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CIDER 101

Started by Will_D, October 16, 2013, 04:50:31 PM

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LordEoin

I'd start with a scratter (applesmasher), if you get that right you'll be laughing :)

Will_D

Hi Hingo,

You've just remineded me its time I wrote CIDER-102 "From bare soil to juice"

So before I write it starting with the bare soil bit and as your granny's trees are fully mature here's a couple of mini chapters:

Choice of Apples:
    Cider is best made from a blend of apples. The bulk are usually cider apples (noted for acidity and tannins) blended with Bramleys (or other acidic cooking apples) and some desert apples (noted for sweetness and perfumes. Granny & Grandad probably won't have cider varietys so its all about blending desert and sweet apples. Try say 25% Bramley to 75% desert.

Harvesting:
   Ideally wait for the apples to fall off by themselves as then they are ripe. You can speed up a bit by shaking the tree/branches. Spread sheets/tarpaulins under the tree to ease picking up! If you hand pick then the apples will not be fully ripe (Note to perry makers: You pick the pears before they are fully rip!).
   Yiels: You should easily get about 50 kgs per tree! (Typically 3 or 4 kg of apples will yield 1 litre of juice)

Tumping:
   Most ciderr makers then store the apples for 1 2 or more weeks to allow the apples to soften  - this ups the extraction facility

The big day:
   Now comes the day of pressing:

  Wash the apples in clean water. Some people add campden (sodium metabisulphite) tablets. I save them for later. See below!

   Now the apples are inspected - the odd bruise and scab is not a problem but codling moth is. If the trees are old and neglected then they may harbour codling moth grubs. As the big apples have to be quartered to go through the scratter you will see if there are unwanted guests in the core.

   I throw the quartered apples into sulphited water as it helps to stop them going brown

Scratting:

   The apples now have to reduced to a coarse pulp. The device that does this is called a scratter. They can be bought or home made. Some people just put them through a cheap clean garden shredder. As you have so many apples then a scratter is definely needed.

Pressing:

   Again for this you are going to need a press. Size does matter!
   There are screw presses to buy or make
   There are hydraulic presses to make (use a lorry jack for example)

   You add the pulp (called pomace) into a press bag and press away.

Now you need to read post 1 in this thread as towhat to do next.

Re: equipment:
As this is your first time and the press and scratter are expensive (€300 to 400€ to buy) or time consuming to make when the time comes get in touch with someone who has the kit and lives near you and then the pair of you harvest the apples, procces them and then split the juice.

I live in Malahide, (North Dublin) where are you based?
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing

Hingo

I'm based in Rathfarnham, but as the trees are down in Kilkenny I'll probably to the leg work in my folks house (they live down there too) and leave the FVs down there.

If what you say about 40 - 50 kg of apples per tree - there's gonna be some haul, don't hold me to any promises but if harvest day is decent - I don't think I'll use them all, there may some spare. Like I said don't hold me to that yet but I'll keep you all posted. I'm only looking to make 20-40 litres (depending on how many FV's I want to give up) and me Ma is looking to make some apple juice too that she used to make back in the day (for this I've got her to split the cost of a press with me)

Not sure what variety they are, it's definitely a mix but the trees are well over 50 years old & the grandparents aren't around to ask. All I know is that I've eaten them back in the hay day and lived to tell the tale :P (   ::) Ohh and they're red- ish..) 

I had planned in getting a small - medium sized press (MyBeer&Wine have discount on atm - 12 litre press for €105 / 18 litre €170) and basically just do a few rounds of  until I reach the target volume. - other than the extra labour is there any issue doing this? (IE prone to infection/inconsistent apple juice if there's such thing)

As for scratting - I was just going to get a food processor to do that bit - quarter the apples, fill up the food processor, lug it into the press & repeat.  - again other than the labour is this feasible? I've seen a few plans for a home made scratter online and I do have a few months to kill waiting on the apples.   

I could go down one weekend, harvest the apples, leave them a few weeks as you say, (Or go for it there and then depending on what's concluded about tumping) back down again for the juicing, hang around a few days and rack them a  secondary and leave them for x amount of time.

