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Clarification on when to use campden tablets in cider making
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roobarb



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 133
Location: Carmarthenshire
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 15 2:58 pm    Post subject: Clarification on when to use campden tablets in cider making  Reply with quote    

We're going to have a go at making cider this year. Just a gallon to see how things go. However, we're a bit unclear as to when we should be using campden tablets to kill off the wild yeast in the apples. The man in the brew shop said to chop up the apples and then soak them in water/campden tablets solution for 48hrs, then press the apples, then add cider yeast to juice in demi john and ferment. This kind of made sense when he said it. However, we have now read that we should press the apples, then add a campden tablet to the juice, leave for 48hrs, then add cider yeast and start the fermentation. Which is correct (if any)?

I'm inclined to go down the latter route, as we're not going to have a spotless apple press, and will probably be doing the pressing outside, so may end up re-infecting the apples anyway.

We would prefer to kill of the natural yeast and use a proper cider yeast for our first time to try and get a good brew.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5366
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 15 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've only ever seen it advised to add the tablet(s) after pressing, and then to pitch your yeast (or yeast starter if you're smart about it, which I often am not) the next day.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 15 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i tend to use either just the naturals or if any of the apples seem a bit mouldy (discard them but the others will have spores)the naturals and a fast bubbling starter made with a multi purpose wine yeast(or a tablespoon of sugar in half a pint of a previous ongoing batch) which overwhelms them .

never had a bad batch in decades and unless i wish to stop a wine or cider to keep some sweetness dont use sulphites unless i forgon to wash a vessel and it has gone mouldy between batches.

ps ongoing cider makes a good starter for sourdough culture,(olaf is ace)

pps try the juice ,if it seems very acidic addind half a pot of strong tea per gallon gives enough tannins to precipitate much of the malic acid.

imho a lot of the recipes etc are far too much faff ,chuck it in a pot ,let it bubble,let it settle and either drink it rough or bottle it for a while seems to work quite well.

i recon the important thing is to keep the brew at a stable temp, preferably 18/20 c for most naturals but cooler is ok although slower.

Falstaff



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
..................

imho a lot of the recipes etc are far too much faff ,chuck it in a pot ,let it bubble,let it settle and either drink it rough or bottle it for a while seems to work quite well.................


I have some empathy with that sentiment.

I've never bought a campden tablet in my life and although I have the "metabisulphite" around the place (exactly the same but cheaper) I don't think I've ever used it !

BUT I NEVER rely on "natural" yeast - I always use the strongest most aggressive yeast I cann lay my hands on (except I DON'T use "turbo") - simply TOO strong !

However this does not answer your question - Get your juice - then sterilise it ( that's what meta wossit does) - then stick in a "Cold" yeast and taste regularly !

jettejette



Joined: 01 Jun 2013
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I sterilise all utensils but don't add chemicals to anything. I just use a starter which may work with or overwhelm the natural yeasts. It's always drinkable 🍺

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6499
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

On a rather larger scale I know, but you wont go wrong if you do this:
collect apples, wash, pulp, extract juice into clean airtight container. Add campden tabs as per dose (Andrew Lea's cider pages on the net are invaluable), leave overnight, next day add yeast (I use 35g per 100L) leave overnight, add nutrient, then leave top loosely on whilst first fermentation begins. After about a week either tighten cap a bit or add airlock. Watch the bubbling.
When you think its stopped (pretty certain), then rack off the lees into a CLEAN airtight container. Fill to brim (even if it means topping up with tap water) and store for 23 months before drinking.
The minute air gets to it, you have literally a couple of days and it might turn so bottling/bagging is your option if you have a lot.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

about 2 weeks ago i started a one litre experimental batch of mixed windfalls from the orchard

wash apples
juice apples
put in plastic bottle
add a bit of an ongoing batch

2 weeks later
most bubbling ceased
pour off lees through fine sieve

tis very much at the scrumpy end of the cider range but it is quite drinkable as a medium dry rough cider.
if fermented out completely and bottled it would mature to a fine mid colored ,clear ,cider but as it is it is pretty ok.

i suspect much of the cider that was part of the wages package for itinerant farm workers was quite similar as drink it young is almost a necessity if there is a lack of airtight storage,even wooden barrels are not ideal for long maturation times unless one is making whisky or calvados which requires some oxidation/combination chemistry.

roobarb



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 133
Location: Carmarthenshire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for all your info.
Quote:
Andrew Lea's cider pages on the net are invaluable

Have just had a look at this info, and has given us some extra info to work with.

I think we will use the campden tablets after pressing, as seems the logical thing to do, especially for our first go. We're going to be using Yarlington Mill apples, which we have grown especially for doing some cider making. This is our first harvest from the tree, so only enough for a small batch. Once we're happy with the process (and outcome), we will try making some blends and experimenting with natural/yeasts next year.

Quote:
and store for 23 months before drinking

23 months...I was reckoning on a couple of months!

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13504

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Or you do things the old fashioned way and let the wild yeast on the apples do the job.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5366
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

roobarb wrote:

Quote:
and store for 23 months before drinking

23 months...I was reckoning on a couple of months!


To each their own, but I've only ever been happy with cider after it's aged for a year at the very least. It really does get better and better

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13504

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good cider will improve with keeping but poor cider wont.

Unlike good wine, that will continue to improve with age, cider will reach a point where it starts to taste off. The longest that I've kept cider is two years and I wouldn't want to keep it much longer than that.
When you see cider advertised as being 'vintage' then it must be a minimum of twelve months old to qualify for the title.

The cider that I'm making now will go on sale to the public next summer. It will be perfectly drinkable before then, its just a matter of taste it and see. I'll be selling mine next summer to coincide with the abundance of holiday makers.

My cider is matured in oak barrels. Some cider connoisseurs reckon they can detect an undesirable taste in cider that has been stored in plastic. My cider is fermented in the 220 litre blue plastic barrels but as soon as fermentation is over, its pumped directly into oak.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6499
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

WhoopS It was 2-3 months! Forgot to sepll check for the dash!

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6499
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ive just done 2 1000L IBC's - its a big risk, but Im running out of room for small barrels and the pub want their cider to be consistent, so giving it a go. Cant be that different - the process is the same...
Doing small bespoke batches for special occassions - champagne cider for weddings, a batch for the rugby colts etc.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13504

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The risks with an IBC is just the same as in smaller barrels but a heck of a lot more to pour down the grid if things go square shaped . Its a big loss for the small producer if it does. Fingers crossed.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34886
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 15 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:
WhoopS It was 2-3 months! Forgot to sepll check for the dash!


that is closer to my time scale

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