Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Another cider fermenting... and a how to.

And this time we've got it figured out!  At least some additional homework was done first and the system is believed to be sound.  "The key is to get fermentation active quickly, to get it to 10% fast," explains Nathan, a friend from the local homebrew shop, who has created a recipe for a 15% ABV cider.  How do you do this?  Basically you must add a bunch of yeast activator and nutrient both initially and after 24 hours.  Why? The proteins present in the malted barley are absent in the apple juice, lending to the necessity for added yeast nutrients.  How does it work?  I don't know.  I'm not sure if I care.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Gallons Publix Premium apple juice.  (It is important that it is Pasteurized, but you want it 100% juice...no preservatives or other crap.)
  • 2 pounds of light brown sugar
  • Wine yeast
  • Yeast Energizer
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • 0.5 pounds honey
This is what I did, and it is ever so easy.  In fact, it wouldn't take much for someone to do this even without a lot of the standard brewing equipment.


  1. Sanitize the 3 gallon carboy
  2. Open the juice gallons and dump about 1/3 of each into the carboy.
  3. Add about 1 pount of brown sugar to each of the gallon jugs (with the juice)
  4. Close the jugs and shake, shake, shake, to dissolve the brown sugar into the juice.
  5. After dissolved, add to the carboy.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of the yeast energizer and 1 tablespoon of the yeast nutrient.
  7. Shake shake shake to aerate and then add the re-hydrated yeast.
  8. Add airlock and place in cellar temp controlled dark area.
  9. In 24 hours, repeat step 6.
  10. When fermentation stops (it aught to be at a quick pace for several days once started) rack to secondary, add 0.5 pounds honey and aerate again.
  11. Upon completion of secondary fermentation, keg or bottle, adding priming sugar as necessary (2 ounces should suffice).
The original gravity was 1.086, with the expectations for this to ferment very dry, it will be around 11.5% without the honey.  The honey will add about another 0.5% ABV, bringing this to around 12%.

With a week remaining in secondary, we may add 1 pound of blueberries to it.

This is in progress now, so the results are pending.  Stay tuned...  Later this week we'll review the cyser recipe, along with the knowledge gained through a Twitter friend.