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Cider Digest #0003

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Cider Digest
 · 9 Apr 2024

Subject: Cider Digest #3 Thu Aug 15 11:00:07 EDT 1991 
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 91 11:00:08 EDT
From: (Are you SURE you want to send it HERE?)

Cider Digest #3 Thu Aug 15 11:00:07 EDT 1991
Forum for Discussion of Cider Issues
Jay Hersh, Digest Coordinator

Books on cider/mead? (Greg Roody - dtn 237-7122 14-Aug-1991 1145)
Compendium of all pre-digest postings (LONG) (hersh)
Re: Traffic, let's see some
Re: Traffic, let's see some
And we're off...... (BAUGHMANKR)
My plans
Re: Traffic, let's see some (Jeff Brendle)
California apples. ("DRCV06::GRAHAM")
First Attempt (Rob)
An easy cider recipe
beginner help
beginner help
Re: First Attempt
Avoiding vinegar. ("DRCV06::GRAHAM")
Re: Cider
Re: beginner help
Re: California apples.
Re: beginner help
Primer Request (Patrick_Waara.WBST129)
Re(2): beginner help
Re: California apples.
Another introduction
Sorbic Acid?
Re: submit
Introduction, and residual sugars
Finding the soft cider
hopped cider
Re: beginner help
Cider Digest #2 Wed Aug 14 18:00:08 EDT 1991 (Greg Kushmerek)
Re: More questions (bob) (John Simpson x2958 rm 4148b)

Send submissions to
Send requests to
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 91 15:15:57 PDT
From: Greg Roody - dtn 237-7122 14-Aug-1991 1145 <>
Subject: Books on cider/mead?

Howdy all. I'd like to know if anyone has a good book list for brewing
cider and meads. Recipes are a plus.




Date: Wed, 14 Aug 91 18:36:33 EDT
Subject: Compendium of all pre-digest postings (LONG)

Just to be thorough (yet gentle...) I thought I'd resubmit in obnoxiously long
fashion all the pre-digest traffic. Here goes..

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 91 17:11:16 EDT
From: (Larry McCaig)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Traffic, let's see some

OK, to start A source for fresh unfermented cider. There is a farm in
billerica (Ma.) between Rt 3A and North Road (Perpendicular to K-Mart
shopping Mall). Last time I bought here the price was $5.00 for 5 gal
(That was two summers ago). The current price is most likely not much
if any different. The aapples are mostly MacIntosh. You drop off your
carboy (or whatever) in the AM, and pick up the cider in the PM. I
have never been able to make any good hard cider, but am very good at
Acetic Acid. Hope to learn something from this digest.

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 91 15:35:41 PDT
From: (Michael J. Tuciarone)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Traffic, let's see some

OK, I'll ante up.

My wife Catherine and I are beginner brewers, with 8 ale or lager batches
and one mead batch under our belts (literally). Neither of us has
(intentionally) made hard cider before.

While "on holiday" in England a couple of years ago, we both had
English cider for the first time. (Was it Strongbow, or Courage...?
Who can remember?) I liked it very much, and my wife (who prefers
wine and mead to beer) loved it. The blokes at the pub were very impressed
by her ability to pound it down (one for the Yanks!), as one of them
explained, "I can't drink nought o' that; it gives me a head."

So we're here to learn more about brewing cider, and to make a batch or
two this fall. Finding good raw apple juice could be tricky: I was born
in Cortland, NY, and it just makes me weep here in California to remember
the orchards in the fall. What's a "Gravenstein?" Is that like a low-rent

So speak up everyone, and we'll add what we can. And thanks to Jay
for setting this list up. (Go Yellowjackets!)

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1991 19:44 EDT
Subject: And we're off......
X-Vms-To: IN%""

Thanks to Jay for starting for the cider list. What a guy! What a pal!
I hope he knows what he's getting himself into.

I haven't made any cider in several years. I have had one particularly
good batch, though. A sparkling cider that tasted remarkable like a fine
champagne. Most people couldn't tell the difference between it and a
grape champagne. I'll dig into the archives and try to come up with it.
I'll tell you now. You won't believe the recipe when you see it. Simple.
Simple. Simple.

I guess that's enough build-up and suspense.

Thanks again, Jay.

Kinney Baughman | Cider is my business and
| nobody's hiring.

