Turbo Cider first timer! Need advice!

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Knowlesy

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Hi Guys,
Forum looks a great place with very knowledgeable people,
Hoping to get some advice going forward as I progress into the world of home brewing!

First thing is first, Never done this before, never attempted it and have done some research but nowhere near what I need to know.
I am however someone who learns better from "trial and error" (or just error)
and have started a very simple batch of Turbo Cider before I get into the work of getting apples from the orchard etc,

My first batch started yesterday and is fermenting fantastically, but what I do not want to do is find it's horrible in a few weeks time, so would like some best advice to try and limit the damages (I'm expecting nothing really, just a bit of fun to test before I make a proper batch for when the summer kicks in)

My first batch -
15L of 100% Apple juice from Waitrose
Lavlin ec1118 yeast
Strong cup of tea
Yeast Nutrient

Started 2x days ago and it's fermenting really strongly.

Not much to it really, However having done further research it seems the Lavlin ec1118 may give me quite a bitter taste with such a basic recipe, so hoping I could maybe add something to it? (is that possible when it's already fermenting, I don't want to disrupt it really)

I've seen online that people use various methods for sweetening their brew, However I am tied between 2 ways, Splenda or Lactose.
I'm leaning toward lactose as it will definitely leave a better taste in the mouth and keep it smoother, and I have heard on/off reviews of splenda.

Have you ever used Splenda?
Have you ever used Lactose?

Which do you recommend and how much would you use in a 15L batch, what point would you add it considering it's been fermenting for 2 days?

I also planned to back sweeted with more fresh juice at the end, if I am going to do this, is it worth adding some regular sugar now to stop the mixture from diluting the alcohol content at the end?

The batch is in the cupboard and I can smell the alcohol as soon as I open the door coming from the airlock, beautiful!


Any advice welcome!
 

Roddy

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Welcome to the forum matey :cheers:

Sounds like you're doing the right thing, and I would probably expect your finished cider to be fairly dry. Do you plan to add primer for a fizzy brew, or leave it flat ?

You mention backsweetening with juice at the end, do you mean adding to a glass when you're drinking them ? cos unless you are going to stop fermentation completely (with fermentation stopper), if you add juice in at the end and bottle it, this will just ferment again (and make it a bit fizzy) in the bottle.

I've not used sweeteners much to backsweeten once fermentation has finished, but have found a 'cider yeast with sweetener' on ebay that give me just the right taste, by knocking off the dryness so it's medium/dry but not too sweet.

Although it's a 5g sachet, it works perfectly on the 25L batches I do. I think the sweetener is E950 (200 times sweeter than sugar itself, by weight)

Because I've not used the bulkier sweeteners I can't vouch for the right amount to put in, so hopefully one of the other guys/gals will be along to through their tuppenseworth in too

I wouldn't desperately worried about dilution too, straight AJ ferments out to about 5.9% ABV so you've got some scope to dilute, but bear my previous comment about added just just fermenting out into more alcohol, which won't sort the dryness

hope some of that made sense :drunk:
 

Knowlesy

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Welcome to the forum matey :cheers:

Sounds like you're doing the right thing, and I would probably expect your finished cider to be fairly dry. Do you plan to add primer for a fizzy brew, or leave it flat ?

You mention backsweetening with juice at the end, do you mean adding to a glass when you're drinking them ? cos unless you are going to stop fermentation completely (with fermentation stopper), if you add juice in at the end and bottle it, this will just ferment again (and make it a bit fizzy) in the bottle.

I've not used sweeteners much to backsweeten once fermentation has finished, but have found a 'cider yeast with sweetener' on ebay that give me just the right taste, by knocking off the dryness so it's medium/dry but not too sweet.

Although it's a 5g sachet, it works perfectly on the 25L batches I do. I think the sweetener is E950 (200 times sweeter than sugar itself, by weight)

Because I've not used the bulkier sweeteners I can't vouch for the right amount to put in, so hopefully one of the other guys/gals will be along to through their tuppenseworth in too

I wouldn't desperately worried about dilution too, straight AJ ferments out to about 5.9% ABV so you've got some scope to dilute, but bear my previous comment about added just just fermenting out into more alcohol, which won't sort the dryness

hope some of that made sense :drunk:
All made sense mate and thankyou for the welcome!
I will definitely check out the yeast you use and give it a whirl, this is just a turbo batch so I can get the jist of it all through experimenting, will try a proper batch next time where I am more clued up on the processes.

My initial thought is that I want to carbonate the brew, so I will stop the fermentation process, prime it and backsweeten with more juice (unless someone has a better idea on how to get that sweetness back via lactose etc)

Any advice on stopping the fermentation process/priming?:thumb:
 

Roddy

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If you do want to carbonate it using priming sugar, you don't want to be stopping fermentation at all (sorry if I was a bit hazy there). If you stop fermentation, then the only carbonation solution is to force carbonate with co2 (I think).

I would probably go down the route of priming with sugar/solution, then adding some sweetener at the point of bottling - some members have added a candarel tablet or two per 500ml, which seems to work OK.. I haven't tried that so far

Priming: I usually use about 6-7g of sugar per 500ml, which makes it nice and fizzy. You have the option of either adding this at the point of bottling, which can be a bit messy I imagine, or siphoning your cider off into another sterilised FV and add the priming sugar dissolved in some AJ, then bottle straight away (adding your candarel tab if you are going down that route.)

Leave your bottles for at least a week (2 probably better) in the warm (20deg or so), and they'll clear and carbonate nicely
 

MrDasherD

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I tend to use Young's cider yeast and will sweeten with 2 tsp of Stevia for a 5 litre batch. Recipe is pretty much the same as yours but never have used yeast nutrient ... what does that bring to the table?
 

