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Old 10-04-2019, 08:45 PM   #121
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You need a bucket, literally, and some champagne yeast (danstar works). You can also use a carboy as a secondary if you like, but I stopped secondarying anything because its just not necessary. You can sterilize the fruit, and you should just for the prevention of off bacteria fermentation, you can find any number of ways to do this, usually campden tabs or such is what people will do. Yes you can freeze the juice as well to use at a later time.



When I did it with crabapples, I did add a bit of sugar to kick the alcohol content up a bit. If your cider ends up too dry, you can always backsweeten it with no issues.
This is spot on.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:24 PM   #122
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If your cider is to dry after bottling, I like to add a little bit of lime cordial to the glass. Adds some sweetness and lime. It's delicious!
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:43 PM   #123
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Funny. i had been adding some fresh squeezed limes to the crab apple juice to brighten the flavour after I just finished pressing a bunch. I really need a proper press. I rigged one up with my tire jack and some plywood and loose bits of 2x4s but it was pretty slow and messy exercise. i have decided to freeze everything for now until i can get the rest of the brewing tools.

My understanding for the secondary fermenter is to get cider out of the dead yeast. Does it do anything else? Also - any need to dilute the fruit juice or use it exactly as is? My inferior pressing technique didn’t yield as much juice as I thought. I could probably fill up 3 or 4 growlers.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:50 PM   #124
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I use an omega juicer to do my apples when I did it. I think its a bit more efficient than a press and gets out more juice as the pulp is almost dry. I got just over 5 gal of juice out of 2 buckets of apples.

Don't dilute, theres no reason to. The yeast need the sugar to create alcohol, so if you dilute all you're doing is dripping your original gravity, and subsequently affecting your final gravity. Full strength (or, as I said, with some added sugar) only. You need a hydrometer, measure the OG of your juice, pick your yeast (I was wrong on the danstar, its Lalvin EC1118 is the champagne yeast you can get locally, pitch it and keep it room temp as stable as you can. The fermentation will complete within a few days, but you want it to settle out so you can leave it for another week or two. This will help the yeast clean up some flavors, and will let the yeast also fall out (like secondarying, hence why you don't need it). Measure your final gravity, and plug it into a calculator to work out your ABV. At this point taste some and see if its as dry/tart/sweet/etc as you like and tune your flavor. Remember any sugar you add will likely be eaten by yeast and just increase ABV, so you need to find a non fermentable solution (stevia, lactose which is not recommended for cider but just as an example of a non fermentable sugar), and add until you're happy.

Some backsweetening happens by people killing the yeast (metabisulphite or campden), then adding traditional sugar. Don't do this unless you're force carbonating. They will not bottle condition if you do this.

When you bottle it, be careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the fermentor, it does nothing but looks cloudy. Remember, you need yeast in the cider to create the carbonation so you don't want to separate the yeast and the juice completely. There should be enough in suspension, so don't stir it in.

Some people use bottling buckets, and mix in the sugar for carbonation in there, but its just as easy to buy coopers carbonation tabs (https://www.amazon.ca/Coopers-DIY-Br.../dp/B003E5ZYB8), drop into the bottle and put away for a couple weeks. THen you don't need to mess with transfers and stuff.

When its done carbonating, put in the fridge for a few days standing, let the sediment fall to the bottom and firm up, and be gentle when pouring. Some sediment is fine, but remember that you started a secondary fermentation so it might taste a bit yeasty.


As always feel free to PM me any questions you have.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:45 PM   #125
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Some people even keg it and carbonate it off a CO2 tank
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:03 AM   #126
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Some people even keg it and carbonate it off a CO2 tank

Yup, that's the force carbonating I mentioned. I'm a kegger so I force carb'd mine, and then gunned it into bottles. Overall clearer and cleaner and product that way, but nothing wrong with bottle conditioning
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:59 PM   #127
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I have the basic Bucket / carboy setup and typically use the pre-mixed wort from various retailers around Calgary.

Is there a version / brand thats better then the others ?

I know its not the same as mixing your own, thats a bit more detailed then i have time for right now.

