Saturday, October 19, 2013

Farmer's Market Apple Cider

I got a request (and a jug of apple juice) from a friend to convert the apple juice sold at my local farmer's market into cider.
Ironic that we want the juice to ferment
Container, juice and the yeast nutrient
For this batch, I opted to not add any sugar. I bought some new yeast (Safale S-04) as recommended in a forum post to best enhance the flavor of the cider.
I only sprinkled a little of this as the rest will be used for 5 gallons of our next beer batch
Since the juice is unpasteurized, I poured it into one of the glass jugs I have in my house. I had yet to use it to ferment, so I had to jury rig an airlock from a milk carton cap and some tubing.
All I added was juice, 1 tsp of yeast nutrient, a sprinkle of yeast, and love.
Yeast on the surface
The original gravity of the juice was 1.049, which should give a final alcohol by volume between 5% and 6%. It'll be a few weeks before bottling.

Fits nice and snug next to the other fermenter
A video from Tuesday, 2 days after, showing how quickly fermentation begins.
Update 10/30: Fermentation appeared to have stopped. The gravity reading was 0.995 (ABV 7.1%). It tasted really dry to me. I think a bit of aging/clarification/carbonation is needed before I drink it. It had a slight taste of apple, just as the guy who recommended the yeast strain said it would.

Update 11/19: I have bottled the cider (got 9 bottles out of it). However, I fear that some wild bacteria might have started to colonize in secondary fermentation. It didn't smell too terribly bad, but I think it was there. I hope it'll be drinkable (it wasn't)

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