Subject: My plans
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 91 20:45:17 EDT

Well I hopt to repeat last years excellent draft cider. This was a combination
of Cane Sugar, Brown Sugar & Dry Malt Extract in 1.5 gallons of water, boiled,
then mixed with 3.5 gallons of Cold "soft" cider, and fermented with an Ale
yeast, kegged and drunk on draft. Yumm.

I think I'm gonna make a 6 gallon batch this way, and split it into 2 halves,
one with Mulling spicesd, one plain. I also want to make another Raspberry
Cider. Last year I went to a pick it yourself orchard, picked 2 pints of
Raspberries, and enough apples for 1 gallon of cider. I fermented these down
together with Red Star Champagne Yeast, then bottled. Incredible!!

Really simple, excellent results.

I hope to have a line on "soft" cider in the Boston area from Cider guru Paul
Correnty, who is helping me plan an orchard picnic for Sept 28th (which will
also serve as a central pickup time/place for the cider dispersal).

I'll keep you updated on this event, since we'd like to make it open as long as
the numbers stay manageable (say 60-80), but at $80 or so for the porta-potty
(ain't no toilets in an orchard!!) we'll need at least 40 people (shouldn't be a
problem the Wort Processors are planning it) to bring it off. RSVP info
available later this month.

- Jay

Date: Mon, 12 Aug 91 17:50 EDT
From: Jeff Brendle <>
Subject: Re: Traffic, let's see some
In-Reply-To: hersh AT -- Mon, 12 Aug 91 16:46:24 EDT
Message-Id: <>

Well, I might as well start things rolling...

I'm Jeff Brendle, a 6th-yr senior (or do I get to call myself a professional
student by now?) in Liberal Arts and Mechanical Engineering at PennState. I
split my time between State College, smack dab in the middle of nowhere but
with great bars and a brewpub (Happy Valley Brew) that *tries* really hard, and
"home" which is 60miles NW of Philly and 7 miles from the Stoudt's brewery in
Adamstown. I have been a homebrewer for almost 2 years now, working through a
place called "Hayes Homebrew" which is the only local source...I will be start-
ing to do mashing, yeast culturing and kegging in the near future as I am now
a proud member of the AHA ( no. 27905) waiting for the order of books I placed
and the next issue of zymurgy. I am interested in various "brewing" topics so
I am on the "Lambic List" as well as the HBD. I'd like to try my hand at wine-
making in the near future as well as start making meads and of course cider.
My interest in cider stems from the wonderful descriptions of my friend who was
in England studying at Leeds during the Spring and would die for some real ales
(especially the bitters & milds) and some wonderful hard ciders (he said he was
more into the "sweet" than the "dry" ones but hey, I'm clueless about that as I
have yet to have either... =( ). Hope to see as much good information on this
list as I have seen on the HBD and the Lambic List (yeah, I will try those as
soon as I get up the balls to risk brewing it...).


Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1991 17:35 EST
Subject: Stuff
Message-Id: <536F25FA80005139@Venus.YCC.Yale.Edu>
X-Vms-To: VENUS::IN%""

Jay, you're right. It's about time something is started on the new
cider digest. So first question, what do we call it? CD? Or maybe FCD for
Fermented Cider Digest? HCD--Hard Cider Digest? We need an identity like
the good old HBD.
Now, on to cider. Last year I fermented some cider from a local
orchard. I added to 4 1/2 gal of cider about two pounds of honey, some
cinnamon, and cloves. I didn't boil anything, although I did heat up 1/2
gal of cider to dissolve the honey and steep the spices. I fermented it
with Epernay yeast. I wanted something strong but I was hoping for some
sweetness. Well that isn't the way to get something sweet at all. It did
come out quite nice, but very dry. The spices worked well, although I left
them in during the whole fermentation; next time I may just steep them and
take them out.
This year, I'm hoping to make something sweeter, like Woodpecker
Cider from England. My guess is to still put a few pounds of honey (or
maybe malt extract as Jay suggested) in 4-5 gal. and use an ale yeast.
Has anyone out there made anything that tasted like Woodpecker?
Is there any reason to believe that the fermentation of cider with an ale
yeast should take any longer (or shorter) than an ordinary ale? I'd like
to carbonate it but I'm concerned that if the fermentation takes longer
than I expect from brewing beer I may just be making bombs.


