Fall 2005 Batch #3, Hillside Farms blend, White Labs English Cider Yeast
Purchased on 11/05/2005 during
in Franklin County. Hillside
Farms was at the Brick Meeting House in Colrain Center.
The blend was:
45 oz cane sugar, purchased at Shaws in Groton, organic section
1/2 tsp Tannin Powder, purchased at Modern Brewer in Cambridge. Half the amount of batches 1&2.
6 Campden Tablets, puchased at Modern Brewer. Each tab is 30ppm/gal, apparently a smaller size that what is typically mentioned in books and used by the Ciderday cider makers. My math says this is 36 ppm for the batch, which is a very low dosage, hoping that some of the wild yeast will help out the cultured.
1 vial of White Labs English Cider yeast. Yeast purchased at Modern Brewer for about 7 bucks.
This will also be a very basic cider recipe. If it turns out well I'll probably prime some bottles with sugar and leave some still. I've got to get a PH test kit, as that'll help show how much sulfur to use. NFG didn't have PH strips which would measure high enough acidity.
11/5/05: Purchased at Ciderday in Colrain from Hillside Farms, transported home in a cooler.
11/6/05: This was all done in the 5 gallon plastic carboy the juice came in. This may cause bacterial problems but who knows. With a bleached turkey baster, basted out half a gallon or so...this was kind of a pain in the ass. A small amount was used to test for specific gravity and the rest was put into a clean (though unbleached) container and supplemented with half a 30ppm/gal Campden tab, to be used later for topping off. Sugar, tannins, and campden tabs were then added to the carboy. Covered top with cheesecloth, wrapped barmop around neck, and moved carboy down cellar in milk crate.
11/7/05: Took the White Labs yeast out of the fridge and let it warm
up for 3+ hours. Shook the vial well. Pulled out a little cider from
the carboy with a bleached turkey baster and then dumped in the
contents of the vial.
We're trying to ferment this cider much cooler than the yeast suggests. This may cut some of the sulfur production which the yeast advertises, may allow some wild yeasts to work on it for a bit, or may fail completely.
11/10/05: Fermented snake has breached the top of the carboy. Cheesecloth removed.
11/12/05: Doesn't look like the sud snake is going to return so I've plopped some cheesecloth over the top to keep the bugs out. Still bubbling away happily.
December: Installed air/water lock. Used vodka for a liquid seal.
Early spring: Realized much of the vodka had evaporated. Refilled. Need to keep a better eye on that next year.
5/29/06: Bottled batches 1 and 3 with help from many. Put one
layer only of cheesecloth over the carboy-to-bucket tube to prevent
raisins from entering. Use the longer of the bottling tubes...far
faster than the short one. Putting the milk crate on the table under
the carboy and bucket for added height.
I've no idea how much ended up being bottled. I should probably count at some point.
Tastes good. No obvious trouble from fermenting in the plastic carboy though I'm not sure I'd trust it again next year.
8/09/06: Tried one of the still 12oz bottles. Not bad, still a little bitey. Hopefully that'll mellow with another month as it's still a little early for this one.
11/07/09: Tried a still 12oz bottle. Astringent. Kinda not great. Dumped half of it.
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