Hard Cider Project – Batch #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6.

So continues “The Great Hard Cider Experiment.” Hard cider batches 2 through 6 are one (1) gallon samples to really try to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Batch #1, used Danistar Nottingham Ale Yeast, and batches 7 through 11 will also use this yeast, but for now, I’m working with another yeast.

Wyeast 3056 – Bavarian Wheat Beer Yeast Activator was used for these batches. A few people on homebrewtalks.com (original inspiration) have confirmed that this strand of yeast products a “great sweet cider.” This product comes via “smack pack.”

For these one gallon batches, I will be primarily using Whole Food’s “365 Organic Apple Juice.” The juice comes in a free carboy and you can get a case discount by buying 4 or more at a time (10% off). They also go on sale for 2 months a year (fall time) for $5.99 ($5.40 after discount.)

First test needed was an initial gravity reading on the juice used (1.047). A little low compared to the cider in batch #1, but expected. Tested all 5 of the jugs, all the same. Same expiration date (all from related cases).

hard cider whole foods juice

Whole Food’s 365 Organic Apple Juice for Hard Cider

Whole foods hard cider batches.

Future – Whole foods hard cider batches.

Refractometer Reading from Whole Foods Juice

Refractometer Reading from Whole Foods Juice for making hard cider.

So now that I have a control substance, “365 Organic Apple Juice” (1.047 OG) with Wyeast 3056 – Bavarian Wheat Beer Yeast, but what to test?

For this experiment I wanted to test different types of sugar and their effects, as well as the addition of tannin. I also want to compare this strain straight (no additions) to Nottingham straight (no additions), hence why I’m planning on starting another five one (1) gallon samples with Nottingham (it’s not fair to compare batch #1 because it was cider with higher OG).

Therefore the samples would be as followed:
1. Controlled Base, Added Light Brown Sugar to approximately 1.055 OG (same as batch #1)
2. Controlled Base, Added Honey to approximately 1.055 OG.
3. Controlled Base, Added Molasses to approximately 1.055 OG.
4. Controlled Base, Added tanning (2 tsp to one gallon, double recommendation)
5. Controlled Base, No changes

Questions/Comparisons to be made:
1. Comparison of Sugar added (against each other and controlled)
2. True effect of addition tannin in primary
3. Ultimately comparison of “365 Organic Apple Juice” (1.047 OG) with Wyeast 3056 – Bavarian Wheat Beer Yeast” vs “365 Organic Apple Juice” (1.047 OG) with Danistar Nottingham Ale Yeast. (will require batches 7 through 11 to be started)
Step #1 – Get all of the sugars and build the liquid back up to 1.055 OG for batches #2, #3, and #4 (same as cider from batch #1).

Did a rough calculation for the first light brown sugar, and I got that adding 100g of brown sugar should raise the OG from 1.047 to approximately 1.055. Sadly it got to about 1.057, slightly more than I wanted, but hopefully not too material. I then used the sugar count per gram in the light brown sugar (4g of sugar per 4g of brown sugar, surprise right?) and did some back calculations on my honey to figure out I needed 131.5g of honey to match the OG.

I think used the scale to weight and tare the honey bear, and effectively remove honey until it was 131 grams shy. I did the same calculation for molasses. I checked all three cider’s OG, 1.057 for all of them.

Adding Light Brown Sugar to Hard Cider

Adding Light Brown Sugar to Hard Cider

Final Gravity Hard Cider

Final Gravity – Hard Cider Batch #1, #2, #3

Step #2 – Get Batch #5 to have a high amount of tannin. One tsp per gallon is what instructions call for, but I added double to try to make the difference much more dramatic.

Step #3 – Pitch the yeast evenly into all five samples. Luckily the label states 125g of yeast + nutrients are in the container. I used the yeast patch and scale to evenly put 25g in each sample.

Put on the sanitized 3 piece airlocks and #6 stoppers, and it’s off the races for these samples.

Hard Cider Sugar Differences

Hard Cider Samples. From right to left Batch #2 (Light Brown Sugar), Batch #3 (Honey), Batch #4 (Molasses), Batch #5 (Tannin), Batch #6 (Straight Yeast)







3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Hard Cider Experiment,” where I test them all out one by one. Or take a look at my Batches #2, #3, and #4, for a primary molasses, light brown sugar, and honey […]

  2. […] Cruz Organic Apple Juice.” These bottles will be used to rack my 1 gallon samples (batches #2 through #6) into later, and it’s a little harder to find 3 quarts than it is a full one gallon, so I […]

  3. […] 3. Bavarian Wheat Beer Yeast Activator – Wyeast 3056 (Batch #2, #3, #4, #5, #6) […]

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