Macintosh Cider

Hey all, I have made a few batches of hard cider before with decent results so I am not completely green to the process. My father in law contacted me last week saying he has like 5 gallons of cider from his trees and he wants me to make it into a cider. He says they are Macintosh. HE has already pasteurized the cider and has it canned in 2 quart jars. No chemicals added. My plan is to use his cider and add 2 lb white cane sugar and 3 lb brown sugar to the mix and ferment using Munton’s ale yeast (which I have used before and like the taste).

I would then stop fermentation when gravity reaches around 1.010. to leave more of a sweet cider.

Who has experience using all Macintosh? Should I add some frozen concentrate as well?

Let me know your thought.



McIntosh cider is fantastic. I agree with stopping the fermentation at 1.010. The easiest way to do that is to:

  1. Ferment cool, around 60 F,
  2. Rack often, about once per week, and
  3. Add potassium sorbate when specific gravity hits around 1.015. Fermentation is likely to continue to coast down to your goal of 1.010, or it will be very close.

Personally I would not add any sugar, or would use much less than you have planned, unless you are aiming to make a very strong wine-like beverage. Otherwise for a standard strength cider around 7% ABV, I would use no more than about 1 pound of sugar.

I would not add any concentrate unless you want to bottle prime with the concentrate at bottling time. Otherwise skip the concentrate.

Cheers and enjoy. :slight_smile:


Awesome, Thank you for the reply! I will check the gravity of the cider as he brings it and go from there.

I agree mostly with Dave- after all to my mind he’s the guru of cider.
Agreement- don’t add sugar, or if you do be gentle. cider should normally come in with an OG of 1.050-1.055 all by itself, yielding a nice 5-6% ABV.
However where I disagree a little is in adding a can of FAJC. I add one at bottling time for a 5G batch. Has the right amount of sugar, and adds a little flavor.
In the past I’ve then done the cooler pasteurization method about 1 week after bottling, but last year I didn’t bother and got the same results- moderately carbonated, no overcarbonated bottles.

My local homebrew club has an Oktoberfest going on this weekend and one member is bringing a cider press. I’ve been picking apples from trees along the side of the road this past week- have about 80 lb and even got about 20 lb pears.
I’m kind of tired of paying $7-8 per gallon of cider, so I’m pumped. Plus it’s a mixed grab bag of apple varieties, including some crabapples. I’m expecting the fresh stuff will be quite tasty.

That should be good I try to put pears in mine also. Another thing I did last year is I added a gallon of cranberry juice. Came out really good. I’m having one now

The press was dated 1878 and totally hand crank. I am more than a bit sore today…
Wound up with about 3.5G and another member did 5G. Treated with Kmeta yesterday, hit with pectic enzyme this morning, then added a little acid blend and a pinch of tannin. This afternoon took a little over 1G and pitched Muntons Gold yeast into that one. Going to add 1G of a commercial Cranberry/Apple cider tomorrow. It’s sorbated so I want the fermentation to kick in well before adding it. Then when fermentation is almost finished I’ll add some cranberries- thinking about 1/2 lb in the 2G. I’ve had 2 petulant Cranberry ciders lately that have been great and I want to try my hand. I’ll prime and bottle, then bottle pasteurize- I’ve been successful doing that in prior years.
The rest of the cider I’m using for this year’s batch of my Gunslinger Cranberry Graf. 2G cider+3G wort, and pitched S-04. I put a full lb. of cranberries in that one when it slows down.

I have a hand crank mill but instead I pulverize the apples with a 4x4 before pressing them. Alot easier

Just an update, I took a gravity reading of the cider the father in law brought down and it was only at 1.040, so I added 2 pounds of brown siugar to up it to 1.060 which gave the raw juice a wonderful flavor! We will see what happens!

1 Like

Another update… I checked my gravity yesterday and it was at .98!!! With my OG at 1.064 I now have rocket fuel… IT states super dry and STORNG! I have never had a cider ferment that far that quickly… The odd thing is my blowoff never even bubbled so I thought it was fermenting nice and slow… I added my sorbate and campden to try and stailize and racked it into a secondary.

So that being said, what are my options here to try and turn it into something drinkable? My first thought is get some store bought cider and to cut it and back sweeten. Seem like it will work?

What was the yeast you used? Yeah your correct… not much you can do now… Back sweeten it for your liking? Have you an idea where you want your cider to end up at? Sneezles61

I used muntons ale yeast. Have a look at the previous comments, but the thought was to add sorbate at 1.015 then it wold dwindle down to 1.10… Missed that one now didn’t I! Never figured it would ferment that far in 6 days!

OK, so I didn’t pay too close attention to you using Muntons yeast… It would be likely the yeast was very happy and continues its job… Again… how do you plan to serve your Cider? dry, medium, or sweet…You can do what ever you want… Kegging? Bottling? … Sneezles61

Oh sorry, I misunderstood your question. I was looking for a sweet cider, I will be bottling and serving it still.

You needn’t apologize… Its all good to ask , thats how we all learn… So now that its finished would you add some non sugar sweetner and taste it until its to your liking? I used Stevia… some others have another one they like… I hope they chime in… Don’t worry too much… it does take some time to come to a conclusion you and others will enjoy! Sneezles61

Why not heat it to pasteurize it and then add the sweetener of your choice.