Typically , How long does it take to ferment?

also other than apples & yeast /sweetner etc is there any variables I should consider for controlling how it tastes? IE if I was to ferment at a lower temp, different juicing techniques etc - or is that all ultimately decided by the apple? I only ask as when brewing beer, mashing temps can affect how dry the beer tastes, fermenting temps, etc..  (I know cider/beer is like comparing apples to oranges barley)

JimmyM

April 17, 2014, 09:44:30 AM #228 Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 10:45:16 AM by JimmyM
Lads - Forgive me for not reading through the 17 pages here - my answer probably lies there somewhere... but...

Ive been particularly neglectful of my ciderhead groupbuy cider. I simply left it in the container until last night.
Kegged it and - its actually alright!!! i.e. No manky off flavours or after taste.

Anyway - can anyone tell me what the OG was and also assuming its fully fermented, I didnt take a measurement - and dont intend on digging out my hydrometer, what was the OG FG for someone who did something similar to me(i.e. nothing)?

Very lazy post I know...
Formerly JamesM.

Will_D

OG was 1.052 and pH was 3.7
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing

JimmyM

Cheers Will - did you leave any au naturale? What was the FG? - (I amended my post above to what I meant to say)
Formerly JamesM.

JimmyM

Good shtuff - thanks for that.
Formerly JamesM.

Will_D

At present mine is at 1.003 and is untouched!

According to beersmith thats 6.4% ABV
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing

Blueshed

i bottled mine a few weeks ago and the FG was 995/996

Bogwoppit

Quote from: JimmyM on April 17, 2014, 10:46:00 AM
Cheers Will - did you leave any au naturale? What was the FG? - (I amended my post above to what I meant to say)

I feremnted mine au naturale, one finished at 1.000 the other at 1.004.

Bw

Shanna

Drinking my first pint of cider from the apple juice group buy last year and i am pleased to say the cider is drinkable. I pasteurised mine and mixed in off the shelf apple juice to sweeten it.

Shanna
Cornie keg group buy organiser, storeman & distribution point
Hops Group buy packer
Regulator & Taps distribution point
Stainless Steel Fermenter Group Buy Organiser
South Dublin Brewers member

GrahamR

Was drinking the lindemans apple at the weekend and it kept reminding me of sour apple drop sweets.

Has anyone ever tried getting a bag of apple sours and crushing them to a powder for a secondary fermentation.
Lifes Too Short To Not Make Beer

Fermenter 1 - Turquoise Lunar Showing

Fermenter 2 - Vitalift Cider

Bogwoppit

I'd ordered some malo lactic culture for the group buy cider and it arrived last week.
This evening I tasted the cider and whilst it is still sharp I don't think its from excessive acid.
What I think I'm tasting is tannins and as far as I understand this should precipitate out over time.
So there's a malo lactic culture going if anyone wants it.

The 2 batches have quite a different flavor even though they had the same process, that's what happens with wild yeasts I suppose.

Bw

Shanna

Used a counter pressure bottle filler to fill a crate full of 1 litre bottles and unfortunately the bottles have gone kerboom. Got home today to find garage floor covered in cider and broken glass everywhere. 8 litres gone up in a flash.Only plus side is that nobody was injured. Major downer as the cider was actually drinkable.

Another brewing lesson learned. I suspect the pressure rose with the warm weather and the bottles could not take the pressure.

Shanna
Cornie keg group buy organiser, storeman & distribution point
Hops Group buy packer
Regulator & Taps distribution point
Stainless Steel Fermenter Group Buy Organiser
South Dublin Brewers member

Hingo


Quote from: Shanna on June 17, 2014, 07:15:39 PM
Used a counter pressure bottle filler to fill a crate full of 1 litre bottles and unfortunately the bottles have gone kerboom. Got home today to find garage floor covered in cider and broken glass everywhere. 8 litres gone up in a flash.Only plus side is that nobody was injured. Major downer as the cider was actually drinkable.

Another brewing lesson learned. I suspect the pressure rose with the warm weather and the bottles could not take the pressure.

Shanna
Woah!! And you pasturised it too, over carbed? I mean I know its warm out but wouldn't have thought the heat would be that malicious