Apple juice cider lacking something.

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Richie_asg1

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I've done a few ciders from supermarket apple juice and although decent and well carbonated I am now looking to improve things. They just seem lacking in body and a bit thin compared to commercial ciders.
I've been using GV13 cider yeast and not turbo or champagne yeasts.

First thing I have noticed is that co-op apple juice is not the same as Aldi apple juice. It is as if there is more unfermentable sugars in the Aldi juice as it always ends up sweeter.
I have used 1/4 tsp of grape tannin in each batch and wonder if I should increase that.
I use 1tsp of DAP in each demijohn batch, but would like to use something else, - boiled yeast.
Colour is noticeably lighter than most commercial ciders.
Flavour is not as rounded as some, would adding light oak improve these two?
Would storing it in oak be a worthwhile investment?
Can I add raisins to improve on colour and avoid the need for nutrient?
Could I use brown sugar for carbonation?

Lots of questions on where to take this so would be interested on what you have tried and what worked or didn't. If you have a favourite recipe please give it.
I don't want to step away from true apple yet until I get this bit right. Then I could try other fruit ciders.
Thank you.
 

johncrobinson

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Have to be honest here. I have made gallons upon gallons of wine from supermarket apple juice and they have all tasted like a good mid priced white wine,NOT at all like cider.

It might (just might ) be to do with tannin content.Since you are using a cider yeast thats all I can think of.
Cider apples are rough compared to eating apples and supermarket juice.

To give an opinion on your questions:>
Oak. ---Oak chips should do the buisiness faster than barrels.(Juice wine is ready to drink asap.)
Yeast.--- You should not need to use boiled yeast at cider abv`s.( Beware off flavours.)
Raisins---- I love these in wine especially wine with a bit (few years) age on it. Not sure about cider though.
Colour will be brown.But Cider has reddish tinge to it.
Sugar.---- I have used things like demarara sugar in wine,Its good but I think the carbonation dose will be to small to notice the difference.

Use pure juice add NO water. (This helps)
 

Richie_asg1

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Spent a bit of time watching some real cider makers today.
Apples seem very rough - some rotten bits, not washed, no sterilising anything, pulped, pressed and into a barrel to ferment naturally. Pears - they get left for longer after pulping to release tannins.

What struck me is that it could be a sour ferment as bacteria will already be active, and mostly they are using the wild yeast present unless there is a dominant strain already in the barrels. There is no sterilisation. The most that happens is things are washed in tap water.

One producer was adding chalk to reduce the acidity, but that is not what others were doing, It could be a simple form of water treatment or perhaps his apples are too tart.

Tannin content has to come from somewhere so i will try upping it a bit. Colour may also be from oxidation as apples do go brown very quickly. Not sure how this affects flavour but it must have an effect.
Only way to replicate this is to chop up some apples and leave them out to go brown. Then blend and add them.
 

johncrobinson

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Malic acid should also help in getting that "sharp" taste

Bacteria might indeed play a part.I once had a pint of draught "live" cider,It tasted rotten to me absolutely rotten,But the barman assured me that is how it should taste.It was popular with a few drinkers,This was in Ullapool on the west coast.
 

Richie_asg1

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Malic acid should also help in getting that "sharp" taste

Bacteria might indeed play a part.I once had a pint of draught "live" cider,It tasted rotten to me absolutely rotten,But the barman assured me that is how it should taste.It was popular with a few drinkers,This was in Ullapool on the west coast.
Maybe the local stuff is crap and it has always been crap. :laugh8:
 

johncrobinson

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Well it certainly was not to my taste.

I used to like a pint of chilled cider during the long hot London summers when i lived there.
I found it far more "refreshing" than lager in the heat.
 

jceg316

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I've made turbo ciders and they come out well. I usually do just under 5 litres at a time, recipe is usually 4L supermarket apple juice, 1 mug of strong tea (2 teabags left in for 5 minutes), beer yeast. The best yeast I've used so far is WLP005 English ale yeast, it adds an interesting malty character to the apple juice.

I've also had a batch go sour on me before which added a whole other dimension to it. I've added oak chips which works well and I've tried hopping with fuggles, I thought it was quite nice but not as popular with others.

Occasionally I've added sugar to make a strong cider but this has always been caster sugar, I've not yet tried other types but will do soon. I've always bottle primed with caster sugar too.

