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Author Topic: Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!  (Read 1436 times)


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Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!
« on: August 28, 2016, 07:06:06 PM »
My recipe is pretty set.  But, I am playing with some minor changes.  So I will put up the questions I have to determine what to do next.  I will also share my recipe with any who would like to contact me.  I don't plan on making money on my recipes but would like to keep my options open...

I am changing out the yeasts I use and found that the montrachet yeast changes the flavor to almost a granny smith style flavor.  I am also looking for other ideas that could be good changes to the flavor palate by using alternate yeast strains.

I am adding in raisins to the recipe and wondered how many people have done this to help with either fermentation and/or flavor.

Lastly I have not ever used tea leaves to help with the yeast nutrients.  Is there any flavor ramification?  How much should be used per gallon/3.8 liters(for my non-US companions)? 
I have mixed drinks about feelings.


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Re: Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 06:33:53 AM »
#1- I am assuming we are talking about your cider recipe because of the reference to 'Granny Smith' flavor- which I remember as fairly tart and almost a 'baking ' apple, as in 'pie', right?
#2- IMHO- The perfect yeast would leave a cider with a pleasant apple flavor, no alcohol bite, and not overly sweet at the finish- correct. I mean we don't want apple juice- we aren't kids here, right? I have used this- http://labelpeelers.com/wine-making/wine-yeast/red-star/pasteur-champagne-red-star-wine-yeast/
They also have a large selection of 'cider' yeast available, so have fun!
#3- I have not used raisins in ciders (but I have in my meads to feed the yeast). The main reason is the ciders are so fast from pitch to glass and the meads take months to develop and mature. I think the raisins help the yeast but that would be another experiment in ciders.
#4- I have not used tea in cider or mead, but if I did it would be Constant Comment. The citric element in this tea would be a plus to any cider or mead. But consider- one tea bag makes maybe 2 cups of tea. The cost would be crazy, so just grind up some oranges, lemons, limes, etc. and save some $. The tannins in a tea can be purchased at the LHBS or just add oak chips or swirls- same thing (I read that some where- http://www.hardciderhub.com/hard-aaple-cider-tannins/).
#5- Remember- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you are like myself as far as loving what I make and always 'tweaking' recipes- go to and have fun! But if you have a winner recipe (as in competition grade), be careful not to mess it up. Hope this helps & 17!


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Re: Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 07:58:46 AM »
i use raisins in may ciders. I add probably 1 cup to may fermenter.
my dad and uncle made ciders in a 55 gallon barrel a loooonnngggg time ago.
from what they have told me and others is the blend of apples is important.
i think it was a mix ratio of 60 - 40- 10 - 10 i will have to ask if they remember the apple varieties.
they also told me their cider was magic and people would have one glass and be wasted.  ::)
they used the wild yeast from the apples. i remember sneaking a sip it was good had a fizziness to it probably didnt finish fermenting. but my dad tried my ciders and said they aren't as good as theirs was. mine came in at 12%abv i used montrachet yeast and kegged it. i liked it and my dad got tipsy on it a few times. so its not magical cider like theirs ::) but it gets the job done 8)
Keg 1- HB Blonde ale v2
Keg 2- Simcoe/Amarillo Pale ale
Keg 3-
Keg 4- NB Fresh Squished IPA
Keg 5- NB Deadringer IPA
Keg 6- NB Oktoberfest
Keg 7-
FV1-  Chocolate Milk Stout


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Re: Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2016, 01:44:53 PM »
Thanks guys.  No reason to worry.  I keep all my attempts and write down the improvements and disappointments so I can either duplicate or avoid in the future.

My ciders are consistently right at 8% alcohol so they finish without too much of an alcohol taste.  I keep a watchful eye on the sugar content of all my recipes and my OG/SG is damn near the same every time.  They won't normally put you down with a single drink but I have made a 17% New England Cider which knocked a couple of my friends on their butts.

As for the experimenting...  Hell yeah I love this part.  I have my base recipe but looking for minor tweaks for options such as winter versions or wine strength options.  I am moving away from using non-organic options such as tannins or acid blend so I wanted to play with old school choices like adding raisins and tea. 

You mentioned oranges, lemons and limes...  Have you put these in any recipes?  If so how do you put them into the mix?  During the heating stage?  When you poured it into the fermenter? 
I have mixed drinks about feelings.


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Re: Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2016, 08:36:13 PM »
I don't usually heat ciders since I use the cheapest store concentrate and just let it thaw. I have used oranges and lemons, something about the acidic content works wonders balancing the sweetness of apples. But what I did was mash the heck out of the slices (sliced to fit into the fermenting bottle) to bust all the little juice sacks (it's a science term, HaHa). If you don't bust those little sacks, the orange or lemon juice is trapped in them and won't help your cider. I haven't used limes because the store didn't have any when I made this batch, I wanted to use one of each with the apple concentrate. I really don't care for plain apple cider (too sweet), so I was looking for something to take that edge off. It's the same with Coka-Cola, it is way too sweet, but with a little rum, it is wonderful, IMHO.
Oh yea- ground grape seeds are a natural source of tannins- https://www.fresnostate.edu/jcast/ve/documents/outreach/Grape%20Seed-page%2039.pdf
and yeast energizer is just dried, dead yeast cells (trub) with some extra chemicals thrown in- http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=234880
 I read this stuff doing research on meads (which I may start making again because I found a youtube that shows start to finish in about 30 days- which is about how long my beers are taking (even these small batches of 10 Liters). And mead is a higher octane.
The 1 Month Mead or BOMM- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1gJmPsaSFE&index=2&list=FLrg2L-y6XWyVklWTNbuWURA
I don't know if any of this will help you, but I love the experiments and I will be making that 30 day mead just for the hell of it! Have fun & 17!


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Re: Been a while since I posted but I have some updates!
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 08:43:34 PM »
Awesome suggestions!  Thanks for the ideas and the articles to read.  Good information.  I will try some of these out and post results.
I have mixed drinks about feelings.


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