this Pharmer,  I don't see why it wouldn't work. 



#3 Boebs

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 07:31 PM

Sounds like a great idea worth attempting at least once!

#4 swayambhu

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 09:42 AM

I'm not sure that 5 gallons is going to distill into a gallon of anything drinkable, but there is a drink called pommeau that might interest you.

#5 pharmer

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Posted 17 March 2019 - 11:18 AM

ooooooo! interesting call swayambhu!

 

I think this is pretty much what I had in mind minus the year long aging in used wine barrels and the higher alcohol content - but who knows? once an obsession gets in my blood ......



#6 swayambhu

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 03:15 AM

In my (modest) experience, apple distillate is pretty rough stuff, and benefits hugely from ageing, even in the white. I don't know why, some distillates come out rough as anything. Dates are another rough one. Pears, not. Strange.


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#7 pharmer

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 03:09 PM

I'm not sure that 5 gallons is going to distill into a gallon of anything drinkable, but there is a drink called pommeau that might interest you.

yeah, I was talking faster than thinking. At 12% the yield wouldn't be much more than 50 ounces after subtracting heads and tails



#8 PistolPete13

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 05:23 PM

Hi Pharmer, sorry for being a little off-topic. But when making cider with juice have you ever adjusted the pH of the juice and added tannins?

https://www.homecide...nnins-to-cider/



#9 pharmer

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 08:25 PM

the juice was in the sweet spot when I got it - no adjustment needed

 

the guy I bought it from has his own orchard and blends the juices for right acid and right tannins

 

all I had to do was ferment it.

 

It tastes better every time I sample it. Maybe it just needs a few more months to mellow.



#10 PistolPete13

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:17 PM

Hopefully it will age well, it sounds like you had all the right ingredients. The only other thing I can think that it could be;

 

 

Option 3 – This option will deliver a depth of flavor as well but without the need for a larger vessel. This is the way the pros do it. For this option you will be stopping the fermentation before it completely ferments out to dry. This requires you to take samples on a daily basis until you reach the level of sweetness you want and then killing the yeast with potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate. You will also want to make a note of the gravity where you kill your yeast so you can easily hit the same number next time.

 

A quick note about yeast. Many yeasts will work well in cider. Wine yeasts, cider yeast, and beer yeast. One of our favorite yeasts for cider is actually a beer yeast. Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast. This yeast has a very clean profile and is a fast worker. This yeast really allows the apple flavors to come through.

 

https://brewngrow.co...sweeten-a-cider

 

That quote was from Brew'n'Grow, which is a great concept IMO. If they bring out a Brew, Shroom'n'Grow they ould have my business.



#11 swayambhu

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 03:39 AM

You could also kill the fermentation by adding brandy. That is how Port was traditionally made, I think. But it won't stop acetobacter, which may be an issue if you juice was unpasteurised.
If it's of any interest, cider in my country was always traditionally made with natural yeast. In my opinion it makes a far more interesting drink than that made with commercial yeast, which is often quite dull tasting.
Oh man, I can drone on about my fermentation and distillation opinions all day.
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#12 pharmer

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 06:32 AM

Hopefully it will age well, it sounds like you had all the right ingredients. The only other thing I can think that it could be;

 

 

Option 3 – This option will deliver a depth of flavor as well but without the need for a larger vessel. This is the way the pros do it. For this option you will be stopping the fermentation before it completely ferments out to dry. This requires you to take samples on a daily basis until you reach the level of sweetness you want and then killing the yeast with potassium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate. You will also want to make a note of the gravity where you kill your yeast so you can easily hit the same number next time.

 

A quick note about yeast. Many yeasts will work well in cider. Wine yeasts, cider yeast, and beer yeast. One of our favorite yeasts for cider is actually a beer yeast. Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast. This yeast has a very clean profile and is a fast worker. This yeast really allows the apple flavors to come through.

 

https://brewngrow.co...sweeten-a-cider

 

That quote was from Brew'n'Grow, which is a great concept IMO. If they bring out a Brew, Shroom'n'Grow they ould have my business.

See, the damned thing is I never know everything before I jump in head first. And I do stuff like fermenting every ounce of juice I have in only one way instead of maybe quartering the lot and trying different things in sequence. Apple juice freezes well from what I've heard and read. It would have been smarter to try four ways instead of one. But we learn.....