Date: 13 Aug 91 07:36:00 EDT
From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <>
Subject: California apples.
To: "cider" <>

To the gentleman in California who pines for the Courtlands,

I know what you're missing. Last year I had a bushel or two of the finest
organically grown Courtland apples ... marvelous! Now that I have rubbed
salt into the wound, let me try to be of some help. There are two
varieties of apples that may be fuond in Southern California that make
marvelous juice and, I think, fine hard cider. They are the Stayman
Winesap and the Spartan. If you can get to a place in the San Bernardino
mountains called "Oak Glen," during Sept and Oct, you will find plenty of
both varieties and you will see orchards that will make you homesick.

If you are within 300 miles, it is worth the trip. You could call the
Yucaipa Chamber of Commerce and request an apple brochure. They will send
you a list of all the orchards. You can call and find out when the
Winesaps and Spartans are being picked and even reserve as much as you
wish. If you wnat more details, let me know and I'll give you detailed
directions to find the area.

Wish I was still there instead of languishing in New England.

Dan Graham

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 06:47:18 CST
From: Rob <>
Subject: First Attempt

I have some questions about my first attempt at cider. My local supplier
told me to add 1.5 cups of sugar to the cider, and use Red Star Champagne
yeast. I did so June 4th and let it ferment until I thought it had stopped.
I then bottled half of it in late July and left the other half in the
jug. Well, that started fermenting again. I tasted what I had bottled,
and was not impressed. It seemed very watery, and VERY tart. What can
I do to overcome these problems?

Like I said, it's my first attempt, and I really didn't expect a quality


Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1991 9:21:05 EDT
Message-Id: <910813092105.21401e1f@AGCB1.LARC.NASA.GOV>
Subject: Cider
X-Vmsmail-To: SMTP%""

Well, permit me to open up with a question, then. Has anyone tried hopping
cider? I seem to have a very large hops harvest this year, far more than
I could possibly use for making beer. I have heard of using hops in both
cider and mead, although I can't imagine the taste. I suspect it would be
horribly bitter unless used with extreme care and moderation. Any suggestions?
- --scott
die Vaxmeister von Hampton

From: (Chris Woodward)
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1991 10:34:08 ADT
X-Mailer: Mail User's Shell (7.2.0 10/31/90)
Subject: An easy cider recipe

Hi All!
Since this is my first posting here is a bit about me.
My name is Chris Woodward and I live in Winston-Salem NC (Camel City)
I'm originally from the UK and one of the things I could never
understand was why cider is not as popular in the US as it is
in the UK. (actually it's said that *beer* is a *mans* drink...)
But I still like a good cider!
I was born in Bristol, which is very close to Chedder Gorge, where
many a fine "Scrumpy" can be found. Although I don't subscribe
to the theory of adding raw lamb to the batch!

I prefer the clear sweet sparkling ciders.
Here is an easy recipe that cheats a bit, but its simple.
first of all I have used many different brands of filtered
apple juice and find that these work fine (no flames please...)
first of all find a gallon of juice and taste it first!
If it tastes good and sweet it will be ok. (you'd be surprized
how batches differ from the same supplier, I look for jugs
which are lightest in color, darker batches seem a bit more bitter)
remove about half a cup (you did to taste it :-)
add some red star champagne yeast (I have used others but this seems
best) and let it go for a bit.. (it should start within 24hrs)
after about 7 days the fermentation will slow and the batch start to
clear. (shouldn't take more than 10 days)
this product will be fairly strong and sparkling.
I then rack and bottle this, I find using a funnel with an extension
tube on it works best, siphoning is useless, pouring directly creates
too much foam (head?). I add a small amount of fresh juice to prime it
and this will produce a *very* clear product in about 4 days.
This unfortunatly this is a bit too tart (and very strong!) so I
sweeten it a bit with about 1/3 fresh juice before drinking. This
weakens it a bit also but it tastes great!

here are a few notes:
first dont buy juice w/ preservatives!
second the packet of yeast is meant for 5 gals...
third enjoy!

this is the easiest method I have found to produce a cider that
does rival Bulmers at least :-) and its simple!


From: Marc Rouleau <>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1991 17:09:57 EDT
X-Mailer: Mail User's Shell (7.2.3 5/22/91)
Subject: beginner help

Even more basic than recipes is procedure. How *does* one make
hard cider and not vinegar reliably? I'm a brewer, but my father-in-law
has a bunch of apple trees and a press (boy is that *fresh* cider
good!), and his attempts last year at hard cider were dismal failures.
I'd like to give him some help this year, but I don't know what to
tell him ...

