Monday, 25 July 2011

Batch 18 bottled... and some thoughts

This was the last of the main pressing - the 2x20 litre ex-vegetable oil containers which stayed in the van all winter. No airlocks fitted - just opened the tops occassionally to release the Co2 build-up as the containers (being quite thin HDPE) began to fill out.
First rack was mid Feb - 2nd rack June. Log book entry at 2nd rack: "Doesn't taste of chip fat!"

Has turned out as good , if not better, than some of the more 'cared for' batches with a mix of 45/25/30 (%) sweet, sharp and bitter respectively - a 'using up' batch at that... certainly far far better than most of the 'craft' ciders I've waited at the bar for with their 'bourgeoisie' price tags an' all!

Does make you wonder about being too fussy - also that airlocks aren't a necessity!! My thinking was that it was better as juice than surplus fruit thrown away and if it failed I was only going to lose a few hours labour. Has a certain 'modern peasantry' aspect that has great appeal... pity I can't find more of those 'bourgeoisie' swing top lager bottles going begging lol


Some of this has been used as a medium trial adding 9gms (3x Whitworth cubes) of sugar to each bottle (450ml). It has to be noted this took some dissolving... and it may well be better to add sugar to the bulk at this rate. However, checking the bottles this morning shows that all is dissolved anyway.

What would be good is a 'controlled environment' for these sweeter ciders - a 'warm box' with a constant temperature of 15-21 degrees to give the yeast best chance to get to work on that sugar. As is, the bottles will warm up in the day and cool at night...
hmm, thinking reptarium - single light bulb - must have good thermostatic control though as too warm would be bad...


zutty said...

Wouldn't sugar make it ferment more?

lightweightmick said...

Hey G! - available yeast will gradually work on the sugar converting to more alcohol and co2 which gives the drink it's fizz. With this amount of sugar the pressure in the bottle would be too great and burst bottles would ensue if left indefinitely even at low temperature. A safe limit to add to fully fermented-out cider ie, SG 1.000, is rated at 1 level teaspoon per pint. Hence a sweet fizzy cider needs to be drunk when the desired fizz is acheived or rendered stable with pasteurisation, the latter of which is what I'm gearing up for here. Start drinking Grolsch in the swing-top bottles btw (and save me the bottles!)