 

So I love that idea the best^^^^^ so far.  Stop the fermentation at some point above above 1.00 SG.

 

Are you guys familiar with the Fast Ferment?    https://www.amazon.c...ref=dp_prsubs_1

 

You can drill a hole in the side of the thing and put a spigot in the hole. This would permit daily sampling of the cider. Hit the sweet spot and dump the Campden tablets in.

 

I bought the FF last fall and haven't used it yet but it's looking like my go-to tool in the future

 

They work this way....    

[Direct Link]

 

 

Soooooooooo much to learn  :)


Edited by pharmer, 19 March 2019 - 06:33 AM.


#13 PistolPete13

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 12:26 PM

That is a nice little fermenter, the yeast harvester is great. I hate drilling holes in things though, I was looking and you could get a valve that you can attach a silicone tube to.for it which would save you drilling a hole.  There are some really cool accessories for it, mason jar attachments ect!

21TzKXcRg8L._SX466_.jpg

It looks like you could even choose which one to put on, while you are fermenting! So you could still collect the yeast and sediment, close the valve swap over to the tube do a sample and swap back? You could come up with something with that, it is a very flexible design.....

dc105c28-571b-4653-9a9d-22da559cb363._SL

 

Also I have not actually used one, but you can get fairly cheap digital hydrometers now.

[Direct Link]

I would like to note the satisfied look on the guys face while checking on his brew with his device (while at the bar, still paying for his beer) :tongue:



#14 Juthro

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 01:53 PM

You could also resign yourself to using a wine thief for sampling.  No drilling required.

 

https://www.northern...skaAuqOEALw_wcB

 

 

 


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#15 DreamingRaven

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 08:20 PM

I make applejack from pasteurized, 100% fruit juice, I use brandy turbo yeast.  Almost all apple distillates are spiteful and sharp-tongued to start with, so since you are only going to get rid of that bite with aging do what we do down here, add about 12 ounces of dehydrated apples per gallon of distillate before you put it up to age. 90 days and it's nice and regains the apple flavor.  With the proof so high in the applejack you get no secondary fermentation, and the apple bits have quite a kick when it's ready LOL


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#16 pharmer

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 07:23 AM

Raven,

 

you're talking sliced, dried apples?

 

who would have thunk it? but it makes sense.



#17 swayambhu

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 06:39 PM

I make applejack from pasteurized, 100% fruit juice, I use brandy turbo yeast. Almost all apple distillates are spiteful and sharp-tongued to start with, so since you are only going to get rid of that bite with aging do what we do down here, add about 12 ounces of dehydrated apples per gallon of distillate before you put it up to age. 90 days and it's nice and regains the apple flavor. With the proof so high in the applejack you get no secondary fermentation, and the apple bits have quite a kick when it's ready LOL


Harsh spirits can be tamed to some degree by fining. I've used egg whites with salt with good effect. But be sure not to use too much! 1/2 teaspoonful per gallon is plenty. My friend says diatomaceous clay settles out better, though on paper I think less effective?
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#18 DreamingRaven

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 05:22 PM

Raven,

 

you're talking sliced, dried apples?

 

who would have thunk it? but it makes sense.

 

 

Yes, that's what I mean.



#19 pharmer

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 12:31 PM

I got the dehydrated apples today and plugged them into a gallon. This sounds promising :)



#20 PJammer24

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 10:14 AM

I have been looking to get a new still. My old still has been taken to the scrap yard (behind my back) by the old man... I was none to happy.... His response was "if it was that important, you would have stored it at your house.." What he doesn't realize is that with every year that passes with me mowing more grass at the farm with him mowing less, with me mending more fences and him less, etc, etc, I am feeling more and more entitled to the farm's storage space... lol... I live 1/5 mile down the street now but I am pretty sure I've spent more days on that farm than he has days left... Just sayin!

 

I think he should start recognizing that my claim to the farm and aforementioned storage space (lofts, barns, and garages...) is becoming formidable...

 

My stuff only took up 2.25 garage stalls... Really??? Is that really too much space to occupy on a farm where I no longer reside???? LMFAO, ya, it probably is a little much....






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