-- Marc

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 13:23:25 -0400
From: (Greg Kushmerek)
Message-Id: <>
In-Reply-To: Marc Rouleau's message of Tue, 13 Aug 1991 12:39:23 EDT <9108131640>
Subject: beginner help

I think the original message, that procedures are important, is a very
good point.

I haven't done a batch yet, but will use fresh pressed apples from a farm
in Westford as a base. Knowing ahead of time do's, don'ts and any other
advice can always help.
vI have a book, but nothing can beat the words from experienced people answering
questions directly - or just throwing in notes of wisdom.

To: Rob <>
Subject: Re: First Attempt
In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue, 13 Aug 91 06:47:18 -0600.
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 13:50:37 EDT


I would suggest either not using the Champagne Yeast (very attenuative yeast),
or using more sugar to fortify, a lot more, like at least a lb per gallon.
If you still use the champagne yeast 1 lb per gallon will leave you some
residual sweetness. I think the watery-ness is an apparent effect. By this I
mean that since the attenuation was so high, all the sugars were converted to
alcohol, leaving a thin, tart result. This seems to be a common denominator
among first time Cider makers who have no prior info. In "soft" cider *ALL* the
sugars are fermentable, unlike in beer making, so care must be taken to either
use a less attenuative yeast, or fortify properly to leave residual sweetness.
My choice of malt extract as part of the fermentables when making a draft style
cider was to assure a presence of some unfermentable sugars. It seems to have
worked OK.

- Jay

Date: 13 Aug 91 13:31:00 EDT
From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <>
Subject: Avoiding vinegar.
To: "cider" <>

Mark asks about helping a relative making cider instead of vinegar.

I know that there are many different ways to make cider. I don't like to
boil the cider, but I do like to heat it to about 180 F and let it sit
there for an hour or so to kill off any beasties that lie within.

I think it has a lot to do with the bacterial nature of your apples and
air. Here in New Hampshire, if you let cider sit unattended and
unmodified, it will turn hard, but in a few days, it will turn from hard to

The bacteria that munch ethanol into acetic acid are on/in the fruit it
would seem and must be killed. You can't necessairly count on the yeast
overpowering them because they thrive onethanol. I would suggest heating,
not boiling the cider before pitching tye yeast. I'm sure more experienced
cider makers than I will have other and better suggestions, but I think
that would help.

Dan Graham

Along came a spider,
and fell in the cider,
and died with a smile on his face.

Subject: Re: Cider
In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue, 13 Aug 91 09:21:05 -0400.
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 14:04:09 EDT

rNever heard of anyone hopping cider. The use of hops, other than for bittering
and aroma, is essentially as a preservative. Cider is more potent than beer and
the alcohol serves to deter bacterial growth, though Acetic Acid bacteria can
give you apple vineagr, but hops won't stop that anyway. So except for a love of
hops, I don't see what is to be gained by hopping cider, though if you do it I'd
love a taste!!

- JaH

To: Marc Rouleau <>
Subject: Re: beginner help
In-Reply-To: Your message of Mon, 12 Aug 91 17:09:57 -0400.
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 14:29:47 EDT

aGotta be more careful about cleanliness of the equipment. Apple vinegar is
formed when an acetic acid bacteria takes over after the yeasts have finished
and converts all that hard won alcohol to acetic acid. Unfortunately this is a
nasty bacteria, and can be hard to clean out. Try cleaning all your equipment
with belach solutions as you would homebrew equipment.

Do you use the wild yeasts on the apples or add yeasts?? This shouldn't make a
diference, just wondering.

- JaH

To: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <>
Cc: "cider" <>,
Subject: Re: California apples.
In-Reply-To: Your message of 13 Aug 91 07:36:00 -0400.
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 14:40:00 EDT

Paul Correnty highly recommends Stayman Winesaps, of course as part of a blend.
Let me dig up my AHA conference notes and I'll try to list his recommendations
on varieties and percentages in the blend.

- JaH

From: Marc Rouleau <>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1991 15:21:09 EDT
X-Mailer: Mail User's Shell (7.2.3 5/22/91)
Subject: Re: beginner help

On Aug 13, 2:29pm, wrote:
> Gotta be more careful about cleanliness of the equipment.

In another message Dan Graham suggests pasteurizing the cider to
kill bacteria. Do infections come from equipment or from the

> Do you use the wild yeasts on the apples or add yeasts?

My father-in-law did not add yeast. He did not get anything
remotely drinkable either.

