Thursday, 23 May 2013

Cider Brewing Part 1: Battle of the Yeasts!

So we decided that we needed to brew a cider while we waited on the IPA to finish fermenting. A trip tThe Brew Shop gave us a whole of of brewing equipment, from six 5L demijohns to a hand-pump siphon, then a quick run to Woolies later, we had all the supplies we needed to get started.

Six pretty glass demijohns (And the essential brewing beers)

8L of Cloudy Apple Juice, 1 kg of Caster Sugar, 3 types of Hops and our 2 yeasts
The sugar's fairly self explanatory I assume. The juice was the cheapest cloudy apple juice we could find that had no preservatives and was non-pasteurized... was surprised that the Woolies home brand could fit those criteria, but there you go!

We were unable to decide if we wanted to use a white wine yeast, or a more conventional beer yeast, so we decided we'd run two batches, one with each yeast, and go with whichever came out better. The two we ended up using are the Safale US-05 for the beer, and the Vintner's Harvest CL23 for the wine yeast.

The hops... You'll just have to find out later.

First step was to sanitise our brand new demijohns
Drying after a nice Iodophore bath

In the meantime, we needed some inspiration, in the form of some tasty Belgian Trappist ale
Delicious Monk Beer
Once the bottles were dry, we started by adding 150g of Sugar to each, to add some fermentables apart from the natural sugars in the juice

Pictured: World's most fashionable jumper
Next step, the juice went in to the bottles through the world's smallest funnel, and got a big shake up to suspend all the sugar in the juice. After that, it was pitching time. We put about a quarter of each yeast sachet into the bottles, as we're only doing 4ish Litre batches, not 20. A good stir later, the job was done.
Yeast pitched, bottles swirled. All good

Wrapped them up in towels, and tucked them away in the garage, making sure to check up on the IPA while we were there. She hadn't changed much in the last few days, but the hydrometer reading was still quite high, so we popped in some yeast nutrient and gave her a stir. Hopefully both of these will be done next thursday, and ready for tasting/bottling!

The ciders, all tucked in and ready for bed

IPA, still bubbling away like mad

Next brewing update will come next Thursday/Friday, post bottling and initial tastings!

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