Tea or not?

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Jason42

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I’m going to knock together a quick pineapple and Apple turbo cider (5l demijohn). Having read a few threads on here my chosen recipe is:

2l pineapple juice from concentrate
3l apple juice from concentrate
5g all purpose wine and cider yeast
1tsp yeast nutrient
1tsp pectolase
1 cup of strong tea

My question really is just what is the tea for? I realise it’s for the tannins but what do they bring to the brew? Can I leave it out?
 

Dutto

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Try drinking a cup of very strong tea without milk or sugar and you will find that it is pretty bitter. It you remove the inside of a grape and just chew the skin you will find that the grape skin tastes very similar.

In a home-brewed wine, the tannins in a cup of tea act in a similar way to the grape skins in a "proper" wine. i.e. They give it that bit of an "edge".
 

Jason42

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Try drinking a cup of very strong tea without milk or sugar and you will find that it is pretty bitter. It you remove the inside of a grape and just chew the skin you will find that the grape skin tastes very similar.

In a home-brewed wine, the tannins in a cup of tea act in a similar way to the grape skins in a "proper" wine. i.e. They give it that bit of an "edge".
So if I don’t add the tea it will be a bit sweet? If that’s the case she prefers medium sweet so maybe just add half a cup?
 

johncrobinson

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Without some tannin it will taste FLAT and LIFELESS
Not very nice at all.
Missing out the tannin will NOT make the wine taste sweet,
You should have some tannin in there.

Follow the recipie you posted its fine.(it should end up about 6-8% abv)
 
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Cwrw666

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I don't put tea in turbo cider. It makes a perfectly nice refreshing cider. I also make proper cider from cider apples so I do know the difference.
BTW, my turbo cider would be much more acceptable to your average supermarket cider drinking person than the real stuff.
 

An Ankoù

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So if I don’t add the tea it will be a bit sweet? If that’s the case she prefers medium sweet so maybe just add half a cup?
No. It won't make any difference to the sweetness, but there's more chance it'll taste flat and lifeless. Tannins are not really "bitter" but astringent- the kind of mouth-puckering sensation you get from eating sloes or, as Dutto says, from chewing grape skins. You need some astringency for balance. Whether there'll be enough from the apple juice is unlikely. Why are you so reluctant to add the tea?
 
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Jason42

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Why are you so reluctant to add the tea?
If it was for my consumption I would prefer a dryer, sharper cider but I’m making it for the boss and she prefers it quite sweet and still. But as I have now read here, it doesn’t really work that way so the tea is going inathumb.. I have also read here that a sweeter cider can be achieved by adding artificial sweetener. I’ll taste the result and decide then.
Thanks everyone for the inputacheers.
 

Cwrw666

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The OP is about turbo cider, not wine. Properly bottled and primed it will not be `FLAT and LIFELESS'.
 

An Ankoù

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The OP is about turbo cider, not wine. Properly bottled and primed it will not be `FLAT and LIFELESS'.
Still, we don't want it to taste too much like pop. Or do we? Here's an interesting study which seems to be quite inconclusive in fact. In the US cider is apple juice and hard cider is what we call cider, I think.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e951/4f6ed19d1bd000f10076ba48854021a37248.pdf
and here's another one from Aspall's, which, I think uses mainly dessert apples.
https://www.aspall.co.uk/pip-to-pour/cyder-production-then

In fairness, I know quite a bit about cider, but diddly squat about turbo cider- maybe it is supposed to taste like pop.
By the way Cwrw, have you tried the cider from Gwynt y Ddraig near Ponypridd. It's one of my favourites.
 

Jason42

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I like strong, dry cider. Not the usual pub offerings or cheap cans. Think Henry Westons special reserve. I also like still, scrumpy style cider. The sort that makes you drunk from the legs up:thumba: I don’t see the point in making anything for myself that isn’t somewhere in that league.
 

johncrobinson

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I think you would need an artificial sweetner if you want a sweeter one for "er indoors"

At low abv (as this one is ) added sugar is likely to ferment out or restart fermentation.
An artificial sweetner seems the way to go.
I have heard but never tried it ( I like it dry),that adding a spoonfull of sugar at the point of serving also works.

To get cider rather than a low alc white wine
You will need the tannin
And possibly extra malic acid.(the main acid in apples)

You can buy grape tannin powder (its very strong ) If you dont fancy using tea
And malic acid as well as the non-fermentable sweetner from any shop that does homebrew.
 

Jason42

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Thats true An Ankou
I think he is making it still ?????
That’s right. The malic acid is interesting.
Why not go to Tesco and pick up a couple of 2L demijohns of Old Rosie. Drink and enjoy and use the empties for a side-by-side trial?
The best part of this is emptying the bottles.
The comparison idea is a good one, I think one with malic acid and one without. I was planning to use artificial sweetener if necessary because I can add that after tasting the finished brew. All being well, I’m going to get this underway tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes athumb..
 

An Ankoù

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That’s right. The malic acid is interesting.

The comparison idea is a good one, I think one with malic acid and one without. I was planning to use artificial sweetener if necessary because I can add that after tasting the finished brew. All being well, I’m going to get this underway tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes athumb..
Be careful with the malic acid, it can be quite sharp. Older "vintage" cider has had time for some of this to be degraded to lactic acid, which is much gentler, through malo-lactic fermentation.
 

Dutto

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So if I don’t add the tea it will be a bit sweet? If that’s the case she prefers medium sweet so maybe just add half a cup?
It's not so much "more sweet" as "less tart"!

Yesterday I gave a French friend her first taste of Marmite and the "pucker factor" was what a strong cup of tea brings to mine!

I agree with @An Ankoù to be careful with anything that you add to a brew! (Ditto food! I once added a knob of Tamarind Paste to a curry and it tasted like a very hot version of HP Sauce!)
 

Cwrw666

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Still, we don't want it to taste too much like pop. Or do we?
Doesn't taste remotely like pop.
A bit less interesting than proper cider but still a very refreshing drink on a hot summers day. And definitely more like proper cider than anything I've ever had from Tescos (except for the still stuff in the glass 2 Ltr bottles. )
 

Jason42

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Ok so I made 5l of vinegar:tinhat:, but I know where I went wrong so I think I’ll give it another go.This time I’ll add a Campden tablet when I rack it and not leave it too long.
 

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