Will use of an unattenuative yeast alone suffice to leave
residual sweetness? My impression is that unattenuativeness
is due mainly to the inability to ferment certain sugars and
to a lesser degree to the inability to survive in high-alcohol
solutions. Could it be that even unattenuative yeasts will
ferment all the sugars in soft cider? If so, is there enough
sugar in soft cider for the alcohol level to kill an unattenuative

I ask because it kinda goes against my grain to add sugar to
brew. I'd like to explore alternatives.

Does anyone use campden tablets? Do they affect the flavor?

-- Marc

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 1991 12:19:44 PDT
Subject: Primer Request
In-Reply-To: "'s message of 13 Aug 91 14:58 EDT"
Message-Id: <"13-Aug-91 15:19:44 EDT".*>

Ok, I've just added myself to the list, so please excuse me if this has been
discussed recently. Does anyone have a basic primer as to creating your first
batch of hard cider? The apple cider season is just around the corner and soon
we'll be seeing more fresh apple cider at the farm markets than you can shake a
stick at. Can someone send or post a beginner's guide to homebrew hard cider?
Any tips on storage needs, carbonated vs. still cider, etc. would be much
appreciated. A tastey recipe to try it out on would be nice too. (BTW, I have
your basic homebrewing equipment, e.g., 5 gal. carboys, siphoning hoses etc.)


Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 16:10:23 EDT
From: (John Simpson x2958 rm 4148b)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re(2): beginner help
In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue, 13 Aug 1991 15:21:09 EDT
To: Marc Rouleau <>

> Does anyone use campden tablets? Do they affect the flavor?

> -- Marc

Campden tables (a sulpher compound whose name escapes me) impart no
flavor _if_ you add them before an open fermentation (i.e. when using a
fermentation lock or a bucket covered with a cloth). The sulfer
compounds get expelled with the CO2. If you don't give them anywhere to
go they're going to haunt you forever. I've used them in Mead and Ginger
Beer with no ill effects and no infections. Some friends of mine were
making a batch of Ginger Beer and "just to be safe" chucked a tablet or
two into each two liter bottle before setting them aside to carbonate.
Bleh! I should have gotten an award for drinking a whole glass with a
straight face (it was in public, we figured out what went wrong later).

- --
John R. Simpson: <jrs27@cas.BITNET> or <jrs27%cas.BITNET@CUNYVM.CUNY.Edu>
Abstainer: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself
a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but
abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 17:16:19 -0400
From: (Greg Kushmerek)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: B-brite

Does one really have to use bleach to sanitize? Would B-brite do OK? I've
got bleach, but I always manage to get the stuff where it isn't supposed
to be.

I get the doomed vision that my first batch will turn my whites

- --gk

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 13:06:57 PDT
From: (Michael J. Tuciarone)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: California apples.


Thanks for your follow-up. In addition to Yucaipa, there is also aaSanta Rosa Gr
avenstein Festival in September that I may check out this
year. A nice side-effect of going to Santa Rosa is that it affords one
the chance to hit the Sonoma wine country, which for my money is
better than the Napa valley: less crowded, more laid-back and rural,
pretty little towns, and gorgeous scenery. And the Alexander Valley
wines are *wonderful*.

There, now I've spoiled it.

Anyway, has anyone had any experience with Gravensteins? What *is*
a Gravenstein? I have this idea it's a Mott's applesauce apple.

Mike Tuciarone

Date: 14 Aug 91 09:00:14 EDT
From: Robin Garr <>
To: <>
Subject: Another introduction
Message-Id: <910814130014_76702.764_EHB46-1@CompuServe.COM>

OK, a day late but not, I hope, a dollar short, here's my introduction:

I'm a writer, home brewer and wine fancier, but I haven't made cider ... yet.
We moved last year to an isolated section of New York's Catskills, near the
Delaware River and the Pennsylvania border, and I've been eyeing a quaint
little cider mill just a mile down the road all year, waiting for the season.
I haven't a clue what kind of apples they use, but they're red. ;-)

I'm hoping to accelerate my learning curve through the information available
here, and specifically would like to produce a clear, sparkling cider that's
not too sweet yet avoids the excessive tartness and "watery" quality that
seem to afflict dry ciders. I assume it's a matter of using enough sugar (or
non-fermentables) to end up with an appropriate sugar-acid balance.

I'll also be posting copies of the traffic here in the General Homebrewing
library of CompuServe's Wine/Beer Forum.

