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SteveG
12/25/14 09:58 AM  
Been a while since I asked about cider
For the last 5 years I'be been experimenting with ice cider production. Tricky drink to pull off, took a few years to dial in how it's done. But with that behind me in the last 15 months I've won BOS twice at a cider specific competition. Does anyone care about ice cider? Hum, maybe question 1 should be does anyone know what ice cider is?
TimT
12/29/14 01:23 PM  
Re: Been a while since I asked about cider
Tell us, I have ~70L of cider sitting beside me.
Gabe H
12/30/14 06:23 AM  
Re: Been a while since I asked about cider
Tim, unlike ice beer that is frozen after fermentation, I think ice cider is made from juice that has been concentrated by freezing before fermentation. Now applejack on the other hand...
SteveG
12/30/14 03:48 PM  
Re: Been a while since I asked about cider
Gabe, that's exactly right. There are two methods of cryo-extration practiced in Quebec, one by picking apples frozen on the tree (I've seen a picture of a cider maker harvesting apples in the snow!) the other by harvesting normally but leaving the apples freeze. Either way they wait for a January thaw so the frozen fruit can get a little soft then press it, leaving water behind in the apple pulp. Most US producers do the (IMO very practical) alternative of cryo-concentration, which is freezing the liquid cider then thawing off the owwy goowy apple goodness. Either way you get a very high gravity must that is only partially fermented. The end result is both strong and sweet. And awesome.
TimT
12/30/14 08:10 PM  
Re: Been a while since I asked about cider
I do know the idea behind it (a la eisbock) But would love to hear good tried and true method. (containers, method, amounts etc.)
SteveG
01/01/15 05:07 PM  
Re: Been a while since I asked about cider
Sure. It took a few years of trial an error, but in 2012 I finally dialed it in. Won BOS twice at a cider specific competition I participate in.

First and foremost you must get your starting gravity right. I have found that under 1.130 can be a problem. Get up around 1.140 - 1.150 and yeast management gets a lot easier.

To make the must you need to freeze your container of cider solid - completely solid. When you think its frozen give it an extra day in the freezer. I use big pretzel containers from Costco, they can hold roughly 2 gallons. Fall 2015 though I plan to experiment with using brewing buckets. When its solid flip it over and drain it into a nice stable recepticle, I use a 3 gallon keg. The water is the last to thaw, so what melts off first is the heavy stuff. You need to figure out a procedure based on your equipment allowing you to measure when 25% of the original volume has dropped off. IMO 25% is the maximum amount you can use. There is stuff you can do with all the thinner cider that's left, but that first 25% is all that goes into your must.

When I make ice cider I make 3 gallon batches, 14ish gallons gives me the high gravity base I need.
 
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