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Looking for opinions on cider

I have 1 gallon of cranberry juice left from a party I was thinking of adding it to 4 gallons of Apple juice for my cider. Will it give a nice color. The other option is to get some more cranberry juice and try cranberry cider. Anyone do this? Cider man @dmtaylo2 ?

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I make a graf each fall that I secondary on 1lb. of fresh frozen cranberries. Not only do they lend color, but also add a nice little tartness. I think 1 gallon of cranberry juice plus 4G apple juice will do you well.

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I have never made a cranberry cider, but I have tasted one from a friend that was good. It will definitely give a beautiful pink color to the cider. You should be able to combine both juices up front, but could reserve the cranberry for the end of fermentation to save a little more of the subtle cranberry flavor. To keep things easy, personally I’d probably just ferment all together. I agree that 1:4 ratio seems good for this. The key thing to keep in mind:

Cranberry is extremely tart, and also tannic. This can be a good thing, especially if you enjoy a tart cider. However, you might want to plan on balancing via either a low attenuating yeast like Scottish or Irish ale, or employ my gelatin & chilling method to get rid of the yeast early, or backsweeten with plenty of xylitol, or a combination of all these things. Just know that it’s going to be TART. You might also want to use low acid dessert apples on purpose for this cider – Ambrosia springs to mind, and even Red Delicious (gasp!) might not be a bad option for this, since these apples are so insipidly without any acid in them. Don’t use your Grannies for this one.

All that being said, I’d probably drink a lot of it no matter how tart it turns out. :slight_smile:

I’m not afraid of tart. My Apple crop was non existent this year. Luckily we have plenty of local mills in CT. The one I’m heading to has regular cider now from sweet apples. Their hard cider blend comes in late October when you show up with a vessel and they fill it for you. I plan on buying some sweet for the cranberry cider like you suggested and go back later for the tart blend.

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Made a Graff last year and can’t say it was impressive. Much preferred the apple/peach cider I made. I think from now on I’ll stick to fruit for ciders. I planted this year some currents gooseberry and elderberry can’t wait for those next year to mix with apples. Any experience with those?

Nope, haven’t used any of those berries, so when you do, make sure to post the results.

I started making grafs 3 years ago after I made a straight cider that was so tart that I had to add 1/2 tsp. of sugar to each glass to make it drinkable. After 6 months it got better, and really came into it’s own after a year or so. My grafs retain enough sweetness to balance the tartness and the cranberry is a good addition. I bottle with 1 can of FAJC for a 5G batch, and cooler pasteurize after 4-7 days. It is an acquired taste, but I like it, and have a certain batch of friends that think it’s pretty good.

I love gooseberries, have some in the back but I don’t get enough to make anything with them (at least not yet), but they are so good that I just want to snack on them so I’ll probably never juice or process them at all. If you can grow enough I bet they would be wonderful in a cider.

I am not a fan of currants at all. No sir I don’t like them. I’ve tried many kinds many times, but to me they just taste like super sour, tannic tomatoes. Black currants are the most tolerable and most interesting, but I don’t like white or red at all. However you can bake some mean cakes with them. Use 'em like you would rhubarb or something where you want the tartness. In a cider, sure, go ahead. I know I’ve tasted a currant beer in the past. Very tart and tannic. I would limit use to a pound or less per gallon.

I’m really not familiar with elderberry, wish I was.

Well here it is and I’m drinking the cranberry/apple cider. I put it on gas and tasted every day until I got it were I liked it. I did 4:1. I can just about make out the cranberry tartness. Its pretty good it fermented out to .001 when I kegged it. It’s not sweet per say but with the tartness from the cranberry it seems sweeter than my straight apple if that makes sense. I have another going now that is 3:2 apple:crangrape

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