Robin Garr | "I have enjoyed great health at a great age because
Associate Sysop | every day since I can remember I have consumed a bottle
CompuServe | of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have
Wine/Beer Forum | consumed two bottles." -- A Bishop of Seville

Date: 14 Aug 91 09:24:00 EDT
From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <>
To: "cider" <>

Anyone ever tried making cider as a lager with lager yeast and the
appropriate lagering times and tempatures?

Switching frequencies:

I use b-brite for all my sanitation needs. I have no use for bleach. I
know it's used a lot with no harm, but I don't want it in *my* drinks.

That isn't to say that b-brite is harmless, either, it is not. However, it
does seem to be less obnoxious than chlorine. Actually, what I've been
thinking about trying is hydrogen peroxide, safe and if you get some in
you, it won't hurt.

Awhile back, I bought what was billed as "pear cider" in the store. It was
pretty good. I wonder what it would taste like hardened a wee mite.

Dan Graham

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1991 9:40:42 EDT
Message-Id: <910814094042.21401ea6@AGCB1.LARC.NASA.GOV>
X-Vmsmail-To: SMTP%""

I did once make a three-gallon batch, using lager yeast. I added about
half a cup of brown sugar before beginning. The overall effect was more
like a light pilsner beer than actual cider. It didn't have a cidery taste
in the background, and just a hint of apples, but a very strong beery taste.
Very good stuff, and it was very rapidly consumed.

- --scott

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 20:19:03 EDT
From: "C. Ian Connolly" <>
To: "So Many Apples, So Little Time" <>
Subject: Sorbic Acid?

My first attempt at making hard cider used 5 gallons of store-bought
cider which was pressed at a local farm. Since I've seen these "go
hard" on their own, I thought this might be ok. As it turns out (and
verified by a friend who's more experienced at cider-making) the sorbic
acid that they put into it seems to give the yeast a hard time. I had
to pitch about 4 times before anything useful happened, and even then
the gravity went from 1.055 to only 1.025 before I gave up. Yeast
nutrient helped a bit, but I still would have expected an FG below

Is there any way to neutralize these preservatives, or are some of my
assumptions wrong, or should I just try to get some unadulterated cider?

BTW - I took a gamble and just did this in an ad-hoc way, before looking
at any references. Just to be safe (or so I thought), I did indeed hop
the cider with about 1 oz. of Cascade. It doesn't seem to have had an
overwhelming effect, believe it or not.

Date: Wed, 14 Aug 91 07:17:53 CDT
From: (Thomas Manteufel 5-4257)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: submit

Hello, I am the proverbial "wet behind the ears" brewer. I have made 5 batches
of beer, and one mead so far. Now it's time to try hard cider. I am throwing
these topics out for discussion:

1. Can someone please explain "hard" vs. "soft" cider. I was under the
impression that soft was unfermented apple juice, while hard was fermented.
>From mail traffic, I now have the impression that soft is fermented, but with
a less attenuative yeast like ale so that there is some residual sweetness.
Hard is completely fermented. Isn't this more like sec (sweet) and brut (dry)?
I'm confused.

2. Yeasts. What kinds produce what kinds of cider? What kinds are best if you
are adding things like honey or spices? Ale is supposed to be less attenuative,
producing a sweeter cider. What is best for dry? Would mead yeast be good if
you add honey? How long do i ferment? Do I rack? Do yeast influence the
flavor, or is apple so overpowering that any yeast induced flavors are masked?
I need to know.

3. Everyone has their regional favorite apples. What nationally available
apples (ie. macs or granny smith) produce what flavors? Can you tell the

4. Sugar. What kinds can I add? Does brown sugar or molasses change the
flavor? Malt can be added. What other fermentable or unfermentable sugars
do people add? What off tastes can be produced?

5. What good sources of information is available? Recommend good books, and
warn us away from bad ones.

6. How long does cider take to mature? If I want to make a batch for my, say,
Christmas party, when should I start? This depends on the yeast and the
sugars. What about other flavors, such as added fruits or spices? How long
does it take to blend? Has anyone ever added something like oranges to cider?
Cinamann? How do you spell cinamann?

7. Please list amounts in your recipes if possible. Also, list impressions
of the taste, and what you liked or disliked. What would you change next time?

