tisdag 13 december 2016

Bottling homemade apple cider


bottled cider bottles in a paper bag
So last weekend we finally bottled our cider.
During the fermentation period we've learned a lot and we had to throw out the first batch (the one that was dry-hopped.). 
Also, forgot the time on a batch of mead and it went over time with 4 weeks. so out with it as well. Better luck next time.

Cider batch #2, 20 liters, was put on fermentation on September 27, 2016. A lot of it was covered in Homemade Apple Juice/Cider.

cider siphoned to a new fermentation bucket
Picture of siphoning from one fermentation barrel to an other

The timetable that worked. Even if it can be optimized a little. I think that the key was to add the extra sugar, the apple-sort that I used was kinda sour, and not adding sugar rendered the cider undrinkable. The key is tasting, a lot.

Date Action
September 27, 2016 fermentation start 20 liters
October 8, 2016 moved to second fermentation barrel,
added 2liters of freshly pressed juice.
21 liters
October 15, 2016 tasting,
added 1 cup of sugar
October 23, 2016 tasting,
added 1 cup of sugar
November 11, 2016 tasting,
added 1 cup of sugar
moved to other barrel. 19litres
November 20, 2016 had stopped, added more yeast to start it again
December 10, 2016 stopped again,
added 6grams sugar per liter to get bubbles in the bottles.
Bottled
December 24, 2016 drinkable, hopefully :)


bottle cleaning with power screwdriver
Picture of bottle cleaning, the quick way
Just a quick tip on the bottle parts. You basically have 2 options, either to buy new or re-use. We went with the re-use option, a friend was able to get a box of used ones from a local pub. Doesn't hurt to ask, right?
Before bottling into used, a real good cleanup is needed. All the sediments need to go, otherwise your freshly brewed cider will turn bad. So a bottle cleaner is a good investment, shouldn't cost more than a few bucks. If you are like me and think that it is boring work to clean 40 bottles, why not attach the bottle cleaner to your nice electric screwdriver and get the power boost. 

cider being siphoned into bottles from a fermentation bucket
Picture of the actual bottling process

Lastly, the actual bottling. We used a pump siphon and a bottle vent. (one that you press to the bottom of the bottle to open and when you pull it up, it closes automatically). Really easy to use. Be sure to not bottle the last liter as it is mostly yeast. Keep an eye on the quality when it pours down the pipe and just stop when its not clear anymore.

Hope this was informative enough for some of you out there.

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