2018 Apple Harvest Cider Thread

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Brewdays!' started by MattH1973, Aug 12, 2018.

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  1. Aug 12, 2018 #1

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    Got back from Norfolk yesterday to find quite a few apples had blown down, so spent Sunday morning picking the low hanging and ripest fruit from the very old trees we have in our paddock. Got more than 2 large sacks full, which based on last year should be good for about 20 litres of juice.

    First press using my new electric scratter may be next weekend.

    In a rather delightful symmetry, the last 2 bottles of 2017 vintage went into the fridge today, and will I expect get drunk next weekend.

    It will be interesting what effect the very dry summer has had. The apples are a good size, and there are plenty of them. But we will see what the juice yield and strength is like. Going with Lalvin EC 1118 yeast this year.
     
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  2. Aug 24, 2018 #2

    freester

    freester

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    Reply to follow this thread!

    I've still got about 40l left from last Autumn. Should keep me going!

    I'm going to have another go this year. I've earmarked 2/3 places to get the apples this year. The majority of my cider will be au naturel this year.
     
  3. Aug 25, 2018 #3

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    Hey Freester, hope you had a good year. I'd be interested to hear how your 2017 batch is keeping - mine tailed off toward the end which I suspect may be due to using plastic bottles that allow a bit of oxidisation. For this year, i have been saving up glass bottles which should improve the position. Does your stuff still taste OK ? and how has it been stored ?

    And on the au naturel, which I will try this year, do you still use Camdens as the juice is pressed ? And do you add anything else at all ? I am inclined to use Camdens and may try one batch with some pectolase and chalk (my juice is pretty acidic) and one without......

    I cant wait to try my new scratter.....
     
  4. Aug 26, 2018 #4

    private4587

    private4587

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    I am for the first time going to use the apples and pears from my trees to make some cider, i have made some TC before but want to try fresh fruit. I thin i will probably get enough juice from each to make 2 5lt batches. Could you let me know how to go about this. do i need to add camden and pectolaise to the juice? I intend to use cider yeast with inbuilt sweeter. Do i need to add tannin(cold Tea) and acid if so how do i check the amount needed. I have brewed beer and lager before so i have most things required. Sorry about all the questions. If you feel its posted in the wrong forum could you point me in the right direction thanks
     
  5. Aug 26, 2018 #5

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    Happy to help. I would advise reading freesters (and maybe mine) threads from the last two autumns, as they both chart the journey of beginners to making real cider, and therefore most questions are covered. On your specifics:

    - Tea / Tannin; this is a matter of personal taste. When I started, I decided to add as little as possible to the juice so that I had a baseline, as since I found the end results delicious, I have never bothered. As I understand it tannin gives you a darker cider with more bite, but I like the very pale effect - what I am aiming for is an apple flavoured champagne at about 6%. For whatever reason mine is like that when its young (2-4 months old) but then seems to strengthen with age - which I think is part malolactic (secondary) fermentation and part oxidisation due to using plastic bottles. I plan to use glass this year.

    - Pecolase; this helps the cider clear and gives you less sediment problems when pouring. So I will use that this year. You add it to the juice once squeezed - and add the yeast 24 hours later.

    - pH; you wont know whether to adjust the PH or not without a ph meter. My juice comes out very acidic so I add just a little precipitated chalk to take the edge off. I follow the instructions on the love brewing website, which gives a good baseline.

    - sweetener; your choice, but fwiw I would try it unsweetened before adjusting the flavour. But mine certainly does come out very dry, which i realise is not to everyones taste.

    Good luck, and keep us informed.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2018 #6

    freester

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    So. I'd say 50/50 has been stored in 2l plastic fizzy mineral water bottles and the rest in properly capped / sterilised etc 660ml brown beer bottles. It's all been fine. I do keep the stuff in plastic bottles out of daylight in cardboard boxes. BUT the perry I made last year - that is in plastic bottles and it isn't quite as nice as I remembered it back at Christmas. It's not bad per se. Just not that interesting any more. When I used to open a bottle you'd get a nice waft of pear but that's gone now. It's not that bad just not that interesting anymore. A bit insipid.

    I've still got 40l of Cider sat in Carboys and Demi Johns. Not sure how that will be until I bottle it and try it.

    For Au Naturel do nothing. Sterilise the containers, rinse then fill with juice and let it get on with it. If you use campdens you'll have to add yeast. My plan for the Au Naturel this year is to use Carboys. Fill them 2/3rds and let them get on with it. When they slow down add some more apple juice (I will freeze batches in milk cartons and thaw them for this). I'll rack off at some point during the winter then bottle in spring.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  7. Aug 26, 2018 #7

    freester

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    No expert here but been making cider from apples last couple of Autumns. Happy to help. The Love Brewing does have an excellent guide and it is where I started my cider making from.
     
  8. Aug 26, 2018 #8

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    First press today. The Selections scratter blew my mind - it spits out porridgey pomice as fast as you can shove the apples in.....
    [​IMG]20180826_133944 by MattH3764, on Flickr

    and juice yields are amazing....this was taken before i even applied any pressure....
    [​IMG]20180826_133953 by MattH3764, on Flickr

    and once I did, the torrent started.....
    [​IMG]20180826_135053 by MattH3764, on Flickr

    overall pressed 29 litres in a long afternoon.....

    pH 3.1

    and get this......

    initial gravity suggests the cider will be 8-9 pct when fermented out.... so i can probably dilute a bit....

    as things stand we have
    - 24 litres that will have yeast added tomorrow
    - 5 litres in a demijohn to try and replicate the "freester au naturel". I put a bit of campden in, and I'm going to see what happens. I think campden stuns the yeast, rather than kill it, so I am going to see if we get any fermentation without adding yeast.....

    there's still loads of apples on the trees.....I'm going to have to buy some more fermenting vessels.....
     