Knowlesy

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If you do want to carbonate it using priming sugar, you don't want to be stopping fermentation at all (sorry if I was a bit hazy there). If you stop fermentation, then the only carbonation solution is to force carbonate with co2 (I think).

I would probably go down the route of priming with sugar/solution, then adding some sweetener at the point of bottling - some members have added a candarel tablet or two per 500ml, which seems to work OK.. I haven't tried that so far

Priming: I usually use about 6-7g of sugar per 500ml, which makes it nice and fizzy. You have the option of either adding this at the point of bottling, which can be a bit messy I imagine, or siphoning your cider off into another sterilised FV and add the priming sugar dissolved in some AJ, then bottle straight away (adding your candarel tab if you are going down that route.)

Leave your bottles for at least a week (2 probably better) in the warm (20deg or so), and they'll clear and carbonate nicely

Well fermentation seems to have stopped now (3 days in)
will give it another day for good measure just to get those last bubbles through (not seen any for hours though)

Not sure what route to go down now to be honest, Best case scenario would be sweetening it up with carbonation, but carbonation is not really the be all and end all, this is more of a first trial.

Might go with priming sugar to be honest as I would rather have a bit of fizz and it would go towards tackling that dryness a bit, will add sweetener to taste.

What step would you take now? Fermentation seems to be finished at this point but 3 days seems a bit quick? give it longer?
 

Knowlesy

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Maybe it's worth just priming with the same apple juice used for the brew? The sugar is fermentable,
I'm assuming Carbonation would not be a problem in this instance either?
 

Knowlesy

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Ok decision made,

I will add standard sugar to prime, about 6-7g per 500m as suggested, and add sweetener at bottling.

Now I need some advice on when to do this.

fermentation seems to have completely stopped, no bubbles at all coming through.
When is the best point to add sugar?? Now?
And would it be a case of adding sugar into a secondary fermentation vessel and letting it do it's magic for another few days?

before bottling with sweetener and storing at about 20c for a week or 2, then putting in the fridge?

Again very new to all of this, and having read so many threads/forums I want to give myself the best chance.
 

terrym

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Time to get out your hydrometer. My experience, and apparently others, is, if it has finished, you should be expecting somewhere just below 1.000.
If you add more sugar whether its finished or not it will only make more alcohol if you leave it for a few days more. You add priming sugar at bottling to get the CO2 sparkle in your bottles, not before.
I used Lidl's Cologran sweetener tabs which are £1.39 for 1200 tabs. I sweetened at the rate of 4 tabs per litre which is just enough to take off the dryness without being too sweet. Also if crushed they dissolve well enough.
And again if my experience is anything to go by leave it months to condition before it starts to resemble 'real' cider. I am drinking one now at six months which has only just turned the corner.
 

Knowlesy

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UPDATE!

Fermentation stopped, Hydrometer is reading 1.000, so added 105g of sugar (7g per Litre) and left to do a bit more fermentation,
Reason being after putting the cider from the hydrometer back in (everything was very well sanitized with star san)

I tried some of the cider left at the bottom,
Very pleased so far, Not half as dry as I expected but still obviously a dry cider.
Boiled sugar in a little bit of water and added to the mix and will leave that to ferment out over the next few days and to make it a stronger brew, am I right in expecting around 7% from adding 105g of sugar to a 15L batch?

Will add some sweeteners at bottling, and possibly back sweeten with some apple juice at serving.

So far so good for a first try!
 

Roddy

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You want to prime just before bottling lad, as it's the secondary fermentation that creates the fizz. If you just add now but not bottle, the co2 produced will just escape instead of remain in the liquid to carbonate it.

It might still work of you bottle asap. Nb. Priming sugar does nothing to sweeten it as it ferments out

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

Paulchef

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I’ve just bottled 10 litres of summer fruits TC, syphoned in to a clean bucket added 140g dissolved sugar and 30 sweetener tablets in a jug gave it a gentle but thorough mix then bottled. Had a seal of approval from the daughters other half on the taste, we shall see in a month😁
 

terrym

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I’ve just bottled 10 litres of summer fruits TC, syphoned in to a clean bucket added 140g dissolved sugar and 30 sweetener tablets in a jug gave it a gentle but thorough mix then bottled. Had a seal of approval from the daughters other half on the taste, we shall see in a month😁
140g of table sugar in 10 litres will give you a carbonation level of 4.5 vols. My limited understanding of ciders is that even the most fizzy ciders do not exceed 3 vols and many are a lot lower. 4.5 vols may well put you into gusher territory.
 

Bobtheblob

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Can I just ask why you used 15 litres of "Waitrose" apple juice instead of cheap supermarket juice diluted, or even a proper cider home brew kit? It would probably have been a lot cheaper those ways.
 

terrym

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Can I just ask why you used 15 litres of "Waitrose" apple juice instead of cheap supermarket juice diluted, or even a proper cider home brew kit? It would probably have been a lot cheaper those ways.
OP last seen June 2016
 

Paulchef

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140g of table sugar in 10 litres will give you a carbonation level of 4.5 vols. My limited understanding of ciders is that even the most fizzy ciders do not exceed 3 vols and many are a lot lower. 4.5 vols may well put you into gusher territory.


Just went with recommendations on here of 6/7g per 500ml so 14mg per L x10 =140mg, Christ hope I haven’t made bottle bombs
 

Paulchef

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Well the cider turned out quite nice, very lively if not chilled, but after a couple of hours in the fridge a nice fizzy cider🍺
 
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