Well, that's enough ranting
Thomas Manteufel

To: (Thomas Manteufel 5-4257)
Subject: Re: submit
In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 14 Aug 91 07:17:53 -0500.
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 91 11:14:33 EDT

rUnfortunately here in America Cider is used to refer to both fermented and
unfermented versions. Juice is the term for filtered, grocery store bought
stuff. "Soft" cider (why I use quotes) is unfiltered pressed juice, the kind
you find at farm stands, and is generally referred to here in NE at least as
cider. "Hard" cider is the fermented stuff, what we're all after.

Yeast - you can use the naturally occurring yeasts on the apples, this will
produce good results, but will require aging like Meads or Wines.
You can add yeasts. Ales produce a weaker cider, with a higher post-ferment
sweetness. Wine or Champagne yeasts will ferment out very fully leaving a drier
tarter product (perhaps too tart). No idea about mead yeasts. Addition of honey
should only affect your yeast choice dependent upon your desired final
sweetness, but even with Ale yeasts you'll probably have to go the aging route
when you add honey (as with Meads). Yeast selection will affect the character,
but in a less pronounced manner than with Beers.

Apples - oops forgot my AHA conference notes. A blend is recommended however.

Sugar - I've used Brown, dextrose & cane. I've also heard Molasses being used.
Looks like any kind can/will do here, after all you don't have to worry about
it tasting "cidery" :-)

Good info, that's a tough one. Anyone out there got a recommendation??

Maturity depends a lot on the yeast. I've made ciders for draft ready to drink
in 2 weeks with Ale yeast. I've also made ciders that needed at least 6 months
aging with Champagne yeast. Paul says that using the wild yeasts requires 6
months minimum (he recommends racking at 1 month intervals for the first few
months, then leaving it sit till March or so, bottling and leaving 2-3 months
in the bottle).

If you're going for Xmas I'd recommend the draft approach, easy to handle at a
party and my guess is the sweeter draft style cider will go over better.
I've added Raspberries, but not with an Ale yeast (though I don't see why you
couldn't). When it comes to blending fruits I'd say play around to get what you

Well I only answered part of that exhaustive list, but I'm sure others will
fill in.

- JaH

To: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <>
Cc: "cider" <>,
In-Reply-To: Your message of 14 Aug 91 09:24:00 -0400.
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 91 11:19:25 EDT

i>Awhile back, I bought what was billed as "pear cider" in the store. It was
>pretty good. I wonder what it would taste like hardened a wee mite.

Funny you should mention that. I also got some unfiltered pear juice from Paul
C last year. I tossed a packet of Pasteur Champagne yeast, let it ferment out
to see what would happen. It has aged about a year. It's not bad, but I'm not
that wild about it. It didn't end up as dry as just tossing the yeast into
Apple juice would have, and it has a pear-like flavor, but I don't care for it
as much as apple based ferments. The stuff is called perry (sp??) BTW.

Most others that also got the pear juice made a blend with the Apple juices. I
have yet to taste any of these.

- JaH

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 14:26:51 PDT
From: Brew Free or Die! 13-Aug-1991 1643 <>
Subject: Introduction, and residual sugars

Looks like this list is off and running. I am Dan Hall, been brewing
beer for a couple of years, and made my first cider last year. The timing
of the creation of this list is impeccable, because all these musings about
cider will inspire me to take a crack at cider again this year.

Last year's cider combined 5 gallons of local orchard cider with about
3 pounds of honey, some cinnamon, cloves, and raisins. I pitched Red Star
champagne yeast. This year's cider will probably be much simpler, just
apple cider and ale yeast. Last year's cider is just starting to become
drinkable, having tasted like solvent until recently. I'm told by mead makers
that this is normal with long meads, or anything that uses honey as a
fermentable. I believe it. While my beers ferment out in less than a week,
the cider went on and on and on and on for about 12 weeks.

And take Jay's recommendation of a less-attenuative yeast to heart. The
starting gravity of my cider was about 1.050. The final gravity was 0.995!
Strong, but unbelievably dry. I need some sweetness in there for drinkability.

Have fun.


Dan Hall | Digital Services / Network Connectivity
Digital Equipment Corporation | ARPAnet:

Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 14:29:05 PDT
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Finding the soft cider

gI'm gonna hafta bite the bullet and make some hard cider this fall. Whilst
people were discussing the apple season, does anyone know where in the
Berkeley/SF Bay area to find fresh soft cider, and about what the season is.

Sorry for the rank-beginner-type-questions, just wanna try and do better than

-Mikey (Mike Perrott,
Wo-o, what I want to know, where does the time go?

