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How to make cider
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Hopefully final question. I now have 30 bottles of cider that have been clearing for just over a week. I put half a teaspoon of sugar in each to start the secondary fermentation process. Should I have seen some response in the bottle?
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Hi, Thanks - hope it works for you.If you make some, post a pic in a comment. Always good to see.On metabisulphite, I normally only feel you need about 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon for 5 gallons. You don't need loadsYou can use Camden tablet which are 1 per gallon. Like a measured dose
A useful guide, I'm about to have a go. How much sodium metabisulphite needs to be added, say per gallon?
Thanks - the first cider I made was actually juice that seeped out of apples I left in a bin and forgot. It fermented by itself. Was surprisingly just about drinkable. Next year just go for it. I'm sure you'll get something good out of it
Thank you for your instructions, very easy to follow. I have about 8dessert apple trees and this year I threw away about 6wheelbarrows of apples, so next year I will try to make cider following your advice. And before I invest in an apple press, I will try to make one of your design and see how I get on.
update.The cider now has a sg of .994. There still seems to be some small bubbles appearing on the top of the cider so I assume it is still fermenting..Is it still too early to start the bottling process?
thanks for the reply. I think I will rack it off tomorrow and then leave it a few days to see if the sg stays the same or the the fermentation process stops
update. The sg is now .994 however there still seems to be some small bubbles appearing on the surface. I assume that it is still fermenting. Is it still too early to start the bottling process?
The key thing to note now is how fast it is changing. If the SG doesn't change in a few days, it is so close to finished you should be OK to prime and bottleWhat I sometimes do in this case is to rack (siphon) the cider off the lees (the yeast sludge at the bottom). The remaining cider will still have enough yeast in to continue if it needs to, but it will be clearer when you bottle it.
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Just a couple of questions, how could i adapt this recipe for a soft cider? I feel like preserving it would be a bit of a hassle. also, how would one add carbonation to a soft version without yeast? does the sodium meta-sulfate add any sort of salt to the mixture, or is the resulting salt insoluble? Ty for anytime taken to answer.
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Excellent - it will be about a week before it has got near to finishing, but it will slow down. Even if you haven't taken an original gravity reading, it is best to know the gravity is 1000 or below when you think about bottling. It's worth getting a hydrometer. They are cheap and can save the uncertainty.
we are fermenting well, lots of activity. I haven't tested the SG however it now tastes sweet so not certain how it will turn out. We live and learn. Thanks for the advice - pm59
Hi. Initial gravity was 1044 and over a week later its down to 1002. I transferred it to another vessel with an airlock to clear. Unfortunately ive got it in a plastic bucket so cannot keep an eye on its progress. (Learning point for next time). I want it medium sweet and putting sugar to prime in bottles. Is a level tsp per 500ml bottle about right? There was plenty of dead yeast at bottom - Minster81
You can choose to neutralise some of the acidity if you know the juice is really acidic. Adding some chalk (calcium carbonate) will do this, but it is best to do before fermentation
yes, I agree with WillY7. the main thing is knowing it's finished fermenting so that adding priming sugar is the only way it will get more fermentation going. If you bottle it before it has stopped you can't be sure how much pressure will form in the bottle. Pretty much, let it stop, then filter off and leave settle to allow to clear a bit, then add some priming sugar
No timescale What is your FG? how sweet do you want it ?.Has the yeast settled to the bottom ? is it clear ? Unless you use a turbo Klar which clears in 24hours natural clearing can take weeks .All this before you bottle!
How are we doing?Don't worry about acidity you can back sweeten it with juice out a carton later. I myself are running 3x5 gallons at present 1 of juice and 2 from the pulp, the juice gave me a SG of 1055 which is normal the pulp gave me SG of1030 which I syrup'ed up to 1080 to produce a scrumpy with floaters. I am on day 10 at moment with the pulp two finishing off at .985 which will give me a very dry cider at just over 12.8% I will back sweeten it with quality apple juice down to 9% then bottle. The juice one is a bit slower and at present is just at 1010 I will bring this down to 1005 which will give me a medium sweet and once clear will bottle. All were started at same time with a turbo yeast with a room temp of 22c. The pulp was mixed 50/50 to water I sterilize with the same stuff you use for baby's bottles which doesn't need dried off I do not sterilise the juice till after fermentation with one Camden tablet which is plenty for 5 gallons
thanks for the advice. Will give it a go and let you know the result - pm59
Hope someone can help. I have 20L of pressed apple juice in a fermenting bucket however have been unable to get the fermentation process started ( despite adding three lots of wine yeast and also some sugar) I did sterilise the juice as suggested however left it for over 24hrs before adding the yeast. The juice does taste quite acidic. Does anyone know if this would affect the fermentation process and does anyone have any suggestions (polite please) about what to do
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Hi. My cider has nearly finished fermenting. Im planning on moving it into a clean vessel and adjusting the taste. How long do you leave it after the initial fermentation before bottling. ie. How long does it stay in the new vessel or does it not matter?Thanks
The British love home made marmalade and sometimes even decide on which hotel / B&B they will stay at based on if it is offered as part of the breakfast selection. Methods to make marmalade vary so check out a selection of recipes and techniques until you find one that suits you best.Yum!