With real cider, the way to get a more complex flavour is to use a greater variety of apples and age for longer. I noticed it this year when my first batch of cider was ready, I took a sample for tasting and it tasted like slightly better turbo cider. However this batch got infected after bottling but with a palatable wild yeast and the flavour has evolved to be really complex.
 

johncrobinson

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The problem with wild yeast is you dont know what you are getting untill its done if you live outside a cider making area.
I live very close to a pot distilling whisky outfit.I bet if i profiled my "local" yeast it would be distillers yeast.
 

jceg316

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The problem with wild yeast is you dont know what you are getting untill its done if you live outside a cider making area.
I live very close to a pot distilling whisky outfit.I bet if i profiled my "local" yeast it would be distillers yeast.
I've had a number of beers go sour on me, some have turned out great, others I've had to chuck. I guess I got lucky with these ciders. Cider yeast comes from under the skin of the apple. It would be interesting to see if there is more of a particular yeast near a large fermenting operation, but I imagine with all the yeast which exists in the air anyway it probably wouldn't make a huge difference.

I read in a book on sour beers that it's best to let wild yeast do it's thing as the flavour changes quite a lot over time. I have a demijohn of cider which got infected sitting around. I made it back in October when I would have thrown it out as it smelt bad, but I've kept it to see what will happen. I had another sniff, smells a lot better now. Granted it could still taste like sh*t, don't really want to risk putting any of my equipment in there.
 

Applesnmore

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Re yeasts.
I've made single apple variety cider this year. From a Norman type apple.
25l used WLP075 English cider yeast
25l used Mangrove Jack's M42 yeast.
Same apple, same brew temps.
Having tasted the gravity test vial it is surprising how different they are. Will be interesting to see how they mature in the bottle.
What I have learnt is that whilst it's a good pressing apple it will benefit from mixing with others.
 

johncrobinson

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Yes applesmore I am in danger of becoming a bit of a yeast nut myself.
This kevik yeast has got me fascinated.
 

johncrobinson

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We have all the differing wine yeast due to local growers "selecting" the yeast.Unintentialy in the early days.

Now i cannot guarantee that all bacterial infections are harmless,It is worth remembering the vast majority are not harmfull.
 

Richie_asg1

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I suppose temperature of ferment would also have an effect, maybe by favouring a type that can stay active at a low temperature if most apples are harvested in early winter, pressed and fermented through the cold months to be enjoyed during the summer?
 

johncrobinson

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Good point Richie
It is certainy taken into consideration in the wine making regions of France.
 

Soyyojuli

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Yes applesmore I am in danger of becoming a bit of a yeast nut myself.
This kevik yeast has got me fascinated.
Me to with the Kveik. I've haven't used anything else in over a year. Just awesome in everything. Last one was a 100% red x with eldorado hops. It's such a nice beer and so pretty. Also Made a beer in November with Mandarina Bavaria and Ekuanot. Just incredible.
IMAG3848.jpg


I'm actually making a cider with hops now. I'm of course using Kveik for this one also. Smells great. Tastes promising
 

Richie_asg1

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Looking good!

1L of oak chips arrived this morning so I am looking for a recipe for the next batch of 12L.

How about-
12L Apple juice from cartons,
500g White Sugar
1/2 Tsp grape tannin,
1Tsp Malic Acid
1/2 Tsp DAP
1Pkt GV13 Cider Yeast
200g light toasted oak chips.

?????
 
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Richie_asg1

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Just finished carbing up this batch. I only used 100g of the oak chips in the end and did a very light toast as I didn't want it smelling like a smokehouse. Another change was re-using yeast from a MYO cider kit as I couldn't get out to my HBS and wanted to get it started.

I bottled it after 2 weeks fermenting which is normally ok but this time was cloudy. It has since dropped a lot of sediment in the bottles and is highly carbonated. I'm going to keep them in the cool now and hopefully they won't go bang on me.

Taste is best yet. Good body right on the tannin, no funny twang or anything odd. Not too dry either. Certainly an improvement and damn near a commercial pint even this early. Next time maybe more oak or a darker roast.
The Aldi Apple Juice in cartons (55p) is the best I have found for apple based wine and cider out of Ada, Tesco, & CoOp. It seems to have a residual sweetness to it, and is light in colour and not oxidised.
 
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