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Cider Digest #0781

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Cider Digest
 · 9 Apr 2024

Subject: Cider Digest #781, 21 December 1998 

Cider Digest #781 21 December 1998

Forum for Discussion of Cider Issues
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor

Re: sparkling cider ("Mr. Warren Place")
Sweet sparkling cider (Andrew Lea)
H2S production (Andrew Lea)
Re: Cider Digest #780, 12 December 1998 (William J. Rhyne)
Cider Digest #780, 12 December 1998 (Russ Kazmierczak)
malo-lactic fermentation (re: Cidermaking) (Dick Dunn)

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Subject: Re: sparkling cider
From: "Mr. Warren Place" <>
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 18:54:39 -0800 (PST)

> My idea is to initially ferment with a yeast that will go inactive at
> around 8-9% alcohol and then to prime the batch for bottling using a yeast
> that will withstand a slightly higher alcohol content.
Unless I misunderstand, priming with the addition of a more
alc-tolerant yeast will likely make a case of grenades. The only way to
get what you want is to prevent fermentation (from proceding). Look below
> Does anyone know how to produce a cider similar to either a Woodchuck or a
> Woodpecker? Any recipies would be appreciated.
> Jeff Hause
Nobody will listen to me, but I'll say it anyhow. Cider purists,
please scroll past this msg. The way to get something that tastes like
woodpecker cider follows:
Take some standard quality apple juice (premium would be a waste of money)
Cut it in half with a mixture of 1.5 lbs of sugar per gallon of water.
Add the acid blend to taste. (For me this is about a tablespoon/ 5gal)
Add a little tannin (I haven't experimented enough to get the perfect
amount, but 1 tsp./ 5 gal works well with the juice I buy)
Wine yeast (I use premier cuvee, or however it is spelt ;)
I've made 3 batches this way and it seems the reduced acid (or
maybe just less malic acid) and tannin helps the small amount of residual
sweetness come to the fore. If that isn't sweet enough (as one batch
wasn't) a few packets of aspartame (don't go overboard, it doesn't take
nearly as much as you would think. I added about 20 packets for 5
gallons) does the trick. No aftertaste as far as I can tell, and I
usually can. I'll be putting my recipies on my web page some day in the
near future, but not soon. Final exams have a way of getting between me
and my cider. ;)

Warren Place


Subject: Sweet sparkling cider
From: Andrew Lea <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 07:16:58 -0500

Jeff Hause asked:

>My idea is to initially ferment with a yeast that will go inactive at
around 8-9% alcohol and then to prime the batch for bottling using a yeast
that will withstand a slightly higher alcohol content. In theory, this
should produce a sweet and sparkeling cider if I provide enough sugars to
allow for a higher alcohol content. I know this is getting pretty precise
but I was wondering if anyone knew yeast strains that might produce these
results, or another good way of creating a sweet and sparkeling cider?<

I really don't think there's any yeast out there which will reliably stop
at just the alcohol levels you want, unless the non-sugar nutrients are
limiting. Unlike beer brewing, there are no poorly fermentable sugars e.g.
maltose, maltotriose in ciders or grape musts, and therefore the concept of
low and high attentuation yeasts doesn't apply in cider or wine making
(though a less vigorous (wild?) strain of yeast may well be helpful over a
fully selected commercial wine yeast). This means that NITROGEN MANAGEMENT
is really the key to producing naturally sweet and sparkling ciders.
Repeated racking may get you there, but if your juice is already high in
nutrients this is still pretty difficult. See my web pages for how I do

Andrew Lea


Subject: H2S production
From: Andrew Lea <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 07:17:01 -0500

Knut Riggert asked:
>Apart from the type of yeast and nutrients you use what is a safe reciepe to
avoid H2S production? Is it a problem of temparature, some of the guys over here
are going for low temparatures (below 15 down to 6 degrees celcius) using
special low temparature / high arome wine yeast. Or is it a problem of the
apples I am using having high sulfate contents?
Being in the EC I wounder if I am allowed to use copper sulphate - am I? Is time
solving the problem? I am thanksful for any hints on that problem.<

The literature on H2S production in wine making is really very complex and
sometimes contradictory. The general rules seem to be to choose the right
yeast, and keep the fermentation vigorous (i.e. with temperature and
nutrients). But this goes right against all other cider recommendations
for long slow 'struggling' fermentations! I can't answer this from
practical experience - H2S production has never been a problem for me.

As regards legislation, Jakob's 'Kellerwirtschaft" refers to EC regulation
VO 822/87 which allows (for wine) the addition of up to 10 mg/l copper
sulfate 'zur Entfernung bockserahnlicher Fehler' so long as no more than 1
mg/l copper remains in the wine. I'm not sure if this applies to ciders
but I think that in Germany ciders (as Apfelwein) are covered by
wine-making legislation. It would be practically impossible to determine
this addition over natural background levels by chemical analysis anyway!

