From Anonymous of Richland, Washington on 9/6/2005.
This book is very complete, and has lots of usable information. I found it very complete, and very helpful.
4/29/2008 – We tried this mead kit and loved it. Now we want to try a cyser. A lot of what I have been reading says to rack/bottle once it clears up. Do you have any guidelines for how long meads/cysers should ferment? Thanks for the help.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: In short, no.Here is the thing...MANY MANY MANY factors play into how long a fermentation will take. Here are just a few:Sugar (honey) concentrationStrain of yeast usedFermentation temperatureNutrient level presentType(s) of nutrientsTemperature variations during fermentationAmount of yeast usedMineral content of water usedAmount of oxygen present in your mead prior to adding yeastViability (freshness) of yeast culture usedAnd lots of others!The point is, there is just no way (in advance) to know for sure how long it will take. You can monitor along the way using a hydrometer, and that will give you a pretty good indication, and will tell you when it is actually done and ready to bottle.I CAN tell you however, that if you used our Nectar of the Gods Mead Kit and substituted some quality apple cider in place of the water used, it will likely ferment in a little LESS time, due to the presence of the nutrients in the cider. That is a popular thing to do. It will add some nice apple flavor! You can also use a little cider to re-sweeten your mead/cyser at the end of the process. Be sure you add the stabilizers prior to doing this.Enjoy!
1/26/2008 – I live about an hour (if traffic is good) from the address on your website. Do you have an actual store or is everything here based solely online?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, we have an actual brick-and-mortar store in Everett, WA. People actually walk in and buy stuff!Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9121 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204Heck, you can actually call us on the phone, too! It's 425-355-8865. A person will actually answer as long as it's business hours!
8/18/2007 – What is the difference between apple wine and apple cider? Also your cider specific yeast describes a crisp dry cider result, suppose you want a sweet cider? I like Hornsby's Crisp Apple, maybe it's considered dry, but not by wine standards. There were a couple of sweet hard ciders I liked in England, wish I could remember the names.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Apple cider is typically fermented apple juices (mixed varieties are best!) with an alcohol content of perhaps 6%ABV. They are usually carbonated drinks, altho they CAN be still (uncarbonated) also. Apple wine typically has sugar added prior to fermentation, and as a result, has an alcohol content of about 10-12% ABV. Another way is it done is to freeze the fermented cider to remove the ice (water), thereby increasing the alcohol content. Often called "applejck".Making a sweet still (non-carbonated) cider is easy. You simply ferment the juice, stabilize it using potassium sorbate and sulfite, and bottle. Making a SPARKLING sweet cider (like Hornsby) is a bit trickier. Most home brewers would add sugar at bottling to produce the carbonation. The problem is, if you add additional sugar (to make it sweet), you will overcarbonate, and burst your bottles. Not good. There are 2 ways around this:1) Use a kegging system to dispense your sweet cider. Ferment your cider as normal, sweeten, and put into a keg. Force carbonate it there, refrigerate and dispense.2) Ferment your cider as normal, but use an UNfermentable sugar (like Splenda or stevia) to sweeten it. Add a measured amount of corn sugar to carbonate it, and bottle.
11/7/2006 – After testing a hard apple ciders alcoholic content, and deciding that it is adequte how long does the batch need to sit after it is bottled before it can be drank?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: That one is entirely up to you. Most ciders improve with age, and I even know a couple of cider makers who will not drink their cider until is is one year old.I am not that fussy.
10/16/2006 – I want to make Apple Jack. I have done research trying to figure out what this drink is. Since I don't have any of the hardware to make this drink. I need recommendations on what to get as far as hardware. I don't have a lot of money to spend and would like to keep this operation as small as possible. Any help on this?What is Campden?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I guess the answer depends on what you mean by apple jack. Some people use this term to mean fermented apple juice, which is also called hard cider. Some people use the term apple jack to mean distilled hard cider. Some people use the term to describe fermented apple cider that is then FROZEN and then the ice (water) is removed, leaving a more alcoholic drink.In any case, you need to ferment the juice. If you mean distilled cider, then you would run the cider thru a still after fermentation.Either our Wine Making Equipment Kit or our Beer Brewing Equipment Kit would be a good choice for the fermentation part of it. I would favor the wine kit for still (not sparkling) hard ciders and the beer kit if you want sparking hard ciders.Campden is usually sold in tablet form, and is sodium or potassium bisulfite. It is used as a wine stabilizer and also for sterilization purposes.
