I have finally started my first batch of cider. I’ve been brewing off and on for 15 years, and making mead for about 5 years. We have a large orchard nearby who presses their own cider. They don’t add any preservatives, only pasteurize.
I am making a 4 gallon batch. I included 2 lbs of dark brown sugar, 1 lb of lactose, 3 cinnamon sticks, and a dash of ground cloves.
I am using Red Star “Premier Cuvee (sp?)” in a 1300 ml starter. It’s bubbling away. Giving the Erlenmeyer a swirl every four hours or so.
My first questions are in regards to the yeast. I was looking for a wine yeast that left a residual sweetness (added the lactose to help with this). Was this a good choice? Second my whole house stays pretty warm. I temp checked all the closets and they all stay within a degree or two of 70 degrees F. Ideally I would like to find 60 degrees. The closest thing I could find is in my garage near the furnace. The floor temp is staying at 55 degrees (+/- 1 or 2 degrees). The question is, is 55 degrees too cool for this yeast? The starter is still bubbling away and should be ready tomorrow.
My other questions are about my ingredients. Is the 3 cinnamon sticks enough? I’m looking for a smooth apple pie flavor. Should I add any more sticks/ground to the secondary? I did cook the first 3 with the gallon that I used to dissolve the brown sugar and lactose. The second question is about the cloves. I added a few shakes of ground cloves into the pot. Should I add some whole cloves to secondary? I’ve been told that a little cloves can go a long way.
Thanks for any advice and critiques you may have. I am probably going to pitch tomorrow afternoon