From: Geof Grogan 685-1711 <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: hopped cider
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 11:41:51 PDT
X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.3 PL11 UWPL3]

>Never heard of anyone hopping cider.
>I don't see what is to be gained by hopping cider,

Well it gets hopped that's what !
Steep some hops in the fermenting juice.
If it's a dry cider, add some dry malt
dissolved in water. Or maybe not. Or prune juice.
They didn't discover hops by sitting around
sticking to the published recipes.

Subject: Re: beginner help
In-Reply-To: Your message of Tue, 13 Aug 91 15:21:09 -0400.
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 91 15:53:22 EDT

Well the idea behind using an unattenuative (or less attenuative) yeast is that

it dies off at lower alcohol levels, so that it can only ferment a portion of
the sugars before it dies. So say you have an OG in the cider of 1.055 (about
average from what I understand), a yeast that attenuates .040 will leave a final
gravity of 1.015, which is a reasonable amount of residual sweetness. For an
Ale Yeast an attenuation of .040 is probably even a little on the high side, so
I think that this would work OK.

I can check if I took gravity readings to see what my Starting and Ending
gravities were for the draft cider I made last year. In that I added the sugars
and male extract to an additional 1.5 gallons of water, so I probably matched
the cider's Starting gravity in doing that, rather than raising the gravity of
the whole mixture, so the Ale Yeast's attenuation would probably be the same
if I had pitched into straight cider.

- Jay

****End of Repost of pre-digest exchanges
There now your mailbox is full, and mine is empty :-)....

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
assume that you are moderate in everything.
you now have an eXcess of moderation, a contradiction.

eXcessiveness is clearly the way to go...


Date: Wed, 14 Aug 91 20:50:37 -0400
From: (Greg Kushmerek)
Subject: Cider Digest #2 Wed Aug 14 18:00:08 EDT 1991

Thanks to my understanding of modern technology, my first posting never made
it (and I've got to get in on this thing while the "digest" is in the single

Anyways, my name is Greg Kushmerek (itself a polish joke) and I live in the
Boston area. For years I have been drinking the nectar of gods - fresh
squeezed apple juice from the Anderson fruit farm in Westford.

A couple of years ago, with total ignorance and a quest for hard cider, I
put some of that stuff in an aluminum canteen and let it sit for a few weeks.
It got hard alright - it also could have taken the enamel off your countertop.

Now I've tried homebrewing a few times and am going to give it another shot
this fall.

My experience with hard cider (properly done) came while I was living in
England. I once had a night on the town sticking entirely to cider - at
least nine pints of the stuff. I tried all the major labels (really like

BTW- don't ever do that. I had the nastiest hangover one could possibly
imagine. Also, my bottom was glued to the throne for three days. Remember
that this is a fruit juice with an attitude.

You can get Woodpecker in 16oz. bottles here in the Boston area called
"Ed Burkes" on Huntington Ave. It's a great bar too - all wood decor
with the occassional blues band and a darts board (not together tho').

I also know that the New Hampshire State Liquor Stores (you know the places-
right off the highway after the "don't drink and drive signs") have been
carrying a Vermont made dry cider in the fall. It makes a good snakebite
but I like my cider a bit sweeter.

- --gk

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Floss your teeth while drunk, your gums don't feel the pain." --an entry
in a college travel diary.


Date: Thu, 15 Aug 91 09:22:30 EDT
From: (John Simpson x2958 rm 4148b)
Subject: Re: More questions (bob)

>From: Don Reid <>

> I am also interested in finding out about "commercial" or ever (shudder)
> frozen juice. I would like to try a few small batches on something
> cheap that I can get before apple season gets here in order to improve
> my chances with the real thing. There was a mention of additives
> retarding the yeast. Has anyone got more info?

My brother and I just finished (literally ;-) the best hard cider
I've had using Kroger's unfiltered apple juice. They claim no
additives or perservitives and the yeast seemed perfectly happy.
We were very scientific in our choice -- it was on sale 2 for $3
(64 oz. bottles). Kroger's is the store brand so this isn't anything
fancy, just something they slap their lable on. I plan to pick up
a few more bottles tonight after work.

- --
John R. Simpson: <jrs27@cas.BITNET> or <jrs27%cas.BITNET@CUNYVM.CUNY.Edu>
Abstainer: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself
a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but
abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
- -- Ambrose Bierce


End of Cider Digest

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