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1st Cider...Un-Pasteurized

Hey all,
I’d like to try my hand at hard ciders. I have a source for Un-Pasteurized cider.
I plan to bottle and carbonate.

My question(s) are…

Do I need to treat the cider at all before pitching yeast?

Any good recipes or recommendations?

With bottling and carbonating…Is there anyway to keep it from getting too dry?

Any Yeast recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

I’m only about 5 batches of cider worth of an expert, but my experience is as follow:

You probably want to treat non-pasteurized cider with Campden tablets before pitching. This will prevent the wild yeast that are present in the juice now from going crazy or giving you off tastes.

My first batch with fresh pressed apple juice I did not treat it at all, and it came out great. But all batches since I’ve treated rather than risk the batch.

The only way to keep it from getting too dry is to kill the yeast at the gravity you want. In my opinion, it’s easier to let it ferment out completely, stun/kill the yeast with a combo of Campden and K-Sulfite, and then backsweeten it to taste with whatever you like. It’s seems most common to use apple juice concentrate or lactose sugar. I rendered a batch undrinkable by adding to much concentrate (it was WAY too sweet to drink), so sometimes less is more.

It’s been said on the board before, and seems to be true, that you can use virtually any yeast you have on hand. My batch I have going now is with SafeAle-05, simple dry yeast.

Good luck!

Some do some don’t. But, I always do.

If you can get it try to use a fresh pressed blended juice. I like 50% sweet/35% acidic/15% astringent. And keep the temp low.

[quote]With bottling and carbonating…Is there anyway to keep it from getting too dry?
[/quote] The easiest way is to let it finish and hit it with some campden combined with Potassium Sorbate. Backsweeten to your desired level and keg. You can fill bottles from the keg.

But, if you want to bottle carb you will need to use a non fermentable. I have had pretty good luck using KAL Brand 100% Stevia. But, have not had good luck using other brands. Lactose is also another option, but some do not like the results.

[quote]Any Yeast recommendations?[/quote] D-47, Cote Des Blancs, and 4184 are a few of my go to yeasts for cider.

Thanks for the replies.

Looks like I’ll be picking up the cider mid next week…About 10 gallons. They guy said he’d make it fresh for me and I get to sample a few to choose from.
I Already got the honey and Brown sugar.
Also picked up 1 Cote Des Blancs, and 1 4184.

One more question…How much head space is needed with cider? I was going use 5 gal carboys if I could, do I need to step up to my 6 gals?

Even though they are low foamers I would not try it in a 5gal carboy.
Give your cider plenty of time to mature. It takes time.

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