Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through October 08, 2005 * Hard Cider kits < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Jonathan Henderson
Member
Username: Henderson1966

Post Number: 184
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 65.45.166.56
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm thinking about making one of these and wanted to see if anyone out there has done so yet. They seem to be similar to the wine extract kits. Any experience with them? Thanks.
 

George Schmidt
Advanced Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 597
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 68.251.102.154
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 03:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Don't bother. Buy 5 gallons of fresh cider from a local orchard and add a vial of WL English Cider. Wait a few weeks and rack a couple times. That's all there is to it. No kit required.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Richard Nye
Advanced Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 915
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.225.248.227
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 04:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What's the alcohol content of hard cider like George is suggesting. It sounds simple, and good.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 5080
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 140.211.82.4
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 04:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Around 5-6% ABV.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Jonathan Henderson
Member
Username: Henderson1966

Post Number: 185
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 168.9.214.220
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, the little bit of reading I've done about cider says that getting the right blend of sweet and tart apples is the key. Just seems like a kit would already have that part done.
 

Paul Edwards
Advanced Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 786
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 199.46.199.237
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I did a cider kit from concentrate a number of years ago. It wasn't bad, but nowhere near as good as using frsh juice.

you can add Granny Smith apple juice concentrate to increase both the tartness and the O.G.

I usually add some turbinado suagr to the juice I get to bump it up a little.

Apple juice is normally in the 1.050 range.

My LHBS gets several hundred gallons of a special pressing of apples every fall to get the right blend of sweetness and tartness for making hard cider.

Sweet Mead yeast is another option if you can't get the WL cider yeast or 3766 from Wyeast
 

Brett Pellock
New Member
Username: Brett

Post Number: 14
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 132.183.14.42
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My experience has been that the local orchards (which generally grow many different apple varieties) have already done the blending of the sweet and tart apples when they press their cider. If it is good to drink before fermentation, it will be good after the yeasties are through with it. So, I don't think you should stress about the blending, etc.

BTW, in my experience the gravity of fresh pressed cider from orchards around me (Eastern MA) is usually in the 1.045-1.046 range. This will give you the ABV% that Denny listed above.

If possible, I recommend you buy unpasteurized cider. It's harder to find these days, but to my palate is has a much more complex, delicate flavor than pasteurized cider. I am fortunate that there is a cider house near me (Dowse Orchards, Sherborn, MA) that UV treats its cider, so it is unpasteurized and has no chemicals in it that might inhibit fermentation by my yeasties.

Brett
 

Brett Pellock
New Member
Username: Brett

Post Number: 15
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 132.183.14.42
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have used both WLP775 (English Cider Yeast) and Lalvin ICV-D47 for my cider. I prefer the Lalvin, but both yeasts give a good dry cider.

Brett
 

Geoff Buschur
Advanced Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 934
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 205.174.22.28
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Has anybody blended pomegranate into cider to add tartness and color?
"I've been drunk for 14 years...my judgment isn't what it used to be."

~Woody Harrelson as Roy Munson in Kingpin
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3523
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can't speak for the quality of cider kits, as I have not used them. They may be as good as the better wine kits, which in general can produce wine equaling that of the $10 a bottle range but not the finest wines.

As has been mentioned, cider is as good as the apples from which it is made, and the skill in blending is considerable. Many of the common apple varieties grown for eating and baking make only mediocre cider; they need to be augmented with older varieties less commonly grown today. There is something of a resurgence of interest in cider in New England, where more cider was consumed during colonial times than beer, so those who live in that region may have more choice.

The finest cider comes from Normandy, where the climate favors apples over grapes. Unfortunately good French cider is very difficult to find in North America and is expensive as well, but the best of it is absolutely exquisite, better than champagne to my taste.
 

Paul Edwards
Advanced Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 787
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 199.46.199.237
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brett,

It's been my experience that cider meant to be consumed when fresh is generally lower in tannins and acidity than what's needed needed for a good hard cider.

Of course that could be merely a difference in local tastes from Eastern Mass. to Indiana.

The orchard that my LHBS gets the juice from is one of the few left around here that still sells unpasteurized cider. But they don't use fallen apples and they don't let cows roam thru their orchards, either.
 

Brett Pellock
New Member
Username: Brett

Post Number: 16
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 132.183.14.42
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Paul,

There are definitely many ciders out there. My experience here in New England has been that there is a wide range of tastes among fresh ciders (I have tasted the fresh ciders from quite a few different orchards - pick-your-own apple farms are abundant here in Eastern Mass., and most sell their own cider). Some are really excellent, while others I don't care for. I have found that the tannin and acidity levels in the fresh cider translate well to the hard cider I make. I definitely taste the cider before I even consider fermenting it.

Brett
 

Josh Johnson
Junior Member
Username: Msujdog

Post Number: 75
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 167.73.110.8
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 01:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Three weeks ago I picked up a couple gallons straight off the press. THe OG measured 1.045. It would be my guess that later pressings in the fall will yield a slightly higher OG, since there is more sugar in the apples in the later harvests.

