mrsbrown: (Default)
Fermenter and equipment soaked, washed and sanitised with bleach (4ml/L), then rinsed with boiled water.

26L of Aldi apple juice acquired (reconstituted apple juice, acidity regulator (330), vitamin C, flavour (!)

Pour apple juice into fermenter, add Nottingham Ale yeast.

Pitching temp 20degrees, 18 degrees by bedtime and 16 degrees this morning.  I expect it will warm up a bit today, but it's on a concrete slab which will help with temp moderation (I hope).

There was pressure in the air lock about 20min after pitching, but no steady gloop yet.
mrsbrown: (Default)
is on.  It's in a food safe 20L bucket that I'll put flour in when I'm finished.

These are my quantities;

2.7kg rhubarb
2.7sugar
3lemons
2.2cups cider vinegar
15.4litres water

From the recipe here - http://www.abc.net.au/tasmania/stories/s1866132.htm

Amusingly, the quantity is based on how much rhubarb I was able to harvest from my garden, but it only just fits in the container I have.

Ooops! forgot the lemons, off to do that now.

mrsbrown: (domestic goddess)
These evening I went back to last winter's practice of no computer between 7-9pm.  I really need to do it all the time.

These evening I have;  

Read Rose a story and it wasn't even bedtime
Spoken to my husband about our future
Put bottles into oxyper in preparation for sterilising
Prepared enough apples for drying that the dehydrator looks like Bartholemew Cubbins.  [1]
Sighed and realised that there's another full dehydrator's worth of apples to process.
Rinsed and washed labels off the soaked bottles
Put bottles in to sterilise (must get better sterilising technology)

A little later I'll put Rose to bed and bottle the last of the ciders in my house.

I worry what my life would be like if I achieved all this every evening - maybe that's what's holding me back.



[1] Good news! The trays from the noodle and bear fit sjkasabi's dehydrator.

mrsbrown: (Default)
Edit:  The background:
On the weekend a bunch of people collected at a house near Trentham.  We crushed about 1000kg of apples and got about 250L of juice.  We need to do some work to increase the yield.  This brewing story is about the 20L of juice I got to experiment with.


Brew experiment 1

The elderberry juice (1L) has been added to the apple juice (14L) and an enormous amount fo froth has been wiped from the outside of the demijohn and my laundry floor.  The EC1118 (champagne yeast) was pitched this morning and tonight the foam is escaping out of the airlock.  It's a lovely colour.

Brew experiment 2
There's about 6L of juice left and its started its natural fermentation.  Tonight I added 500g of malt and half a packet of ale yeast (Safale 05).  I plan to rack it before the fermentation is completed and then leave it for a longer time.  Hopefully, I'll get a sweeter cider that doesn't explode bottles.  I don't have a suitable container for my hydrometer so I used this site to estimate the likely alcohol content.  Previous apple juices had an sg of 1040, so I estimated the equivalent sugar content and then worked out the alcohol level when I added the malt.  It's about 8.5%, although the juice I tasted tonight wasn't as sweet as commercial apple juice and the racking will leave behind some sugar.  Maybe the final alcohol content will be closer to 8%.

There's talk of more juice production on the weekend.  Maybe we should use some ale yeasts and some natural fermentation in that juice.

I may need to invest in more fermenters, or else just silicon bungs and airlocks for my carboys.

mrsbrown: (sca baby)
After cleaning out the barrel until the water ran clear, doushkasmum and I discussed brewing today.

After waking at 7am, painting bits of kitchen, cutting and washing fabric, cleaning the barrel, cutting out MrPeacocks fencing jacket skirt, ironing the skirt, packing for Bash, taking Mr-bassman to his gig, driving home and changing, attending Monthly Bash and all it entails, heading off to Circa Carnivale, picking mr-bassman from his 2nd gig, ad then going to Lentil As Anything for dinner, I went slightly manic and decided that I had time for one more impossible thing before bedtime.

MrPeacock and I went to the supermarket and bought a second Cascade Golden harvest kit.

We made up the two kits with a #76 brew kit from brew craft, (1kg malt and dextrose and cascade hops) and another 1kg of dextrose. We now have 25L of beer, and the brix reading is 18. Thanks to Google, this means the alcohol content is expected to be about 9%.

The hops were soaked in the boiled sugar and water for 10 min(or maybe 20 if I read the internet for too long).

It's a lager.

PS. I thik my laptop has a cold. It ca't type n's
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
Cider I can drink at the same rate as everyone else enjoyed the beer.

Maybe beer is suppposed to taste slightly yucky, so the barrel influence isn't as noticable.
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
I have diluted the wort.

Festival Beer

I removed 5L from the 30L fermenter and added water.
The Festival Beer hydrometer reading is 1060 or 8%.
I have added "Morgans Ale yeast" which has ben in the fridge since we got it.
The wort is about 26 degrees.


Post Festival Beer
I diluted the 5L beer wort with a bit of water in our glass fermenter.
The post Festy beer hydrometer reading is 1051 or 7%.
I have added Safale s-04 dry ale yeast with a use by date of 06/2007 which has been at the bottom of our brewing box for a while. We'll see how it goes.
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
The mead is finally bottled!!!

The final hydrometer reading was 1040 and it was slightly bubbly.  It tastes good enough to drink right now but will probably also do well for being left in the bottle for a while.

Because of the slight fizzyness we didn't add priming sugar to the bottles.

