First time cider

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Brewdays!' started by baldgeezer, Sep 1, 2014.

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  1. Sep 1, 2014 #1

    baldgeezer

    baldgeezer

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    Decided to turn the harvest of our apple tree into cider. 250+ apples from one tree resulted in this:-) Interesting to see the different colours in the demijohns. The ones of the left were quite a bit darker before I added the campden tablet - didn't expect it to change the colour so much?

    Since this was the first time, we cut the apples up then used our kitchen juicer hence more sediment than I'd like - the last demijohn on the right was from the dregs of the juice (didn't want to waste it!).

    Only 1 day in - 1 campden tablet added to each one so in another 24 hours will add some cider yeast and hopefully kick start it into action.

    -Dave

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  2. Sep 1, 2014 #2

    baldgeezer

    baldgeezer

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    Is it worth syphoning that last demijohn out and splitting across the other 3 before fermenting? Not sure if it would over-fill the demijohn during fermentation - how far can/should you fill them at this stage?
     
  3. Sep 1, 2014 #3

    Chippy_Tea

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    I wouldn't go further than the beginning of the shoulder, better to be safe than sorry
     
  4. Sep 1, 2014 #4

    snake_2586

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    I agree fill to just below the shoulder and it should be OK, I don't normally siphon off of the sediment, but it is usually spread evenly between fv's not all in one, and I never bother to add a campden tablet, I just add one sachet of yeast to the first fv/barrel at the start of the season as soon as it is full and once fermentation has started, then take about 1/2 pint of apple juice/cider out, and add to the next to get that started, that way I am not constantly buying yeast.
    Obviously this is not practical with demijohns, but if you start making larger quantity's, it may be an idea in the future.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2014 #5

    baldgeezer

    baldgeezer

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    Thanks guys - I now have 3 demijohns filled to just below the shoulder. Let's hope it makes something drinkable!

    @snake_2586 - how much are you making then? Sounds like you have a small production line!
     
  6. Sep 3, 2014 #6

    Bluekez

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    I have a 5 gallon container of cider we made at new year that is ready for bottling. The DJ's were bottled in July, and came in at about 5%, I am really chuffed with it as we added nothing, just let the apple juice ferment with wild yeast, I also made perry pear and elderberry cider, but used cider yeast on that :)
     
  7. Sep 4, 2014 #7

    baldgeezer

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    Do I need to agitate the demijohns during fermentation.or.just leave it alone?
     
  8. Sep 4, 2014 #8

    Cwrw666

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    Last year I made my first attempt at making cider. Our next door neighbour has a couple of apple trees in their garden - one was a cooker, the other an eater I think. I used windfalls, cut out the bad bits and froze the apples, collecting them all over about a 3 week period. After thawing I chopped them all and pressed the juice out. The juice was sharp but sweet, quite pleasant to drink, and in all about 4 gallons.
    I used camden tablets to kill the wild bugs then put in a cider yeast and fermented it out. The result was something you could use to fill a car battery with! :lol: It was drinkable but only after stirring in a spoonful of bicarb and a few spoons of sugar...
    Any suggestions for future brews anyone? I need to find out how to make reasonable cider, having planted 10 cider apple trees a couple of years ago. They haven't fruited yet, but should start in a couple of years.
     
  9. Sep 7, 2014 #9

    jonnyconga

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    I'd sAy it's the cooker apples that have made it so sour. If you hadn't added a camp den tablet you might of got some malolactic fermentation going (a bacterial infection) which converts malic acid to lactic acid which is less sour. Takes months though - I'm just drinking the last batch of cider I made last year with loads of cookers - still a bit sour but with a little sugar it's tastes good.
     
  10. Sep 8, 2014 #10

    Bluekez

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    Don't freeze the apples, and dont use bad ones. We got told (on our cider making day) that a good mix of sweet and sour apples make a decent cider. We collected apples from Oct to Dec and kept them in sacks in my mates shed. Hired a press and scratter from the local allotment group, and it was just a case of testing the sugar in the juice and you have to test the Ph as well but to be honest we didnt do that, just tasted the juice and it was all good. The best apples are the ones that have been lay on the floor for a few days as long as they are not rotting, hence why we got told it was ok to leave the sacks of apples in the shed. We ended up knocking on strangers doors asking if they wanted all those apples on their tree............ most folk have no idea what to do with them and were very happy for us to go in with our sacks and ladder. Don't add camden tablets and just let the juice do its own thing in the bucket, once fermentation starts put into fermenter or DJ and let it do its thing. We had about 100lb of apples and got 14 gallon of juice as our Manchester trees did not get much sun last summer. I think if we had added some sugar we could have got a good 7% cider.
     
  11. Sep 9, 2014 #11

    Cwrw666

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    Because I was using windfalls - which of course are usually bruised - I didn't leave them in a pile to get sweeter or they'd just have gone rotten. The freezing thing I heard about from a friend - the freezing ruptures all the cell walls and makes juicing really easy and also it meant that I could collect apples over several weeks and do a single juicing. If I'd have been picking them off a tree, leaving them in a pile etc. it may well have made it better. I used the campden tablet approach because obviously, being windfalls, there was some soil contamination.
     
  12. Sep 9, 2014 #12

    Cwrw666

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    Just found out it won't be a problem this year - no apples on the trees.:lol:
     
  13. Sep 9, 2014 #13

    Chippy_Tea

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