i am looking to begin my frist batch of cider here in a few days. i was going to use organic cider (pasteurized). it is my impression that the campden tablets are only necessary with the fresh squezed cider to supress bacterial gorwth. am i misinformed?
and i am still unsure as to what yeast i should use. looking for a dry cider with apple flavor, 8-10% ABV. input would be much appreciated. I’ve had good results making Cyser (Apple juice and honey) and don’t use Campden. I use a yeast starter and make sure I have a healthy amount to pitch and get the fermentation rolling as soon as possible. Honey does have mild anti-bacterial properties, which may help. My recipe for 3 gallon carboy…..
2.5 gal Knudsen’s Organic Unsweetened Apple Juice, pasteurized.
6 lbs clover honey
1 oz yeast nutrient
Priesse de Mousse Champagne Yeast
after racking off lees add:
3 lbs clover honey
1/3 gal Knudsen’s Organic Apple Juice
The yeast sort of pooped out at 12%, with a nice residual sweetness.
Lots of apple aroma and flavor.
I have not bothered with the Campden tablets on the ciders I have made. I did not make mine at 8-10% ABV though and getting the apple taste is a little tricky because immediately after fermentation it tastes nothing like apples.
However, after about 5 months of maturing it now tastes a lot like what I expect a dry cider to taste like. I used a cider yeast from England on one (I brought the kit over with me) and a champagne yeast on the other. The champagne yeasted cider is very dry and lacks a lot of character, so I threw in 1oz of oak per gallon to try and get a little character into it. You could look at some of the wine yeasts that bring out fruit flavors, but I am unsure of all the varieties without my books. I have used Lalvin D47 in my Meads and it creates a mead with lots of body and character, but cider needs to be crisp and refreshing. The body could be due to the high alcohol content though. I have used beer yeast in a cyser and you should be warned that beer yeast is much more foamy than wine yeast, and allow appropriate head space.
If you want to get a really apple tasting cider, I think you will need to create something that is a bit sweeter. To do this you will need potassium sorbate to stop the refermentation when you add the extra juice. Commercially it would be flash pasteurized and filtered before force carbonating. Unless you have a corny keg, you could look at trying the Tap-a-Draft kegs. They hold 1.6 gallons each and can force carbonate your cider. I just ordered two more taps so that I can carbonate a mead and a cider!
Mzcle – How long do you ferment in the primary before racking to the secondary? Also, how long do you keep in the secondary before bottling? Do you prime? and once in the bottle how long does it take to mature? Thanks
On my ciders I’ve had good luck using “Lalvin ICV-D47” . It doesn’t make for a dry cider like champagne yeast does, and allows more apple flavor to show up in the finished cider. Another thing is to make sure you use a good tart cider, something with the tart late apples, and a small dose of crab apples to the blend really brings out the apple flavor in the end product. But once you have reached your end result (sweetness), give it a dose of camden tablets and Potassium sorbate to end the fermentation. Do everything just like the Wine industry does to preserve fruitiness & sweetness in wines, after all Cider is nothing but a wine anyways. Now you can bottle it and have a still Cider. If you want a sparkling cider, just force carbonate it in a corny keg to 2.5-3 atmosperes and chill it to below 30*F then bottle it from the corny keg, it should retain most of it carbonation when served at serving temperature. Reading up on “Making wine” is one of the best ways to produce good cider, that and starting out with a good quality sweet cider as your base must. outside of kegging and force carbonating, is there any other way to carbonate the cider?
won’t the addition of priming sugar carbonate the cider, as the infusion of fermentable sugars should (in theory) re-invigorate the yeast and cause carbonation?