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Farmhouse Cider

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  • Farmhouse Cider

    I've harvested my apples now to juice them and make a cider. I think I've got enough for 2 batches so I was thinking of making one batch just fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast, and making a Graf with the other batch.
    Is it necessary to freeze the apples.
    The plan is to clean, then quarter the apples. Then I'll mince them in a large mincer on my meat saw. I've made a press out of poplar I sawed into planks.
    Treat the juice with Campden tablets, wait 2 days and add the yeast.
    I'll ferment for about a month then back sweeten with a non-nutritive sweetener and bottle condition

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  • #2
    My understanding is that freezing the apples only helps in breaking down the cell structure and releasing more juice. If you press/mince the apples properly like you are planning, you should get the same result.

    Even the Camden tablets I would not bother with. Any cider I have made before has never used them, with no real issues.

    I like the idea of the Saison yeast though. May not be as dry as with a champagne yeast. Others may differ in opinion.

    Post your results...should be interesting.
    Slainte Mhaith!!

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    • #3
      Mincing/crushing breaks the apples, not all the cells. That's why you use Pectinase (pectic enzyme). It breaks down the cell walls and releases more juice, giving you better yield. I'm not entirely sure if it's traditionally used with apples.

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      • #4
        Thanks Chaps, I'll try to batch freeze the apples, but then the juicing will take a few days.
        I'll definitely post the results.
        The apples are a bit on the tart side, as I had to pick them before Easter weekend, when I'd be away. From previous experience, the apples tend to dissapear when I'm not home for a while

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        • #5
          36kg of apples in the freezers in my house, at 60% extraction should get me about 25l of juice. I'll have my press done tomorrow, so I can start juicing on Thursday evening.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by DeanoZA View Post
            36kg of apples in the freezers in my house, at 60% extraction should get me about 25l of juice. I'll have my press done tomorrow, so I can start juicing on Thursday evening.


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            I've juiced some of the apples, sg of1.050 and 1.062 for the 2 cultivars, so AVG sg of 1.056. I believe that Saison yeast will get to an sg of around 1.004, so ABV of around 6.9%. I won't add sugar to this batch, but may add a cinnimon stick in secondary

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            • #7
              Awesome! Nice og for tart appels. No sugar needed. Sounds like a nice brew

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DeanoZA View Post
                I've juiced some of the apples, sg of1.050 and 1.062 for the 2 cultivars, so AVG sg of 1.056. I believe that Saison yeast will get to an sg of around 1.004, so ABV of around 6.9%. I won't add sugar to this batch, but may add a cinnimon stick in secondary

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                Sounds great. Like the idea of the cinnamon stick
                The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind.!

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                • #9
                  The first pressing is done, got 12l from 18kg of apples, 66% yield. The juice.tastes great and had a SG of 1.072, considerably higher than I was expecting. The next batch are in the freezer, and will be pressed on Saturday. Those apples were not as ripe as the apples I've pressed, so the SG should be lower. I'll add them to the fermenter and then take an OG.
                  I left the pulp in the press overnight, for a good yield, but I'm worried about infections. Hopefully no bugs were introduced.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DeanoZA View Post
                    I'm worried about infections. Hopefully no bugs were introduced.
                    you can treat with campden tablets to inhibit any wild yeast or bugs Potassium Metabisulphite (SO2) - 1kg – BeerLab Home Brew Supplies

                    Just google round for the correct dosage and you will need to leave it for a bit to off gas all the sulphur.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jitters View Post
                      you can treat with campden tablets to inhibit any wild yeast or bugs Potassium Metabisulphite (SO2) - 1kg BeerLab Home Brew Supplies

                      Just google round for the correct dosage and you will need to leave it for a bit to off gas all the sulphur.
                      Thanks, but I've already pitched the yeast, hoping that it would out-compete any bugs

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                      • #12
                        Depends on if they yeast or bugs are aggressive strains or not. It's best to always stabilize, IMO. If not with chems, with heat and time (pasteurize).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Toxxyc View Post
                          Depends on if they yeast or bugs are aggressive strains or not. It's best to always stabilize, IMO. If not with chems, with heat and time (pasteurize).
                          I'll do that with the next batch. I'm pressing again today.
                          After reading Claude Jolicoeur's book, I'm not mincing the apples, he recommends just pressing the apples after freezing them for at least 2 days. The juice is running much clearer. Hopefully the yield will be much the same

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                          • #14
                            Empty apples. My press works well with the frozen apples. Far better than mincing them, the juice was running off clear. The must is being cooled after I pasteurised it, so I don't have a volume to calculate the yield.

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                            • #15
                              Yield was 62%. My little press does work well. Not too bad for a quickly thrown together construction. 11.2l blended with the previous batch, gives about 23l of juice.
                              The Saison yeast is working well. The airlock is bubbling away, dropping the temp down to 15deg for fermentation now.

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