*In primary after fermentation is complete. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and tannin to taste.
*Yeast - Brewer's Friend Cider House dry yeast - 1 package
1. ACQUIRE JUICE
Ensure that the juice doesn’t have preservatives; sorbate, sorbitol, sulfite, things of that sort. Ascorbic acid / vitamin C is just fine.
2. TEST AND ADDITIONS
If the juice is cloudy, add pectic enzyme at the rate of 1/2 tsp per gallon.
Add yeast nutrient. Wyeast Wine or Beer Nutrient, or generic Yeast Nutrient. Roughly 1/4 tsp per gallon is a good starting point. Be prepared to add more once fermentation is well under way.
Check the gravity with a hydrometer or refractometer. Record the result. This number will help determine the alcohol by volume of the cider, as well as act as a window into the fermentation process.
--OPTIONAL: Chaptalize (add sugar). If you’d like a stronger cider, add a simple sugar at this time. The sugar will ferment out entirely, increasing alcohol content, thinning the body, and amplifying acidity. Partially refined and darker sugars are more prone to affect the flavor. One pound of sugar in five gallons will add approximately one percent alcohol by volume. Belgian candi sugars, honeys, or plain corn sugar all work well and have unique effects.
3. ADD YEAST
--“Cider” yeast works well and is available in liquid form from White Labs and Wyeast. The Wyeast strain tends to be cleaner and quicker, while the White Labs strain is a little slower and tends to preserve the character of the apples better. This recipe utilized Fermentis Safcider.
--Allow the cider to ferment to dryness.
--If the fermentation seems sluggish, smells like rotten eggs or burning matches; add yeast nutrient, 1/4 tsp at a time, up to 1 tbsp per 12 hours. Use caution when adding nutrient, as the trapped CO2 in the cider can react with the added powder, causing an overflow of liquid.
--When the gravity is reliably stable, usually around 0.996-1.010, the cider is almost ready to be racked. Allow it to sit on the yeast sediment for a little longer - at least one day, up to three weeks or so, to help clean up any off-flavors that were produced during fermentation.
5. CONDITIONING / SECONDARY FERMENTATION
After fermentation is complete, add Ponche Frozen fruit mix. 2lbs bag contains sugar cane, tejocote, guava, browncan sugar, apple, raisins, plums, cinnamon, and hibiscus flower.
Also added 15oz of organic thompson seedless raisins and 1 tsp of mexican vanilla blend original old fashion vanilla extract.
Before racking to secondary carboy, Wine Tannin and Calcium Carbonate can be added to improve flavor.
If samples taste more sour or tart than expected, Calcium Carbonate can be added at 1/4 tsp per gallon. In this batch, PH was not measured and Calcium Carbonate was not utilized.
If samples taste lack body, wine tannin can be added at 1/4 tsp per gallon. In first batch, Wine Tannin was utilized.
--If the cider is still cloudy and you prefer it to be clear, use a wine fining agent, such as Super-Kleer or Sparkolloid, to help it clarify. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.
Cold Mix Fining Agent. Positively charged fining agent for beer and wine. Noted for working where other fining agents have failed. Also provides a compact sediment bed, pressing down other fining agents and increasing yield. Used as a coating medium for filter pads, to decrease porosity.
To use, stir 1/2 tsp. per gallon into one quart of briskly boiling water. Boil for three minutes, stirring well to completely dissolve. Use 1/2 cup of the prepared solution for every gallon of wine. Stir thoroughly into wine, leave for 2 weeks, and then rack off sediment.
7. STOP FERMENTATION
If keg carbonating, stopping the fermentation can be complete by adding 1/2 TSP/Gallon fo Potassium Sorbate.
8. KEG CARBONATION & BACK SWEETENING
Upon transfering the Cider from the Secondary to the Keg, if the Cider is dryer than desired, it can be back sweetened with Apple Concentrate, Sugars, or Honey.
Carbonate the Cider to desired level. Many carbonation calculators are available online to determine the appropriate PSI setting for CO2 regulator based on storage temperature and desired level of carbonation.