Monday, October 27, 2014

Eight month brew-time Simple Cider

Hello internetz!  After an inexcusably long hiatus, I’m back to blogging about the wonderful world of homebrewing cider. 

As a literal representation of my sloth and neglect, here are two gallons I’ve had brewing since February.  For both of these I used preservative free cider from Wilklow orchards, which I picked up at my local farmer’s market (at Grand Army Plaza, in Brooklyn).  For the first, I used Lalvin EC-1118, a champagne yeast and a true beast.  In my experience, it will eat through any sugar it finds, lickety split.  For the second, I have no idea what yeast I used, because my label fell off and disappeared.  Alas.  Another reason not to wait eight months to bottle, I suppose. 

As you can see from the pictures below, the yeast has entirely precipitated, and given the amount of time they’ve gone without racking, they’ve almost certainly broken down and given these batches a very yeasty/bready taste.  Not my favorite flavor profile, but c’est la vie!   Still hopefully drinkable.  

I didn’t bother checking the specific gravity--after seven months, it was definitely done.  Also, I failed to check it when I started these, so there’s no way for me to be precise about what final ABV is now.  

I added two tablespoons of dextrose for each of these gallons and then bottled them.  I’ll check them in at least a month or so, to see if they’re carbonated and/or palatable. 

In the meantime, this frees up two gallon jugs for new ciderbrewing adventures!  Can’t wait!
EC 1118 on the left; Mystery on the right

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Strawberry Lemonade Strawberry Cider

I decided to make a summer-time cider with an interesting combination of flavors, in my 3-gallon carboy.  The base is 4 bottles of regular apple juice.  On top of that, I added one bottle of Cran-Strawberry juice and one bottle of Pink Lemonade.  For yeast, I used Wyeast Sweet Mead.

The OG was a nice 1.45. This should be light and tart.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blueberry Cider and Cranberry Cider

I decided to aim for some solid, simple blueberry cider and cranberry cider--the last time I made these, they were tart and bubbly and the perfect thing to sip on a hot summer day.  The recipe that I'm trying for each of these is very basic. 

Cranberry Cider
  • A 32 ounce bottle of Trade Joe's 100% blueberry juice, 96 ounces of regular apple juice, and Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast. 

Blueberry Cider
  • A 32 ounce bottle of Trade Joe's 100% blueberry juice, 96 ounces of regular apple juice, and Wyeast "Forbidden Fruit" yeast 

The OG for each of these was approximately 1.40.  Can't wait!

Pear Cider (different types!)

After a long delay, I'll start blogging about my cider brewing again.

In early June, I started two separate 1-gallon batches of pear cider.  I used the juice from a jar of Trader Joe's pears (one per jug) and filled up the rest with regular apple juice. (Note that the juice actually has a fair amount of white grape juice--that said, it tastes mostly like pear.)  The only difference between the two batches was the type of yeast I used.  For one of them, I used my trusty stand-by of Safale S-04--a nice clean ale yeast.  For the other, I used a Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast, which I haven't used before, but promised a fruity profile.  The OG for both of the batches was 1.4

Three weeks later, fermentation was done, and I wanted to make further sub-batches.  First, however, I bottled a couple of bottles with plain pear-cider. 

Next, I wanted to experiment with some (hopefully complementary) tea flavors.  So, I brewed two separate cups of tea with five tea bags each of (1) Trader Joe's Ginger Pear White Tea and (2) Trader Joe's Pomegranate White Tea.   The latter one has a particularly rich, deep red color, so I bottled those in clear bottles (just for presentation purposes).



I did the same thing for each jug, and kept track of which type of yeast was used.  All told, I now have six (slightly) different types of cider from this experiment: sweet mead plain pear cider, sweet mead pomegranate pear cider, sweet mead ginger pear cider, and S-04 ale yeast versions of all of these.
I'm looking forward to taste-testing them!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bottling Two Simple Ciders--(1) Mott's Fresh Pressed and Safale US-05 (2) Martinelli's and Windsor

I bottled the two simple ciders I had started--they finished at about the same time, about 9 days after pitching.  

First, here is the simple cider made from Mott's fresh-pressed apple juice (a mixture of real juice and juice from concentrate) and Safale S-05.  As you can see, it was still fairly cloudy, likely due to the fact that this juice wasn't filtered--i.e. it was cloudy to begin with.  
This batch went straight down to the 1.000 mark.  Definitely ok to bottle.  I add my usual amount of priming sugar--5 tsp for 1 gallon and bottled.

I also bottled the Martinelli's and Windsor, and tried a sample of this from the hydrometer.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blueberry Cider

I was yearning to try a different fruit mixture, so I decided to shoot for a blueberry cider.

This batch  consists of:

(1) Nature's Own 100% Apple Juice (a combination of real juice and juice from concentrate)

(2) Trader Joe's "Blueberry Estate," a blend of blueberry juice, and blueberry, apple, and grape juice concentrate.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Simple Cider -- Motts "Fresh-Pressed" and Safbrew S-05

I started a new batch of simple cider, again using a combination of juice and yeast that I've never tried before.

This batch was:

 (1) Mott's "Fresh-Pressed" Apple Juice, which appears to be a mixture of juice and juice from concentrate.