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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cider: The Moment of Truth.

The finished cider in re-used wine bottles and the next batch of juice; ready and waiting!
Today we finally tasted and bottled the hard cider.  It’s not bad, for a first try, watery tasting with hardly a hint of apple, but very alcoholic!  We decided to mix it in the bottles with some Apple Juice for flavor.

To transfer the cider from the 2L jug into 3 wine bottles (leaving a little space at the top of each for the AJ) we used a siphon.  

A siphon is a way of getting gravity to do the work of transferring a liquid through a tube for you.  It works because water will flow up a tube as long as the “intake” end  is higher than the “outlet” end and there are no other holes.

The simplest way to make a siphon is on your kitchen counter with a jug of water and a plastic tube.

1.  Fill the jug with water and place it on the counter next to the sink.

2.  Now insert the tube so the “intake” is resting on the bottom of the water jug and the “outlet” is in the sink.3.  With the “outlet” still lower than the “intake” suck on the tube to draw water up and over the top of the jug.

4.  When you get a mouthful of water quickly spit out the tube into the bottom of the sink. Stand back and watch the water from the jug drain UP through the tube and down into the sink!

You have just created a siphon. It will work until either air enters the tube or the outlet becomes higher than the intake (or you stop it by plugging the outlet with your thumb).

A better (more sterile) way to start the siphon is to fill the tube with water before inserting it.  Then with your thumb over the outlet, as always lower than the intake, insert the tube into the jug. When you take your thumb of off the outlet the escaping water will draw the water in the jug into the tube and the siphon will start on its own!

So, the recepie was: 2L Organic Apple Cider, 1 packet Lavin brewing yeast.  Add the yeast to the cider, pop an airlock in the top and wait...about a month, a sludge will  form on the bottom.  Transfer the brew to a secondary fermenter, careful not to transfer any of the sludge.  Wait another 2 weeks.  Bottle.  Add a bit of  AJ from concentrate to sweeten.  Pop it in the fridge (otherwise the leftover yeast will ferment the sugars you just added and you might end up with BOTTLE BOMBS!  Drink.  Reflect that while it may not be the best cider you've ever had it isn't the worst and only about $10 for almost 3 liters!

So that's it, Project Fermentation is winding down, but Project Cheese is just beginning!
Check back soon!

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