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Distilling Cider

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  • damionpseudonym
    I ve started distilling homemade cider. Curious to know other folks results with this, as well as ways to jack up the ABV on the ferment a bit. I went with 5
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 5, 2013
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      I've started distilling homemade cider. 


      Curious to know other folks results with this, as well as ways to jack up the ABV on the ferment a bit. 

      I went with 5 gallons basic organic apple juice (homemade as well as bought), about a pound of sugar, and basic bakers yeast. The ferment was pretty fast (a little over a week at 68 -70º the whole time...).

      The results are good, but they could be better. It's a bit like apple pie with a hidden kick.

      -=DMT
    • Some Hoser
      ... I recently did my first batch of this, using an almost identical wash. I use some organic cider I buy from the local earthy-crunchy store. It s opaque and
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 5, 2013
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        On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM, <bloodpuddle@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I've started distilling homemade cider.
        >
        >
        > Curious to know other folks results with this, as well as ways to jack up the ABV on the ferment a bit.

        I recently did my first batch of this, using an almost identical wash.
        I use some organic cider I buy from the local earthy-crunchy store.
        It's opaque and still has some sediment in it. I added some unknown
        quantity of brown sugar to it -- I can't remember exact quantities.
        Fermented 3 gallons of it using some California ale yeast I had
        around. It finished around 6-7%, if I recall correctly, and was a
        good, if very dry, cider.

        I ran it through my Smart Still twice, yielding about 800ml of 60%
        brandy. I threw in some toasted oak cubes I get from my local brew and
        I'm aging it for for xmas. I tried some last week and it's tastier
        than I expected. There's no dominant apple flavor, but it has a great
        aroma and there is an apple-y aftertaste. I was thinking of spicing
        some of it and seeing how that goes, too. Have you tried any spices or
        back-sweetening?

        -Some Hoser
      • Damion Pseudonym
        I m shying off adding flavors until I get a base I m really really happy with. I ll admit (shamefully) that I didn t examine important stuff like gravity
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 5, 2013
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          I'm shying off adding flavors until I get a base I'm really really happy with.

          I'll admit (shamefully) that I didn't examine important stuff like gravity before the run (playing around with distilling technique more than recipes and fermenting right now...), so that'll be for the next run.

          Reading in the "high ABV wash" thread makes me think though that I may want to not worry about ABV so much though, and concentrate on taste. I can always redistill later if I want to up the strength.



          On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM, Some Hoser <somehoser@...> wrote:
           

          On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM, <bloodpuddle@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > I've started distilling homemade cider.
          >
          >
          > Curious to know other folks results with this, as well as ways to jack up the ABV on the ferment a bit.

          I recently did my first batch of this, using an almost identical wash.
          I use some organic cider I buy from the local earthy-crunchy store.
          It's opaque and still has some sediment in it. I added some unknown
          quantity of brown sugar to it -- I can't remember exact quantities.
          Fermented 3 gallons of it using some California ale yeast I had
          around. It finished around 6-7%, if I recall correctly, and was a
          good, if very dry, cider.

          I ran it through my Smart Still twice, yielding about 800ml of 60%
          brandy. I threw in some toasted oak cubes I get from my local brew and
          I'm aging it for for xmas. I tried some last week and it's tastier
          than I expected. There's no dominant apple flavor, but it has a great
          aroma and there is an apple-y aftertaste. I was thinking of spicing
          some of it and seeing how that goes, too. Have you tried any spices or
          back-sweetening?

          -Some Hoser




          --
          ---------------------------------------------------------------
          There is no cause currently active. I may in fact be a confusion.
        • Robert Hubble
          Damion, Comments inline in blue. Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com From: bloodpuddle@gmail.com Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 15:08:10
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 5, 2013
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            Damion,

            Comments inline in blue.

            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller


            To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
            From: bloodpuddle@...
            Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 15:08:10 -0800
            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Distilling Cider

             

            I'm shying off adding flavors until I get a base I'm really really happy with.

            I'd agree with that. I've been trying to get the best-flavored Calvados I could get, so I don't add sugar (to dilute the flavor), and do a double distill with the spirit run diluted with wash. I was kind of adventurous with the last batch, and made wider cuts to include some great flavor notes, both in near heads and near tails. It's been just a wee bit harsh for that reason, and I've got it on oak to age out that harshness.

            I'll admit (shamefully) that I didn't examine important stuff like gravity before the run (playing around with distilling technique more than recipes and fermenting right now...), so that'll be for the next run.

            I don't have the numbers in front of me right now, but typically cider has only enough sugar to get maybe 8% wash. That means you need a lot of cider to get much spirit, if you're going for flavor. I distilled about 35 gallons of cider to get my Calvados, but I passed on a part of the distillate to the people that helped me pick and press the apples.

            Reading in the "high ABV wash" thread makes me think though that I may want to not worry about ABV so much though, and concentrate on taste. I can always redistill later if I want to up the strength.

            Good call, I'd say.



            ----snip----

          • Derek Hamlet
            ... I always get confused with this cider naming stuff because in America they refer to Cider as Hard Cider meaning fermented. In pretty much the rest of the
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 6, 2013
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              At 11:33 PM 11/5/2013, you wrote:
              >
              >
              >I'm shying off adding flavors until I get a base I'm really really happy with.

              I always get confused with this cider naming stuff because in America
              they refer to Cider as Hard Cider meaning fermented. In pretty much
              the rest of the world, the juice from pressed apples is called juice
              and when fermented it is cider or whatever local or specialized name applies.
              I had to learn the hard way about fermentation, abv, distilling for
              flavour etc.
              I always wanted to go for maximum abv because if it's strong it must be better.
              Then both because of reading and actually thinking I learned the truth.
              Apple juice smells and tastes strongly of apples.
              Fermented to cider (say 5-7%) it tastes a little like apples still
              but not so much.
              Apple wine at say 14% is good and interesting but a lot harder to get
              the apple taste across.
              Lo and behold high abv is a bad place to start if you want to bring
              across flavours.


              Derek
            • chris jude
              Good thread. As far as for not chaptalizing, do you find that it is more difficult to make your cuts on a simple potstill with a low ABV like 8%?
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 8, 2013
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                Good thread.  As far as for not chaptalizing, do you find that it is more difficult to make your cuts on a simple potstill with a low ABV like 8%? 




                On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM, Derek Hamlet <derekhamlet@...> wrote:
                 

                At 11:33 PM 11/5/2013, you wrote:
                >
                >
                >I'm shying off adding flavors until I get a base I'm really really happy with.

                I always get confused with this cider naming stuff because in America
                they refer to Cider as Hard Cider meaning fermented. In pretty much
                the rest of the world, the juice from pressed apples is called juice
                and when fermented it is cider or whatever local or specialized name applies.
                I had to learn the hard way about fermentation, abv, distilling for
                flavour etc.
                I always wanted to go for maximum abv because if it's strong it must be better.
                Then both because of reading and actually thinking I learned the truth.
                Apple juice smells and tastes strongly of apples.
                Fermented to cider (say 5-7%) it tastes a little like apples still
                but not so much.
                Apple wine at say 14% is good and interesting but a lot harder to get
                the apple taste across.
                Lo and behold high abv is a bad place to start if you want to bring
                across flavours.

                Derek


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