[livejournal.com profile] celsa we have a couple of bottles for you in exchange for your honey contribution.  Please remind me that I have them, I have a brain like a sieve.

After we finished bottling the mead we immediately sterilised the fermenter and made up the Festival beer.  It's a bit late (29 days before Festival) but if we can keg it by the first weekend in March, all should be well.  If memory serves me correctly that's how long the beer had last year and it was popular.

It is again going to be a high alcohol brew.  2 kits, 30L water, 1kg dextrose and 1kg "brew enhancer No 2" (maltodextrin, dextrose and something else).  Also, hop pellets soaked in water, strained and added to the mix.  The hydrometer reading was at about the 10% mark.  I'm going to change the way I add sugar next time, to reduce the alcohod content while still using two kits.

Tomorrow morning, when I have a brain, I may decide to water it down to something closer to 8% finished alcohol content.

I also have to pitch the yeast in the morning - it's still too hot.

As a side note - Rose didn't have an arvo nap today, so she went to bed at standard kid time (8.30pm) and I had the evening to do stuff in - without having to talk two year old the whole time.
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
The magic number is 1040.  That's the hydrometer reading of the mead.

The mead had stopped bubbling, except for changes in temperature, but there is still sugar to be made into alcohol.

So tonight I added yeast nutrient (about a teaspoon) and a new batch of yeast.  The yeast is EC something, and was described as a good "killer" yeast.  It will kill the old yeast, if there's any left, and start the process again.

If all goes well, we should be able to bottle the mead for secondary fermenting in two weeks or so and it will likely be drinkable at Festival.  The good news is that the mead is quite tasty, even at this stage.

I think we'll put the mead into bottles instead of one of the Abbotsford kegs because Festival is only 66 days away, that's less than 10weeks.

Allowing at least 4 weeks in the keg and 2 weeks fermenting plus a week for faff, means that the mead has to be out of the large fermenter in the next 3 weeks so we can make the Festival beer.

[livejournal.com profile] doushkasmum can you make cider in your big fermenter?
mrsbrown: (Default)
It's been burbling along, a bubble every 2 minutes or so for about 4 weeks. Actually, it was slow to start but has been pretty consistent for the last 3 weeks.

The fermenter has reported that the temperature is 17 degrees for most of the time. It got up to 19degrees for about two days.

Today I've taken some out and tested the specific gravity - its 1072 and doesn't seem to have progressed very far on its journey to alcohol.

It's very bubbly in the hydrometer container, and I'm about to taste it.

Hmmm, the reading now is 1060. I think the bubbles are holding the hydrometer up higher than the sugar content would normally. I'll leave it to go flat and then read it again.


OK, 2 hours later and the reading is still 1060. So it's 1.8% alcohol - not quite what those St Barts people had in mind, I think.

btw, it tastes yummy, which is just as well, 'cos I think the plan is to drink it on Friday night

Otherwise we could just take 5 litres or so to the event and keep the rest (25 litres) fermenting until it stops.

Please comment if you have an opinion.
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
It's done and cooling down to pitching temperature.

We used a recipe similar to this one but without the nutmeg or lemon. It probably won't taste very good.

I got [livejournal.com profile] fa11ing_away and MsNotaGoth to prgressively add water to honey until we'd worked out how much honey we needed for an approximately 9% alcohol mead. It was more honey than [livejournal.com profile] fa11ing_away had brought...

but the resourceful celsa had brought lots of honey of several different varieties for people to taste and talk about, so it was all good and our recipe went something like this:

1kg Yellowbox honey
1kg orange blossom honey
5kg white clover honey

Dissolved in about 5-10litres of hot water on the stove, stirring vigorously.
Add enough cold water to take the fermenter to about 30litres.
Hydrometer reading (at more than 30degreesC): 1070.

Tomorrow, when the mix is cooler I'll add the ale yeast I bought (safale us-05, american ale yeast, to be precise)

Hopefully, it'll be ready for the next stage in two weeks and then can be drunk by those St Bart's types at their event on 19 October. I'm sure they'll enjoy the alcohol.

I'll pitch the yeast this morning after breakfast. The wort is at 20degrees. That'll do
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
On Monday I washed out the keg and put the fermented cider in it.

It's been pretty cool while it bubbled away, and I think it took about two weeks.

Notes for next time: have the bottle capper available so you can bottle the last 5litres in the keg. Boil the water for rinsing a bit earlier, I got worried it was going to melt the beeswax lining in the keg.
mrsbrown: (sca baby)
Today I finally had the time in which to put together a cider brew. This will mean I don't have to change the water in our barrel.

I made it from scratch and the ingredients are as follows;

25 litres of apple juice from Aldi
1kg Coopers Brew enhancer 2 (Dextrose, light malt and Maltodextrin)
1kg Dextrose
500g lactose
Redstar Premier Cuvee wine yeast, dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water.


I melted the sugar in about 4 litres of boiling water and then put in the apple juice. It was about 27 degrees, so I left it until it was 23degree and then pitched the yeast.

I forgot to hydrometer the mix before I pitched the yeast, but the apple juice had a reading of 1040 and the calculator online suggests that means a final alcohol content of about 8.5%. I want it quite alcoholic, 'cos that'll kill off that nasty lactobacillus I've had lately.

Cleaning out the fermenter was fun. there was a lot of slimy black stuff in the tap that I didn't notice until I thought I had finished sterilising. I had to pull apart the tap to get it all out.
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