Making hard cider

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ratfishlvr
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by ratfishlvr » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:38 pm

Amarillo.. you have excellent taste.. :) Let me ask him tomorrow and Ill see what he has.

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spatman
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:02 pm

ratfishlvr wrote:
spatman wrote:Many breweries will also give you some yeast if you ask nicely.

Ratfishdvr, what kind of hops do you grow?


I have tettnanger hops. but I have a friend who grows cascades and a few other varieties as well if you're interested.


Any Amarillo?
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ratfishlvr
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by ratfishlvr » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:27 pm

spatman wrote:Many breweries will also give you some yeast if you ask nicely.

Ratfishdvr, what kind of hops do you grow?


I have tettnanger hops. but I have a friend who grows cascades and a few other varieties as well if you're interested.

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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:11 pm

I didn't mention that I planted hops this spring too. I harvested nearly a pound each of dried Cascade and Goldings from my first year bines. They should produce even more next summer. I recently transplanted some large root cuttings from very well established Centennial and Horizon plants that I helped dig up from a friend who was moving. I've got a couple of cuttings left that I'd be willing to share.

Dry hopped ciders turn out to be rather tasty too.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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spatman
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:45 am

Many breweries will also give you some yeast if you ask nicely.

Ratfishdvr, what kind of hops do you grow?
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ratfishlvr
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by ratfishlvr » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:12 pm

I have not yet made cider but certainly intend to. For the beer guys, try going to a local micro brewery. I am good friends with my local brewers and they just give me the extra grain that they arent going to use. They use hundrfeds of pounds of grain so if the have 10 or 15 lbs left over that they aren't going to use they are happy to part with it. That's a full batch for me. Also for hops, I grow my own. They are very easy to start. In fact if anyone wants any rhizomes, let me know and I'll give you some.

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Re: Making hard cider

Post by straitscuba » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:12 pm

Interesting read. I got into homebrewing on a trip to the local store. I made a wrong turn down an aisle and ended up leaving with a full homebrewing set up. Then I found out I couldn't get hops locally but that is another story. Since you have access to lots of honey I have a recipe I will try to find and post for a Honey Porter that is really good. I just bottled an IPA last night and am crossing my fingers that it comes out good! I have done an apple cinnamon wine and a blackberry wine before but haven't tried any hard ciders. After reading this I may have to give it a shot!


Here is the Honey Porter recipe from Olympic Brewing. I have changed it some over the years but this is the start and it comes out tasty!

7 lbs Amber Malt Extract

1 lbs Honey

1/2 lb Crystal Malt 120L

1/2 lb Chocolate

1 1/4 oz Chinook hops(boiling: 60 min) 15 HBUs

1 pk Wyeast London Ale Yeast

For Bottling:

1 1/4 cup Dry Malt Extract Or 3/4 cup Corn sugar



Add cracked Crystal Malt and Chocolate Malt to 1 1/2 gal of cold water and bring to a boil. Add the Amber Malt Extract and Honey then bring to a boil again. Add 1 1/4 oz Chinook hops. Boil for 60 mins. Sparge out the hops and add the wort to the fermenter with enough cold water to make five gallons. Add yeast when temp reaches 70º. After 7 to 10 days transfer to secondary. For bottling, use 1 1/4 cup of dry malt extract boiled with 2 cups of water added in the bottling bucket. Age for 2 weeks.

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spatman
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:50 am

The beer possibilities are endless. I suggest checking out Brewing Classic Styles, it's a great resource and all of the recipes are spot on for their respective styles.

Nice score on the honey! That's the most expensive part of mead making.
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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:52 am

So this thread has documented the beginning of a new hobby for me. I pressed 34gal. of cider in October, turned the grapes from my yard into pyment, and just brewed an all grain oatmeal stout yesterday which is my first beer at home with my BIAB system.

The meads I discussed earlier in the thread were pretty good at a month and are really good at six months. My housemate is now keeping me supplied with honey any time I have an empty carboy or bucket that isn't intended for another purpose.

