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New to Cider making

The forums are very informative with very well thought out and helpful replies so I thought I would join. I had intentions on learning how to make beer but got the cider bug and so far it has been fun.

So I made my first batch and let’s say I wished I had found this site first.

My second batch seems a little more promising. I used 5 gallons of UV pasteurized local cider that was preservative free. I let it and the liquid cider yeast get to almost 60 degrees and added 1.5 tsp each of pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, and an acid blend as well as 2 lbs of light brown sugar. I then pitched the liquid cider yeast that I also brought up to about the same temperature.

All of this is very new so I apologize for misuse of terminology, etc.

The initial gravity was about 1.059 at 60 degrees. (I was banished to the basement :smiley: )

I let it sit for 11 days at about 68 degrees and had an ending gravity of .992 at that temperature. It has been in the secondary fermenter for about 23 days.

So I guess my initial questions are:

Can I bottle now?

I would like it carbonated without brown grenades blowing up in my basement.

I am at a point that I do not want the cider sitting in the secondary any longer and to be honest I have no idea what I am doing.

Any help would be appreciated as I can see myself continuing with cider making.

Thanks in advance to any advice and feedback!


Go ahead and bottle. Use 1/3 cup of table sugar for a light carbonation in a 5 gal batch.

Hans is right. It seems ready to bottle if it’s down to 0.992.

Ok, thanks. How long should it sit before drinking?

It will probably take at least 3-4 weeks to carbonate. But you can drink it whenever you want. Lots of people like their cider uncarbonated.

If when you open the first bottle, it has some roughness, you can wait a while before opening another. The flavors will round out and get smoother over time.

Can I prime with brown sugar?

Any suggestions on achieving a more clear final product? Even with using the pectic enzyme the cider still has a haze. Can I age it in my garage where the temperature would be cold but still above freezing?

Sorry for all of the questions.

Sure, you can prime with brown sugar, but it won’t do anything different from regular white sugar – you won’t be able to taste it in the finished cider. Just so you know.

Gelatin can work wonders for clarity. Use about 1 teaspoon of unflavored Knox gelatin in a small batch, or 1 packet for 5 gallons. Take about a half cup of water and microwave it for 90 seconds or until it boils. Then take the water out of the microwave, and stir your gelatin in that to fully dissolve (it takes a long time to dissolve), then cool for 15 minutes, then add it to your fermenter. After a couple of days, your cider will be clear as crystal.

Thanks again.

Should I keep the cider at a cooler temperature when adding the gelatin? Currently it is at room temperature.

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. I think it will work either way, but slightly faster at colder temperatures.

What a great discussion and perfect for me as I’m about to brew up my first batch of cider. I have a question related to the gelatin addition - Is this added to the carboy just prior to bottling or during fermentation?

This is my first post and it looks like I’ve double posted… sorry.

I added the gelatin towards the end of the fermentation process in the carboy per the recommendations in this thread. I cannot believe how well it worked.

Do most people use Saniclean? No rinsing and leaving the foam in the bottle make me nervous.

If you rinse it won’t be sanitized anymore. I don’t use Saniclean but do use Star San another no rinse with foam and never ever had a problem.

Moppert, add the gelatin at the end of fermentation when you are ready to bottle. It will take 2-3 days to clear and after that you should be able to bottle unless fermentation wasn’t done already.

Sleestak - I’m going to glom your recipe and give it a shot, hopefully this evening. One question, you refer to an “acid blend.” What is that? Certainly something I could get at my LHBS.

And dmtaylo2 - thanks for the gelatin commendation… I 'll give it a shot and report back.

Yes a local store recommended a bottle of the acid blend. Cannot elaborate on it because I bought it before finding this site and receiving great advice.

Been busy at work, how did you make out with your cider?

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