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Cider Update

Garth Brown |

Two days ago I moved all of the cider I started a few weeks back from primary to secondary fermentation. For those of you who are not familiar with the brewing processes, this basically means I moved the cider into clean vessels, leaving behind all of the yeast and other particulates that had precipitated out. Sitting on a large cake of dead yeast can impart bitterness and other off flavors, so it's best to leave it behind before beginning longer aging.

Interestingly, the cider I had pitched an American Ale yeast to had not fermented out completely, while all the other yeasts - one Saison type, one wine type, and one cider type - had managed to get the juice pretty darn dry. There are several potential reasons. Ale yeasts prefer slightly higher temperatures than I provided, and, since beer is not acidic, it's possible the yeast simply didn't like that quality of the cider. It also could have been a bad pack, though I don't know that this would have slowed it down so drastically, and I did proof it before adding it to the fermenter. So some of the cider is not quite out of primary, even though it has been moved. It's my hope that it won't generate enough yeast to be a problem, but if it does I suppose I'll have to rack it off one more time.

The cider from our red apples has a crazy color, and it already tastes delicious. It is has a little more bite than I'd like, and while past experience suggests sitting for a few months will go a long way to mellow it out, I'm also considering trying a malolactic fermentation, though I've never done it before, and I'm leery of ruining such a promising batch.


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