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Old 25-11-2017, 05:54 PM   #1
Aqualung
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Default But the cider is awful

I have been making lots of wine this summer and autumn and most of it is really nice. But my cider is really awful. By that I mean it is like drinking watered down apple juice. It has no body to it at all.

When I made that juice it was really appley and sweet. But it has lost all of its flavour.

The first batch went down the drain. The second batch was not much better, but it tastes ever so slightly cidery. The third batch had some grape concentrate added but is neither cidery or winey.

I have planted six apple trees over the last couple of years (mostly eaters) and they are producing the goods.

Is there any way of rescuing what I have?
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Old 25-11-2017, 06:32 PM   #2
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Unfortunately good eaters don't make great cider although they may make great sweet juice.

Any sweetness will ferment to dry (good for alcohol content) but for body you need acid provided by sharp apples and also tannin usually provided by cider apples.

If you can't get your hands on cider apples a 70/30 ratio of eaters to cookers is better. Alternatively add some malic acid and tannin (or some very strong tea from a few teabags).

I'm sure you know this but you're never going to make a magners or strongbow without the hassle of pasteurisng and adding sugar or sweetening with an artificial sweetener that doesn't ferment.

If the cider is a bit sharp or acidic it will usually get better in the spring when it goes through the fabled malo lactic fermentation which takes the edge off it and mellows it out.
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Old 25-11-2017, 06:38 PM   #3
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When I did TC I used artificial sweetener to back sweeten it and it worked well but for adding body I don't know what to suggest. If worst comes to absolute worst and to save chucking it, blend it with some nice bought cider to make it drinkable.
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Old 25-11-2017, 08:02 PM   #4
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I always add a cup of strong black tea (4 tea bags stewed for 30 mins) and a tablespoon of lime juice. That's for my usual 4l batches. Then I get the wife to taste test when I bottle it and backsweeten with sweetex according to her feedback. Seems to do the trick and it's pretty good after a couple of months sat in the cellar.
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Old 26-11-2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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I made cider with dessert apples and it was pleasant but unimpressive so I converted it to apple wine by refermenting it with sugar and 500 g of minced sultanas, which turned out much better. I kept some cider back to see if it would improve with time. It didn't and actually lost both colour and flavour. I tried a mix of dessert apples and bramleys. The flavour was much better but the acidity was too high for dry cider.
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Old 26-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #6
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Try adding some apple juice to it and drink it?
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Old 26-11-2017, 06:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyhibbett View Post
I made cider with dessert apples and it was pleasant but unimpressive so I converted it to apple wine by refermenting it with sugar and 500 g of minced sultanas, which turned out much better. I kept some cider back to see if it would improve with time. It didn't and actually lost both colour and flavour. I tried a mix of dessert apples and bramleys. The flavour was much better but the acidity was too high for dry cider.
That is very much what I have, very unimpressive, I might try re fermenting it.
Thanks
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Old 26-11-2017, 09:39 PM   #8
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It's a bit difficult to comment when you haven't posted up your recipe....
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Old 27-11-2017, 07:59 AM   #9
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interesting thread. My apple cider tastes like what I imagine a weak apple based champagne would be - but very appley..... It isn't particularly high on body but I have never fancied adding tannin. I think I like that it isn't the same as the commercial ciders - where economics surely dictate they water down the juice and then add sugar to get more bang for the buck from the most labour intensive stage - pressing.

My apples are very acidic - Indeed I add precipitated chalk to reduce this. Worth getting a PH meter and analysing the juice before fermentation. Good instructions on the love brewing website.
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Old 27-11-2017, 01:59 PM   #10
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It's worth noting that the legal definition of cider is that it is made with a minimum of 35% apple juice. That would certainly take care of the acidity issue. My recent brew was cyser (apple mead). In the end it was 25% bramley and 25% my own 'dessert' apple juice + honey and water and even that required acid reduction to make it palatable. I was hoping that a malolactic fermentation might take place and halve the acidity, but honey contains a natural preservative (hydrogen peroxide) and unhelpfully the lactobacilli don't like high acidity.
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