I live in Michigan, and I was fortunate enough to have my alma mater Michigan State come to one of our homebrew club meetings with some cider. MSU is a big ag school, and they were working on a grant to explore the possibility of turning the excess apples grown in Michigan into cider. (It seems that apple juice concentrate makers favor getting their product from China, oddly enough). The trouble is, Michigan makes only dessert apples, which don't always make the best cider. They gave us some samples and asked us to rate them for their research. We tasted a lovely still cider and a cherry cider fermented with bacteria. Both were only 3 weeks old but very, very good. I don't know why I majored in Political Theory...had I known I could've majored in making alcohol, I would've enjoyed my four years a lot more.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1861
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.49.148.10
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Johnathan,

Time for a road trip to the GA mountains. Head up I575 to Ellijay and/or Blue Ridge. There are lots of apple orchards around these 2 towns. In Ellijay head east on Hwy 52 and there are several. In Blue Ridge hang a left toward Copper Hill and there's a big one about a mile north. I've had cider from a lot of orchards in N GA but have never tried making any hard cider from it.

If nothing else it's a fun fall trip to the mountains. E me directly if you want some more info.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 3525
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Josh, someone at Michigan State should do more research into fermenting sour cherries as well as blending them with apples and other fruit for fermented beverages. Two-thirds of the world's sour cherries are grown in northwestern Michigan. The New Glarus Belgian Red uses sour cherries from Wisconsin's Door County and is a wonderful example, but only just the beginning of what might be possible. Certainly more could be done with sour cherry mead.
 

Geoff Buschur
Advanced Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 935
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 205.174.22.28
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My favorite N. Georgia orchard is Mercier (http://www.mercier-orchards.com/) My wife loves to shop in their store so it is easy to convincer her to make the drive.

I'm thinking I will try to make 5 gallons with the Pink Lady cider: http://www.mercier-orchards.com/product_category.asp?id13=187&par13=0

Map:
http://maps.google.com/?sourceid=navclient&q=8660%20BLUE%20RIDGE%20DRIVE,BLUE%20 RIDGE,GA%2030513
"I've been drunk for 14 years...my judgment isn't what it used to be."

~Woody Harrelson as Roy Munson in Kingpin
 

Jonathan Henderson
Member
Username: Henderson1966

Post Number: 186
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 68.67.96.38
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 02:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vance, coincidentally, I am going to an apple harvest event this weekend in Ellijay and that is what prompted my interest in cider. I really hope to be able to buy some fresh cider and give this a try. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the additional info.
 

Chet Nunan
Junior Member
Username: Chet

Post Number: 78
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 64.179.41.70
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Paul,

Is that Anita (lhbs)? And when do they offer the cider? It's something I would like to try...
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3651
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 71.37.188.229
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I made cider a couple of years ago. While its okay, the tartness is such that I don't want much more than one bottle.

The better thing to do IMHO is to add a gallon of honey to 4.5 gallons of fresh apple juice. Nectar of the gods.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1865
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.49.148.10
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mercier is the one about a mile north of Blue Ridge. I have never seen all the options of cider there. Maybe that's something new as I haven't been there in a few years. Used to stop there every week on the way back from the Ocoee on Sunday. Only bad thing is they're all pasturized. Wonder if you could talk them into a bulk purchase of un-pasturized if you tell them what it's for? Seems like the laws changed in GA back in the 90's that require pasturization.

Have a good time on your apple adventure in ellijay Jonathan.
 

Paul Edwards
Advanced Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 788
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 199.46.199.237
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 04:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chet,

I just sent you an email with more details...
 

Skotrat
Senior Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 1316
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 24.61.120.214
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Now,

George writes:

Don't bother. Buy 5 gallons of fresh cider from a local orchard and add a vial of WL English Cider. Wait a few weeks and rack a couple times. That's all there is to it. No kit required.

Damn great advice if not the best advice on this thread.

I do this every year and it always turns out perfect. A couple of times I have just let the cider go off on its own wild yeast strain and have never been disapointed with the final product either.

There is a cider pressing place up in Elliott, Maine that we go to every year and the cider is outstanding!

Makes a great ABC too!

-Scott
 

Geoff Buschur
Advanced Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 936
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 205.174.22.28
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 05:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Vance, I haven't seen the other types of cider at Mercier's either, it must be a new thing.

I just ordered 4 gallons of the Pink Lady cider and shipping is only $15! With the price of gas these days it would cost me $20 to make that trip!
"I've been drunk for 14 years...my judgment isn't what it used to be."

~Woody Harrelson as Roy Munson in Kingpin
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1867
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.49.148.10
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 07:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yep, it took me probably $40 in gas to go to the Natahala and back last Sat. When we were going by Mercier twice a weekend it was habit to stop and get something.

Do they ship with ice packs? Or just overnight? If it wasn't pasturized it might already be hard cider when you get it!
 

Josh Johnson
Junior Member
Username: Msujdog

Post Number: 76
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 167.73.110.8
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, they are definitely looking at ALL Michigan produce as far as what they can do to increase the demand for them.

For example, they've handed out a couple distilling licenses for fruit brandies. There's a winery down by Fennville called the Round Barn Winery www.roundbarnwinery.com that distills AMAZING brandies from excess fruit in Michigan. They are a bit pricey, but if you have $30 that you don't mind wasting on a great dessert brandy, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a bottle.
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 180
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 198.51.251.199
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 07:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm currently fermenting 4.5 gallons of cider with Red Star "Cote des Blancs" white wine yeast. I started with unpasteurized cider with no presrvatives from a pick-your-own farm in Eastern MA.

It's my first time using this yeast (or any wine yeast), but it came highly recommended for apple ciders. NAYY. Just giving an alternative to the WL cider yeast.