Now we are trying to figure out what beer to brew next.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:21 pm

ratfishlvr wrote:Ive been making beer for a number of years, to include building a big brewery that took over my whole garage. Been thinking about making cider for a few years.... maybe this is the year I try it!

It's way less work than an all grain brew day. If you have an empty bucket or carboy you should give it a try since all you have to do is sanitize your fermentor, add extra sugar/honey if you want more than around 6.5%, perhaps add a bit of yeast nutrient or peptic enzyme if you have some, and pitch a dry ale yeast (Nottingham and S04 are popular). Ideally you'll be able to ferment in the low 60's for around ten days. Making a sparkling dry cider or a back-sweetened still cider are pretty easy, the sparkling sweet cider is much more challenging.


There's no need to wait until fall. Go buy some supermarket cider now, just be sure that the only preservative is ascorbutic acid (vitamin c), and give it a try. $7-$9 per gallon is a typical price, the current bargain is $2.99 half gallons of Washington produced organic cider at Grocery Outlet.



Test edit for Spatty's troubleshooting.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

ratfishlvr
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by ratfishlvr » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:20 am

Ive been making beer for a number of years, to include building a big brewery that took over my whole garage. Been thinking about making cider for a few years.... maybe this is the year I try it!

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Gdog
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by Gdog » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:16 pm

So will this be a NWDC dive cider party?

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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:09 am

I just realized that the club dive is a month away. If you pick up around 2.5-3lbs if honey, DAP, FermaidK, potassium carbonate (or bicarb), and a smack pack of Wyeast 1388 you could bring your own batch to compare. If you don't have a gallon jug pick up a frosting bucket from a bakery and put a grommet in the lid for an airlock.

Updated recipe/instructions at Homebrew Talk
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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Re: Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:22 pm

Thanks!
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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:57 pm

spatman wrote:I'd love to try that mead. Are you going to be at the club dive?

I haven't thought that far ahead but it would be nice to come visit with everyone. If it lasts that long I'll try and get a sample sent your direction.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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Re: Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:40 pm

I'd love to try that mead. Are you going to be at the club dive?
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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:34 pm

I just racked my first mead in to a new carboy tonight an sipped a sample. It's pretty tasty and devoid of off flavors for a batch that started fermenting 3/23 (17 days ago) and finished at around 13%ABV. I'll probably bottle it in 12oz beer bottles next week but I don't think it will be around to age more than a few weeks. Now I really need to find a good honey source for less than $5 a pound, stepping up to a three gallon batch could get expensive.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:16 am

It's been a couple of months since I posted to this thread but since I'm drinking ginger infused apple cider tonight I thought I'd update everyone. I've lost count of exactly how many small batches I've made but right now I've got my two 3gal. and my 6gal. carboy full plus a few gallon jugs bulk aging. I've even got an variety of batches bottled and can pick between still apple, sparkling apple, cran-apple, and apple-cherry too.

I've been routinely using store bought apple cider with enough sugars (usually dark brown sugar or honey) added to get the original gravity up from 1.050 to around 1.065, adding some enzymes/nutrients, pitching Nottingham dry ale yeast, fermenting in the basement in the low sixties, and bottling at around one month. I've had a few adventures making sparkling sweet/semi-sweet ciders by pasteurizing carbonated cider in the bottle but have finally found a process that doesn't blow up too many bottles. A bit of fresh ginger, cranberry juice, or cherry juice can be a very tasty addition.

I started my first gallon batch of mead a couple of weeks ago using a process that is purported to be drinkable in a month or three and my housemate was so excited she got me blackberry honey for a second batch. If these are as tasty as they smell now I'll be making larger batches soon. The process is using staggered nutrient additions and a Belgian strong ale yeast (Wyeast #1388). Anybody got affordable honey sources they can recommend?

I made some great strong ginger soda for a couple of parties using my mini-keg that mixed awesome Dark 'N' Stormies and some ginger syrup for holiday gifts. Right now I've got an experimental batch of ginger cooking/marinading wine sitting in carboys while the yeast settles out.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:10 pm

spatman wrote:How much was the little corny keg?