As far as I can tell I sterilize and follow the directions, but the end result is typically less than desired.

Thoughts / Suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:06 PM   #128
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Do you mean for cider or beer?
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:23 PM   #129
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beer...my wife would drink all the cider...
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:31 PM   #130
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When I could drink them I found the Brewers Best kits to be the easiest and come out the best. I always left them longer than their timings said though, an extra week or so at each step seemed to help them out.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:51 PM   #131
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beer...my wife would drink all the cider...
The wine warehouse is good for kits

http://thewinewarehouse.ca/beer-cider-kits/

I typically do an all grain mash brew-in-a-bag method though and order my stuff from Grapes to Glass

Grapes to glass has a ton of kits too
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:33 PM   #132
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Grapes to glass is top notch.
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Looks like you'll need one long before I will. May I suggest deflection king?
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:34 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nufy View Post
I have the basic Bucket / carboy setup and typically use the pre-mixed wort from various retailers around Calgary.

Is there a version / brand thats better then the others ?

I know its not the same as mixing your own, thats a bit more detailed then i have time for right now.

As far as I can tell I sterilize and follow the directions, but the end result is typically less than desired.

Thoughts / Suggestions.

Thanks.
The only really good beers I've ever made were made straight from grain. I know some people find the kits to be worthwhile, but I never got an excellent result out of them.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:35 AM   #134
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Grapes to Glass for sure for supplies.



And you're never going to get good, fresh and great tasting beer from a kit. Wort oxidizes and breaks down, the color changes with age, and its definitely not as good.



Alot of people with space and equipment restrictions get into grain brewing with partial mashes, where you have a portion of the wort from either DME or kit, and a small portion of steeped grains. People do use just DME for brewing, but again thats not much better than a kit, you're just rehydrating dehydrated malt.



You can also just brew small batch all grain, like 2.5 gallons which is easy on a stovetop. All grain recipes are scalable so you can do the math easy. You can further simplify by doing full volume BIAB mashes at those volumes, which means no sparging and complication. Just mash, drain, boil. One pot. Thats a great way of getting into it, not spending a ton of cash, and being able to experiment with recipe modifications and process. Once you get good and comfy, you can move up to things like I have which is basically a pilot brew house.



Or, if you really want to, I can't recommend the Robobrew enough. 115v, transfer and recirc pump, heated, PID controlled. All in one system that you can mash, sparge, boil, and transfer out of. It costs $500 and its worth every penny, it is a much much cheaper and cleaner version of the Grainfather. Its a system designed to just make brewing easier, less cleanup, and accessible. You can also get this at Grapes to Glass.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:30 AM   #135
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Once i started getting into making beer i always found bottling to be my sticking point as its the worst part

~$300 can get you into kegging w/ one Corny. Also opens up a lot of options as you can stabilize your beer, back sweeten and then carbonate without having to worry about yeast eating the flavors/sugars you just added.

It makes a huge difference in time to process without having to bottle. Instead just dump into the keg and turn on the Co2 wait a day (w/ a carb stone) or a week (w/o carb stone) and you are good to go with perfect carbonation every time

I am upgrading to a more stable keezer set up w/ 3 kegs in it right now
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #136
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There used to be a guy who sold thousands of old cornelius kegs out of his house in Queensland. I was always amazed that he had so many to sell.

I haven't seen him posting on kijiji in quite a while, maybe he ran out.

I'm glad I got 9 when I did.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:13 PM   #137
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There used to be a guy who sold thousands of old cornelius kegs out of his house in Queensland. I was always amazed that he had so many to sell.

I haven't seen him posting on kijiji in quite a while, maybe he ran out.

I'm glad I got 9 when I did.
I still want to get 2 more but they are ~80$ for a refurbished one. I should keep an eye out for those
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Old 10-13-2019, 02:41 PM   #138
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Funny, I think everyone I know including me bought kegs from that guy.



I still have a Keezer I'm willing to part with to start my new project, holds 3 kegs. I'll give some taps and spare parts with it, but I'll be keeping my C02 setup and stuff......Hit me up if anyones looking.
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