Andrew Lea, nr Oxford, UK


Subject: Re: Cider Digest #780, 12 December 1998
From: (William J. Rhyne)
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 13:10:38 -0800

RE Jeff Hause Sweet & sparkling concept

This is Bill Rhyne of Rhyne Cyder, Inc. and we are producing a slightly
sweet and sparkling cider in small quantities with some variation om how
sweet and how sparkling the final product is. We are still in the style
definition and process development phase. Our style goals are to keep the
volatile apple aromas typically lost in fermentation in the bottle, have
some sweetness to counter the acid, and have a sparkling effect also. We
are not adding any sugar, flavor essences, etc. We ferment different
varieties to a dry state and taste for blending purposes. After blending
and at bottling time, we add in apple juice before bottling to set the SG
at around 1.030. We cap the product and put it into storage for
approximately 2 weeks. We sample the product by listening for a pop when we
open the bottle, observe the bubbles in a glass, and taste the product for
flavor balance. If the second fermentation has been progressed sufficiently
for our purposes, we then stop the fermentation by putting the sealed
bottles in a hot water bath (~160degrees F) to kill the yeast and stop the
fermentation. This bottle pasteurization has yielded some very nice
results. The product is stabilized, apple aroma is evident, the bubbles are
very fine like champagne, and , if the pasteurization was successful in
killing the yeast, the sweetness enhances the overall apple experience. If
the pasteurization isn't successful, you have a very dry, very sparkling
cider that is more like champagne than cider. Either way, people have been
very receptive to the product so far. The natural food stores (Whole Foods,
Food For Thought, Real Foods) type of stores in the San Francisco Bay Area
have been very supportive of our product because of the flavor, the natural
process, and the lack of artificial ingredients. In reading the French
cider scholar Warcollier's discussion of cider styles, he suggested
sparkling (semi-)sweet cider as a wonderful style but even back then, he
felt that it was not practical for large scale commercial production due to
the amount of labor required. It is a very "hands-on" approach but we feel
the results are worth it and, so far, customers are telling us the same

For more information about what we are doing you can check our website at

Bill Rhyne


William J. Rhyne



Subject: Cider Digest #780, 12 December 1998
From: Russ Kazmierczak <>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 15:14:04 -0500

If people are intrested in purchasing a new cider press, I would personaly
recommend the Correll Cider Press (phone #:541-935-3825, address: 24791
Warthen Rd., Elmira, OR 97437). I purchase mine about 3 years ago and
have not had any problems. You can not even compare the Happy Valley press
against the Correll Press. Mine is the jumbo size (approximately $750, the
smallest model went for about $450), will press about 40 lbs at a time, it
has a double basket (all his are double basket and motorized), motorized
grinder and way over built. Even comes with wheels (Happy Valley tries to
give you this option free, if you have not responded after a month, they
will also knock 10% off the price). He has four different size options and
wood options (western vs. eastern hard wood). He will even custom build
one for you with wood you provide. Some people use antique wood that has
been lying around there house. I researched my purchase about three years
ago, over the cider digest and on my own, and this was the best available
on the market. He does not advertise, because he is in such high demand.

If you have any questions about his presses let me know -- Russ


Subject: malo-lactic fermentation (re: Cidermaking)
From: (Dick Dunn)
Date: 16 Dec 98 22:25:48 MST (Wed) wrote:
> I have a question or two regarding the malo-lactic fermentations...
> I just bottled an experimental spontaneous cider last night. It fermented for
> about a month (at room temp. in the basement, ~65F), and the airlock activity
> was almost non-existant. I bottled in 8 oz. bottles, using 1/2 tsp corn sugar
> per bottle (about 2 volumes CO2). I hope (assume) the malo-lactic
> fermentation took place during the regular fermentation, since it was
> fermented rather warm?...
>...My concern is a secondary malo-lactic ferment in the bottles causing
> overcarbonation and/or bottle bombs.

I think you've got less to worry about from the malo-lactic than from the
amount of priming you've given it. Assuming you did a typical 5 gal US
batch, you've used 5/6 cup of corn sugar. Unless that was particularly
fluffy corn sugar <insert standard caution against measuring dry sugar by
volume>, I would think you'd be closer to 2.5 volumes CO2, and in addition
you've got the bottle-to-bottle variation caused by bottle-priming instead
of bulk priming...a slip of the wrist or compacting the sugar a bit might
give you 3 volumes in a bottle, which is rather a lot.

Malo-lactic generally comes along after the main fermentation. (My under-
standing is that the bacteria prefer anaerobic conditions.) It can take
a while, if it happens at all. It's not going to produce much gas anyway
unless you had very acidic apples. My (limited) experience says that a
cider finished still which does malo-lactic in the bottle will pick up a
bit of spritz from it, but that won't be noticeable next to the priming for
your sparkling cider.

Did you measure the acid (titratable acidity, not pH) before fermentation?
Oh...hmmm, well, did you measure it at bottling, since I guess that would
be the more useful number?
- ---
Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA


End of Cider Digest #781

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