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  9. Sep 1, 2018 #9

    cushyno

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    While at the in-laws today I bagged up as many apples I could get in a couple of binbags without the bottoms falling out. 50% cookers, 50% eaters. Should be good for a few gallons of something.

    I have a homemade scratter made to cope with the incoming apples from a glut a few years ago, so that will be dusted off tomorrow and put into action.

    Back then I made 5 gallons of apple wine and a gallon of rough cider, but as I have a decent quantity of rinsed S-04 ale yeast from the last AG brew, I'm thinking it may be worth pitching that into the juice to make a sweet cider.

    Busy day tomorrow...
     
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  10. Sep 2, 2018 #10

    brumbrew

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    You did all this on the carpet?

    SWMBO would have gone mad!
     
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  11. Sep 2, 2018 #11

    brumbrew

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    I picked a glut of apples many years back. I made a knock up press from scrap wood and a car scissor jack I found on the street.

    Someone had extended it way to far and the location rings had come out. Guess they couldn't be bothered to wind it all the way back down again again and take 5 mins to put it back together.

    I know there's a few apple trees near me. May take the dog and my broken foot for a slow walk. Haven't made cider for a few years.
     
  12. Sep 2, 2018 #12

    Dutto

    Dutto

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    Don't you all wish you had one of these parked in your local car park? :laugh8: :laugh8:

    Apple1.jpg

    clapa clapa clapa

    They scrat the apples, press them, pasteurise the juice and then either return the juice in bulk or bottle it for you.
     

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  13. Sep 2, 2018 #13

    MattH1973

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    thankfully thats a utility room that no-one in our house is that bothered about..... and the brown carpet and mahogany doors are hardly state of the art....

    the good news is, it makes a perfect brewery.....

    cider seems to be fermenting nicely in the cellar, I shall transfer to secondary and take a hydrometer reading next weekend (will be two weeks in by then...)

    Having to rehydrate the lalvin EC 1118 was a faff, I might go back to Youngs cider yeast.....
     
  14. Sep 8, 2018 #14

    MattH1973

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    racked to secondary today, hydrometer suggested fermentation is almost done so I will bottle in a week or two.

    hydrometer samples tasted OK, and I'm optimistic will be enjoyable after some bottle conditioning and light carbonation....

    remaining apples on trees ripening nicely, so anticipate another press in mid / late September....

    i have a new job that is keeping me rather busy, so I dont expect any scrumping this year, but I am hopeful for 50+ litres from my own trees, which isn't so bad.....
     
  15. Sep 9, 2018 #15

    rich_Wales

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    Hi all,

    Just finished pressing about 25ltr's of juice from apples, this is my 3rd time trying, but I actually have a decent press this time, the last two times it came out of the bottle a bit sour, so hoping for better results this time. I have added a crushed campden and will add yeast tomorrow.

    I do have two questions, my initial hydrometer reading was 1040, what is a ballpark for my final vol? And also how long would it normally take to brew, in other words when should I start checking gravity again?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. 70's lino flooring made cleaning up a lot easier.
    20180909_212345.jpg
     
  16. Sep 9, 2018 #16

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    i am not near my hydrometer at present so cannot answer the alcohol %, but no doubt someone else will.

    but primary fermentation has invariably taken about two weeks for me, in a cellar at about 16 degrees. I then leave for a week or two in secondary before bottling. Others leave in secondary for way longer, but I prefer to let the live yeasties carbonate the bottles.......

    and i quick note just for me, as this thread also serves as my record [i am now too middle aged to rely on memory]. I have 24 litres neat in secondary fermenter, and a 5 litre demijohn that was diluted a bit - so would expect that to be weaker - around 6pct.
     
  17. Sep 10, 2018 #17

    freester

    freester

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    Calculator here https://brewedbyus.com/info/calculators/sg-to-abv/

    So assuming you ferment to 1.000 that will give you 5.2%.

    I wouldn't be checking until the ferment has slowed right down. Probably 2 weeks.
     
  18. Sep 11, 2018 #18

    rich_Wales

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    Ah Coolio, around 5% won't be too spicy then!

    It's bubbling away nicely at the mo, so will leave until it slows down a fair bit. I din't have a secondary fermenter, but maybe time for a little investment.
     
  19. Sep 18, 2018 #19

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    bottling at the weekend. I checked in the cellar after 24 hours and its already starting to clear, the pectolase makes a real difference.

    interestingly, the 24 litre batch had a lot of sediment and was more cloudy, whereas the 5 litre batch was almost clear after just a week in secondary. I assume this is just an effect of vessell size. I am slightly anxious about the 5 litre batch having enough yeasties left to carbonate - we will see but I think it was OK when I did it this way last year.....

    Quite a few apples left on the trees - and it is windy this week so I think many will come down - I do hope we can get them before the rabbits do....

    [​IMG]20180916_132326 by MattH3764, on Flickr
     
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  20. Sep 18, 2018 #20

    private4587

    private4587

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    Looks amazing, picked my apples on Saturday and juiced them. I got approx 13lt of juice in the fermenter, to this i added 2 camden tablets and 2 tsp of pectolaise. I left this for 24 hours and then added sachet of cider yeast and 2tsp of yeast nutrient. Checked reguarly for signs of fermentation but none. Checked again this morning and again no signs. Do I leave it and wait or do i add a further sachet of yeast. I did not start the yeast but simply sprinted it over the must. It is a temp controlled fridge set to 20C.
     

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