Mine was a Cyber Monday special from Williams Brewing (ships from NorCal) but I think they are still available for $69 at Adventures in Homebrewing (ships from Michigan).

Mine is 2.5gal that can fit on a shelf inside our spare fridge and would probably fit into a picnic cooler too. There are also 1.75 and 3 gal versions available. They are made in China and branded OB Keg. They defiantly don't have same quality of finish compared to the Italian made kegs I've seen at local shops. The sanitary welds look decent and they hold pressure but the metal isn't as nicely polished, edges aren't deburred, and the handles are just spot welded on. IMHO they are fine at the price point but if you want a pretty polished keg to display these aren't for you.


I'd like a couple more, they'll work well with my 3gal Better Bottle fermetors if I bottle condition and cellar a few bombers from each batch. Now I kind of want an adapter so I can use a 20oz paintball CO2 tank to dispense my kegs and purger fermentors without schlepping my big tank around.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:15 pm

How much was the little corny keg?
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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:00 pm

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Between Craig's List and a couple of Black Fri. deals I'm much better equipped now. I'm drinking/bottling an affelwein backsweetened with ginger syrup and force carbonated tonight.

Last night Sound Homebrew Supply let me apply a $20 off a $40 purchase holiday coupon on a $45 bucket of juice they had custom pressed from a blend of apples optimized for hard cider. A New batch will soon be fermenting.

The poor man's counter-pressure filler is working much better than a slow fill from a picnic tap.
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"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:19 pm

renoun wrote:Anybody know which gas/welding suppliers in the North End fill owner bottles? I'm sure I'll need a refill eventually.

Still looking for advice on this. I've been reading about gas blending here long enough to understand owner bottles vs. exchange bottles. I've got a nice aluminum tank with five years left on the hydro so $25 for an exchange bottle isn't very appealing.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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Re: Making hard cider

Post by spatman » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:40 pm

renoun wrote:It looks like putting together a poor man's psudo-counterpresssure bottle filler is pretty cheap and easy too.


If you're just filling bottles to bring to friends or store for a month or two, all you need is a piece of tubing that fits over the faucet spout and reaches the bottom of the bottle. (the same way growlers are filled at a pub)

Just fill them slowly, without foaming, and cap them quickly. Keeping the bottles cold (freezer) before filling helps retain the carbonation, too.
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renoun
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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:17 am

I just bought a brewing and kegging setup off Craig's List for $120 and sold the big stock pot to a friend for $20. Now I've got a CO2 bottle, a ball lock corney keg, regulator, picnic tap, a 5gal. carboy, and a bunch of other stuff. Guess I can force carbonate now when I don't want to bottle condition. It looks like putting together a poor man's psudo-counterpresssure bottle filler is pretty cheap and easy too.

Anybody know which gas/welding suppliers in the North End fill owner bottles? I'm sure I'll need a refill eventually.

In other news a friend just acquired a bottle of preservative free unpasteurized cranberry juice from the coast at the U Dist. Farmer's Market. We had a pretty good cocktail that was `1 part Grand Marnier, 2 parts cranberry juice, and three parts vodka in a cocktail shaker and then served chilled. I just racked one of my gallon cider batches with a stuck fermentation on to a bit of cran too and pitched some 1118 to finish things off.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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Re: Making hard cider

Post by renoun » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:13 pm

I popped a nice bubbly bottle of cider at a housewarming party last night and I can't wait to open the magnum champagne bottle I filled for Thanksgiving. I'm convinced that making drinkable cider is totally doable without extraordinary effort or much specialized equipment. I bottled another batch I made with store bought cider tonight and my friend's pear cider is fermenting away still. My next experiment is going to be pasteurizing carbonated bottles so they'll stop fermenting and remain semi-sweet.
"Just to be clear, doing the Diamond Knot requires at the minimum double IPAs to be DIR." - MattleyCrue
"Mmmm....... Oreos!
They didn't look too good when I was spitting in my mask for dive #2!" - cardiver

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