Ok here we go. I have 5 gallons farm fresh apple cider. Do I have to warm the cider up to kill the natural yeast? what temp? I ordered cider yeast from northern brewer. Do I need to do a yeast starter? I have the equipment to do so? What do you guys recommend adding for sugar? (regular, brown, honey, maply syrup) How long do I let it ferment? What do I do with it when it is done fermenting? Do you carbonate it? I know there are lot of questions here. Is there a website that will help me. I have researched this quite a bit just want some recomondations. thanks for your help.
I think the answer is: It depends. I’ve made one batch of cider, which was my first brewing project. I cobbled together my technique from a bunch of websites. I’m not even a big cider drinker, so with nothing to compare it to, I enjoyed the finished product. There’s plenty of people in here that make some award winning ciders, so they can guide you to a higher end beverage. If you’re just trying to keep it simple, you can do that to. It’s all up to you.
I went with store bought apple juice, so I’m not sure about workind with fresh juice. I skipped out on a starter and had no problem getting my yeast to go to town. I didn’t add any sugar, I just had yeast and juice. 2 weeks seems to be a good guestimate for primary fermentation. Basically, if the airlock stops bubbling, you’re probably about ready. If you want to get more accurate, you’ll need a hydrometer. After that, you’ll need to tranfer the cider to a secondary fermenter, leaving as much of the sludge at the bottom behind. I left mine in the secendary for 2 months, but I’ve seen people do just 2 weeks and I’ve heard of people going 6 months, changing fermenters periodically. Carbonating is up to your personal taste. I did mine by adding apple juice concentrate right before I bottled it.
Again, this is what I did, and it’s a very simplified version of what can be a complex process. Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, I’m ready to try to improve on my methods. Hope this helps, it can get a little confusing intimidating.
Have you watched the “cider” episode of brewing tv? Thats what I followed.
Do not warm the cider. Simply add campden and wait 24hrs before even thinking about pitching your yeast.
I have the luck using high quality honey to up the gravity to 1.060.