11/28/2005 – I am interested in making wine from apple juice or apples. Is there a special way to do this? I don't know anything about which fruits work, but apples are fairly easy to come by. I am interested in learning how to do this.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Wine made from apples is usually called cider, if it's low in alcohol. If it's higher in alcohol, it's sometimes referred to as apple wine. Same thing, basically. It can be either sparking (carbonated) or still.We have a very good cider making book, called "Making, Using and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider". Here is a link to that book.Obviously, it takes some equipment to extract the juice from apples, and we have that as well. Fruit crushers, presses, all of that.To make apple wine or cider from juice you obtain is quite easy, using just our Complete Wine Making Equipment Kit. Here is a link to that product.
5/20/2005 – I'm thinking about making hard cider with the apple tree in my back yard. I'm not sure of the apple type so my question is: Can any apple be used to make hard cider and can you recommend information for beginners?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, any apples can be used to make hard cider, BUT, the best (most interesting, flavorful) hard cider is made from a variety of apples. Use the apples from your tree, certainly, but try to mix in some tart ones, some bitter ones, some sweet ones etc. You will be rewarded later. A hard cider made just from red delicious apples, for instance, is rather bland.Other tips?... Well, using a quality wine or cider yeast helps tremendously. We like the new Wyeast Cider Yeast because it leaves a nice fruity finish to your hard cider. Use only good, clean fruit, and sanitize your equipment well.Patience is also important. A cider takes time to age properly, so let it.
11/29/2004 – I'm also thinking about making a hard cider. I've done some research, but my question is, does it matter if your cider is pasturized? Everything I've read talks about preservitives, but not pasturization. I don't think it would be a problem, but thought I'd check with someone who knows what they're doing.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You are correct. Pastuerization is fine for hard cider, but preservatives are not. Even small amounts.
9/27/2004 – I have been making hard cider for years and have never made a batch that isn't over or under carbonated. It always has the same consistancy of champagne or wine. How can I find the happy medium like I can buy in stores?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You don't say HOW you've been doing it for years, so it's difficult to troubleshoot.As a suggestion, try using 1 cup of corn sugar (not cane sugar or anything else) per 5 gallons after fermentation, just before bottling.Kegging is another option. Doing it this way (force carbonating), you should be able to "fine tune" the carbonation to the way you like it!
8/4/2004 – How is hard apple cider made ?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: In a nutshell, apples are crushed and juice is pressed out. Yeast is then added and the juice is allowed to ferment. Obviously, the book goes into more detail.
3/21/2004 – I was wanting to start home brewing a hard cider like hornsbey's and was wanting to know what all i would need. was hoping to be able to put it in keg's for easier storage and dispensing for get togethers
Response From Homebrew Heaven: As far as equipment, I would go with the Intermediate (Beer) Brewing Equipment Kit. It works nicely for this type of cider. Here is a link to it:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=459 For ingredients, you'll need a source of apple cider juice without preservatives. We are negotiating with a company to produce a cider blend concentrate just for us, but so far we don't have it.For kegging your cider, our Complete Kegging System fits the bill nicely. It holds and dispenses 5 gallons. Here is a link to that item:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=287
11/24/2003 – Just prior to adding the yeast when making an 8 gallon batch of applecider wine, I noticed the package read "good up to 5 gallons". I wasn't able to add a 2nd package until now (48 hours after original package was added). Do you think I'll be ok? Any recommendations at this point?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Probably not a problem. The yeast will multiply as needed to gobble up the sugars. By the way, OUR Wyeast packages are good for 10 gallons (XL Packs). Not sure where you got yours, but we sell only the 10 gallon sizes. Better to have too much yeast than not enough.
11/3/2003 – I have a strange one here for you. I am wondering if you have any idea of poundage of apples that might be needed to get 5 gallons of juice? I am thinking of buying this machine, but do not know if this is something that I sould get myself into...
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Strange is my specialty! It takes about 120 lbs of apples to produce 5 gallons of juice, more or less, depending on how "juicy" they are, variety of apple, and how efficiently you press the squeezin's!
10/28/2003 – How to make hard cider?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: This book is a good place to start. Sorry, there is no one sentence summary of how to go about it.
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