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Making Summer Ciders - BrewChatter LIVE July 8th, 2020

Join us for a Cider Brewing Demonstration and see the Show Notes below!
Making Summer Ciders LIVE Show Notes
  • Welcome Everyone - Thank You for joining
  • Brief overview of Summer Cider
    • Announce that we’re actually making cider
  • What are we drinking?
  • Tell us what you’re drinking 
  • Store Updates
    • Judging for NVBC starts tomorrow!  Thank you to everyone who entered and volunteered to help
    • BrewChatter Rentals is LIVE and running!  Rent the canner or a jockey box any time!

Making a Summer Cider

  • Talk first about the Bee’s Knees Recipe - both apple and pear
    • What the ingredients are actually doing
      • Difference between a wine base and actual juice
        • Wine base is an emulsion of fruit in water - you have to add sugar (or honey) to get your gravity to a reasonable level
        • Juice from concentrate leaves about 1.002 residual sugar
        • Fresh pressed or not from concentrate dries all the way out, no matter what (.996)
      • Acid Blend
        • Helps balance the acidity in the finished product (we’re not using this in the simple cider we’re doing today)
        • It’s a ⅓-⅓-⅓ Blend of Malic, Tartaric and Citric Acid.  Thought to be an easy and tasty blend of the acids
        • Acid balance is the key to cider and wine.  Too much acidity, and it tastes tart / sour, not enough and it taste bland and lifeless
      • Fermaid K and O
        • Complete yeast nutrient - you should be using this in every fermentation, no matter what, and more in mead
      • Pectic Enzyme
        • Pectinase is an enzyme that breaks down pectins, and most fruits have tons of pectins.  This will help break down the fruit, and help the final clarity
      • Light Toasted Oak Chips
        • These are for tannins, which help add structure and body to a wine that doesn’t have any residual sugar left over like beer does
      • Yeast
        • Cider strains are like wine strains, and specifically geared towards fructose fermentations
        • Whatever yeast you use, because it’s all simple sugar, it will dry all the way out.  
        • Choose a yeast who’s character you like, then adjust by back sweetening or adjusting acids after fermentation - or both
      • Potassium Sorbate
        • Stabilizer.  This encapsulates any yeast or wild bacteria so that they cannot function - metabolize - sugar or anything else.  
        • This won’t stop an active fermentation, but will prevent future fermentation
  • Dive into Todays Recipe
    • The simple cider is slightly different from the kit, but not by much
    • Today we are using a lager yeast with the Brewjacket Immersion Pro
      • Why?  We want to see the difference in a lagered cider
      • We want to see the effect that it has on acidity
      • We want to run the brewjacket through it’s paces
    • Today’s Recipe
      • 5 gallon Cheap store bought juice from concentrate so we don’t have to back - sweeten
      • 32 oz home made Elderberry syrup (see the recipe on our website under the Elderberries description if you want to make your own)
        • Boiled down 1 lb dried elderberries
        • Added about ½ lb honey
        • Used only light ginger, about half of a fresh root
        • No other spices
        • Used Irish whisky to fortify slightly and make shelf stable
      • Fermaid and Dap
        • Yeast nutrients and available nitrogen for our cider
      • 2 lbs Wildflower Honey, courtesy of our friends at Great Basin Food Co-op
      • No other sugars
      • No added water - all juice
    • R.J. does the process step by step, and Josh and R.J. bullshit back and forth while explaining the process and why they’re doing things the way that they are
    • Go over the Brewjacket, the science behind it, and why we’re using the rod sleeve
    • Talk about making modifications to different flavors
      • Adding fruit or fruit puree
        • How to pasteurize fruit at 150 for 15 minutes
      • Adding spices
        • Heat extraction
        • Ethanol extraction
      • Using different and / or complex sugars to add to the overall complexity of the finished product
    • Back-sweetening
      • Stabilize first
      • Some people like to add the same juice to back sweeten
      • We like honey or another complex sugar, like a compote or reduction to add to the overall complexity of the finished product - We find that using the same juice can taste flat or like watered down apple juice with alcohol and makes it un-balanced
    • Talk about titration and acid balance
      • Titration kit and how to decide where you want you cider
        • Most ciders come out about the acidity level of a Sauv blanc (Total Acidity level about 0.7 - 0.9), and mellow over the course of 6 mo to a year
        • Most white wines have a fermented pH of 3.1 - 3.5 depending on variety
        • For comparison, in cider the average is 3.2 - 3.8 pH
        • You can adjust the total acids in your cider by titration, or adjust slightly just using your pH meter if you want to keep it simple
        • We generally adjust by flavor, and adjust acid up a very small amount at a time
  • Touch on pressing fresh apples
    • Blending varieties
    • Potassium metabisulfite or pasteurization
      • K-Meta is WAY easier
      • Pasteurizing is more work, but the most natural way to get rid of wild yeast and bacteria