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Thank you that's awesome, I'll get it wrapped up in cling film :)
Hi there,in one sense the metal is probably not a health concern unless they were dirty with something - if so you could wash them. The main concern would be in getting iron in contact with the acidic juice that might make it taste metallic. Iron is not that reactive, but apple juice is quite acidic, so there will be some risk.You could do something like putting plastic bags or clingfilm round the poles. or other metal surfaces. That would greatly reduce the contact while you do the pressing. Even if it didn't completely eliminate it, it would be much less risky
Hi I hope you get this as for some reason the website wouldn't let me write my own comment :(. I'm a complete novice at making cider but I have made other alcoholic drinks (ale, mead etc) and I know hygiene is important. My dad built a press for me but he's used mainly metal, I told him all the presses I have seen are made of wood but you know how dads are. My main concern is that he has used rusty scaffolding tubes which come into contact with the juice. Is there anything I can do to ensure the juice is hygienic despite the materials he has used? Would really appreciate some advice.
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I've got the Campden tablets, going to give it a go this weekend (:Quick question: I've got this old water bottle (8L), can I use this?I'm going to get a carboy (?) bottle but I can't seem to find one that isn't really expensive... So I thought maybe I can use this till I got a subsitute. Thanks for replying so fast by the way (:
Hi, sorry for taking ages to reply. It is best to ferment in large amounts (like 10+ litres, preferably 25 litres) as the temperature is much more stable, BUT it works fine in smaller containers as long as you keep it somewhere consistently warm.If you have 5 litres, you could use a demi-john (about a gallon,/ 5 litres)If you use a container that is much bigger than the liquid in it, there is a risk of more air getting in. You might get some oxidisation where the liquid goes a deeper amber or reddy-brown. In the worst case, scenario, allowing too muich air in can let too much airborne yeasts and bacteria get in.You should be OK, as long you get it started woth a strong yeast. The CO2 it gives off will form a protective gas layer above the juice. Yeast needs some oxygen I beklieve to reproduce at th e beginning too
Hi - good plan and yes the short answer is that you are right - the gap between cider surface and lid should be as small as possibleLong answer is:You should always be thinking about risk of spoilage (can ruin it) and oxidation (can change the taste and colour). The general air around us may have micro-organisms in it. and the juice you initially press will have loads of them in it. It will also have air in it. Fermentation gets rid of both.The initial sterilisation of the juice is all about killing off those potentially ruinous microbes. Yeast not only makes alcohol from sugar, it also crowds out and eliminates most other micro-organisms, stopping spoilage. Yeast breeding and fermenting also uses up all the oxygen in the juice (stopping oxidation and browning) So, after fermentation, if you never take the lid off, then the cider should stay stable and not go off because the years has killed off the micro-competition, used up the oxygen and produced CO2 which sits on top of the ciderWhenever you lift the lid, and even more so when you transfer the cider, some new air gets in and you always risk new microbes getting in. So, it is always best to have as little air above the finished cider so that the risk is as low as it can be. If you sterilise AFTER fermentation, then you reduce the risk, but can't make it fizzy in the bottle.Handy tip - when you transfer the cider, always siphon it with the outlet end UNDER the surface. Don't let the cider pour into the new container from above causing bubbles or you will get loads of air dissolving in your cider and it will oxidise much more.Hope all that makes sense!
that was meant to say not something to EAT, by the way!
The sodium metabisulphate that releases sulphur dioxide is not something to ear, but is not anywhere near seriously poisonous for the sort of contact you make in cider making. The gas itself is irritant to your lungs (never try sniffing the powder - you'll get a nasty shock!)I don't worry to much. I use about a third of a teaspoon in 5 gallons. Don't use loads and loads or it will taste vileYou can get something called camden tablets that are mainly sodium metabislphate. the advantage is they are easy to use s you use one per gallon.
Thanks for the reply. While you were responding i have decided to make 10litres as ive got my hands on some more apples. When i ferment the liquid then transfer to new container should the level be just below lid of container to minimise air space?
ha - love this. Using tools you've made for a specific need is so satisfying - good stuff.
Hey, how much of the sodium metabisulphite do you add to the juice? I'm making my first attempt to this cider business some time soon and I was wondering if too much or too little would be bad..? I read somewhere that it could be poisonous if taken orally, so I'm guising too much isn't good. What ratio do you use? Thanks!
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