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can I add apple juice to my already fermenting cider??  RSS feed

 
Linda Secker
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Location: Lancaster, UK
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Dear all

First time at making cider and for several reasons, I've started off one batch and now have more apples....

Can I add the fresh juice whilst the first batch is still fermenting? Or do I need to start a whole new batch?

The first batch is only about 2.5 gallons in a 5 gallon wine fermenter, so there is plenty of room....

Sorry to be a klutz - next year will be more organised

Linda
 
Tobias Ber
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hey linda.... i don t think that it s a problem. you ll have active yeast in your cider now. they ll be happy to munch on the sugars of the added juice. it will just take some more time.

but make sure to leave enough head-room so that the foam won t clog the airlock.

good luck and enjoy!
tobias
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Yes you can add more juice to your cider mash without any problem.
Do take a sample and use an alcoholmeter to find out what the new dilution reads alcohol content wise so you will know if your yeast is still viable.
Unless you are using a distiller's or Winemaker's yeast with a high alcohol tolerance, you may have already reached the point of yeast kill.
If that's the case, you will need to re-pitch the yeast. If it hasn't gotten to the upper tolerance levels yet, you should be good to go.

I like to use an 18% tolerance wine yeast for cider making. There are distiller yeast varieties that can survive up to 20% alcohol content and one or two that can go to around 22%. That would be very stout apple jack territory.

I love to make an apple brandy and for it I use distiller's yeast that shuts down around 20% alcohol. I get more brandy per kettle fill that way.

Redhawk
 
John Saltveit
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Yet another excellent post, Bryant.
John S
PDX OR
 
John Wolfram
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Do take a sample and use an alcoholmeter to find out what the new dilution reads alcohol content wise so you will know if your yeast is still viable.
Unless you are using a distiller's or Winemaker's yeast with a high alcohol tolerance, you may have already reached the point of yeast kill.
If that's the case, you will need to re-pitch the yeast. If it hasn't gotten to the upper tolerance levels yet, you should be good to go.

I would add that apple juice is generally around 10% sugar, so unless sugar/honey/etc. was added, the max ethanol content would be about 5% since roughly half the weight of the sugar gets converted to CO2. Most yeasts (even baker's yeast) should be able able to tolerate that level, but if sugar was added (or concentrated) distiler's or wine yeast may be be needed.
 
Linda Secker
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Dear all - thank you so much for replies - really useful!

Linda
 
William Bronson
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Just curious,as a Permie,but in the absence of refined sugar,honey,maple syrup etc,could one just cook down the juice to increase the percentage of sugar? Prior to the pitching of the yeast of course.
 
John Wolfram
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William Bronson wrote: Just curious,as a Permie,but in the absence of refined sugar,honey,maple syrup etc,could one just cook down the juice to increase the percentage of sugar? Prior to the pitching of the yeast of course.

Yes and no. If you boil down the cider in a process similar to what is done for maple syrup, then yes, you will concentrate the sugar. The problem is that at about 175F the pectin in cider denatures and falls out of solution, so your final product will be different from traditional cider.
 
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