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12 votes
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How do I use freeze distillation to turn cider into applejack?

Start with a sterile carboy, airlock, funnel, and cold pressed apple cider. Don't use anything that has preservatives in it. Pitch in a Campden tablet per gallon of juice to kill any unidentified ...
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10 votes
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How screwed am I (sanitation)?

B-Brite is an active-oxygen-based cleaner, and these do a good job of making the item sanitary. While they are not classified as sanitizers, that is mainly because of the formal requirements and ...
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8 votes

How do I use freeze distillation to turn cider into applejack?

My grandfather, who was also a bootlegger during prohibition, used to make huge batches of apple jack in wooden barrels. He said they'd smash up ripe apples, fill the barrels to the top, packed with ...
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7 votes
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Putting Yeast in a Tea Bag

This will not work with a tea-bag or any other kind of cloth. Unless it's enclosed in a very fine membrane the yeast would easily be able to get through, then disperse and propogate in the main liquid....
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7 votes
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Can I assume that an unopened glass jug containing the juice I want to ferment is sanitary?

Unless you were planning on heating the juice itself to a high enough temperature to kill anything in it, it's not really going to matter. Any bacteria or wild yeasts present on the inside of the ...
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7 votes
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kegged cider and oxygen

Yes you will oxidize the cider (or beer or wine) if you don't use CO2 or some other inert gas like Nitrogen (but that has it's own problems). Oxygen will not "reignite" the yeast. Yeast will happily ...
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  • 3,002
6 votes

Which yeast should I use to make apple cider

I have been fermenting apple cider for 4 years, so my experience is limited. Last couple of batches have turned out much to my liking. I am using Danstar Windsor My recipe is simple: blend of ...
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6 votes

How to avoid homebrew-cider to explode out of the bottle when opening?

The problem is that the cider is still under active fermentation - even if it does not look it. The yeast is consuming sugar, producing CO2, alcohol and flavours. The CO2 gas is over-pressurising ...
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  • 2,050
6 votes

Not getting enough juice from my apples

You can add pectinase (also called pectic enzyme) to your crushed fruit / to your must to increase juice yield. You can find it at your local wine making / home brewing store or online, e.g., on ...
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5 votes
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Bottling Hard Cider - can I prime with sweet cider?

I don't really agree with your pro and con list. Assuming you're able to calculate the right amount of sweet apple cider to add for priming, and this should be fairly simple arithmetic based on brix ...
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5 votes
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How to increase body of apple cider?

If you carbonate it, that carbonation should give it a perceived fuller body. Aside from that, you could try adding some grape tannin or some acid blend, as those should help it feel fuller and more ...
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  • 619
5 votes

Adding juice to top off carboy - cider making

'[C]an I add fresh squeezed apple juice the carboy to take up the space?' Sure, but introducing fermentable sugars (from the fresh juice) would re-start fermentation and defeat your stated goal of ...
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5 votes

Total Cider Noob Move

That's an insane amount of yeast for a one gallon batch. Your yeast ate through all the sugar quickly, and now it probably doesn't have anything left to eat. Do you have a hydrometer? If you don't, ...
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5 votes
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How to use priming sugar

Based upon what you said, namely that you only have the one container and it is currently filled with your cider, here are what I see for the pros/cons: Adding it directly to the bucket will give you ...
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  • 608
5 votes
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Differences between brewing ales and ciders

Having done a fair amount of both, I've outlined some differences below. First, a note on terminology: since there is no steeping of ingredients in cider making, you don't actually "brew" cider. I don'...
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  • 383
5 votes

Carbonation drops in cider

Carbonation drops are just aliquoted doses of sugar. They still carbonate by the action of yeast in the bottle. I don't think carb drops will solve the problem you describe.
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  • 36.2k
5 votes

White film on top of cider

Looks like a very clean pellicle, biofilm from a bacteria. Taste the cider, you may have something nice there. But it's probably not what you were expecting from yeast.
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5 votes
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Adding ginger to cider/cyser/mead

Ginger has its own microbes that will change fermentation. You will want to kill if you just want ginger flavor and aroma. I would suggest making a ginger slurry then pastureize it by bringing it to ...
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5 votes
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What is a good time frame for aging cider/apple wine?

I don't age my ciders intentionally. I control the fermentation so they are clean. While I have aged cider up to two years in bottles (Got lost in cooler) I prefer it fresh. My friends that do ...
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5 votes

How to avoid homebrew-cider to explode out of the bottle when opening?

I think you need to wait for fermentation to stop before you bottle it, as co2 is being produced in the bottle and builds up the gas inside. Once fermentation has stopped you can filter it and you ...
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  • 51
5 votes
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Pasteurizing Apple Juice for Cider

Most cidermakers do not agree with this, but personally I am a big proponent of juice pasteurization. I heat mine to 71-74 C (160-165 F) for about 10 minutes then immediately chill. I get excellent ...
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  • 3,317
5 votes

Still, un-bubbly cider after priming and left for 3 weeks at room temperature

Sound like its just not done yet. Wild yeast will work slower than some purer strains will work. If there is pressure under the cap when you open it then there is some activity going. Of course, if ...
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  • 36.2k
4 votes

Cardboard alternatives to bottle cases for storage

I was very excited to see what the community had to offer for this problem as I am in need of a cardboard box replacement as well. Unfortunately, it appears that www.cwcrate.com is out of business. ...
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  • 228
4 votes

What equipment do I need to buy to start making beer?

While these are nice lists I would like to point out that you do not need a 5 gallon bucket and carboy. I like to experiment with new recipes using a two gallon bucket and an old one gallon apple ...
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4 votes

Cider went too dry and too flat

Your cider is very young to draw many conclusions. In my experience, you have to think of cider more like wine than beer. Give it another 6 months of conditioning and it should taste better. You ...
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4 votes
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Cider went too dry and too flat

A couple of things First, the "funky bittery, acetone-ish" flavors are most likely fusel alcohols that yeast likes to throw off when it's under stress. One way to prevent this is to make sure it has ...
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  • 619
4 votes
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pressing cider from whole apples

There are two reasons: Force. Sphere is most resistant shape to crushing. That's why eggs are roughly spherical, and thin shell can support hen's weight, and more. Pressing whole apples would require ...
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  • 3,718
4 votes
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Should i use the syphon or tap?

I would suggest the siphon, since usually they're designed to take (almost) all the liquid while sucking up minimal sediment. You probably have a little cap at the end of your siphon for that purpose....
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  • 366
4 votes

What ingredients contribute body to a cider?

Are you really looking for body when you say the flavor was empty? You may need a little acid blend in the final product to brighten the flavors. Cider as a beverage is normally pretty low on body. ...
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  • 36.2k
4 votes
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Cider Kit has made a really bad eggy smell. Will this go away?

Some yeast strains give sulfur smell during fermentation. That's perfectly normal. If it's in the air, it's no longer in your brew! The fact you can smell it so strongly indicates it is, literally, ...
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  • 3,718

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