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Couple questions about getting started with the simple ciders

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I haven't listened to many podcasts lately and only recently listened to the dead simple cider show. I am going to listen to the follow up QA when I have time.

I'm all for giving this a shot and appreciate the simplicity of it all but am not sure about a couple things:

Yeast - where should I buy it and what should I buy? I saw this champagne yeast on Amazon. Is this an OK kind to buy? I've read stuff in the FB group about this yeast and that yeast. I'd like to try a couple different kinds to see what happens. Is there a list somewhere of good yeasts to start with or which was attenuate lower/higher? (see, I did listen).

Airlocks - I see all of these different types and sizes that I can choose from. I realize I could use a balloon but if I'm going to go down this road I suspect I'll be traveling it for a while and getting some equipment is not going to bother me. What should I look for or please show me which one I should buy?

When it's done... Can I leave it in the gallon jug (or transfer to a different jug) or do I need to bottle it to store it? If I need to bottle it do I just need bottles/caps/capper? Jack mentioned growlers but they seem pretty expensive for just starting out. I probably need a successful batch or two before I can look at getting deeper into this and not have raised eyebrows from my wife.

Is that it? Jack mentioned several times it's that simple and I believe it is but I want to make sure I cover my bases.

David in MN:
OK... Couple things. First, it is that simple, second it isn't.

The yeast and airlocks you've selected will work just fine. No worries there. You might find a yeast with a more preferable flavor (to you) but for a start it's fine.

If you ferment in the storebought bottles you don't need a fermenter but this will be a scale-up if you get into it.

If you want your cider sparkling as I prefer you need a bottling setup so you can add sugar and cap. A few bottles (you could just buy Grolsch type swingtops) are easy to come by. If you want to drink it still you don't really need to bottle but leaving the ferment on the yeast is poor form and can lead to off flavors. At minimum you need to pour the ferment off the lees in order to keep it good flavored.

I'd strongly recommend Homebrewing For Dummies which actually has a chapter on cider. Moreover it has chapters on cleaning, sanitizing, yeast, and multi stage fermentation. It's a good jumping off. You might consider (for your first batch) a kit from a supplier like Midwest Homebrewing. While I respect Jack's "dead simple" ideas it's not really beginner stuff to play with multiple small batches to perfect a formula. Start with something you know will work (in beer we call this pale ale).

When I've done ciders I buy apple juice and add turbinado sugar for a dry 6-7% ABV cider. But I've got a decade of homebrewing (I'm currently drinking a saison from my keg while a 5 gallon mead ferments). I use the very yeast you asked about.

Well... I went for it this evening!

I bought a case of the Grolsch swing top bottles (16oz). I'll need another case to bottle both batches but it's a start and the shop I went to only had one unopened case of brown bottles.

I'll get a siphon and some other things I need to bottle but I plan on making it sparkle at the end of this. I've got two different yeasts going and have a third (ale yeast) that I'll try once I know I did it right and these two batches are going. I haven't been this excited about something new in a while!

wait 'till you can drink it... ;)

I'm already looking at mead for the future ::)

I listened to the Q&A cider show and loved the idea of buying glass containers of juice. I'm going to pick up one or two tomorrow and use them to rack to and then start a new batch in them in a few weeks.

I think I may be hooked...


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