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Old 12-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
texasbrewnewb
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Default some guidance please

This is my first time posting on the website, so hello everyone.
I am in every sense an amateur to brewing. I recently became interested in taking on brewing as a hobby.

Hopefully this is the right place to post this thread, if it is not, please redirect me.
Well long story short i want to enter the brewing world with a couple basic small batches.
I am currently thinking of making a gallon of cider, a gallon of (I'm not sure what you would call this exactly, excuse the lack of knowledge) fermented strawberry juice, and a gallon of fermented peach juice. For all three i am using a dry wine yeast and i will be adding water and sugar. I have not ordered any air locks yet, would the balloon method suffice for a basic setup like this? Am i approaching this correctly? I don't have any fancy equipment to speak of, is this going to ruin anything? How long should it take these batches to ferment? Do i need to refrigerate my final product? How would i go about storing my final product? Lastly, is there any other simple recipes that yall would recommend? Thank you for taking the time to read this, i understand some of this could be googled, but i would rather have yalls individual opinions on such matters.

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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Yes you can use the balloon method.There are alot of recipes located in the wine sub forum and the recipe database.I'm sure something there will be to your liking.Good luck and get to fermenting.

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #3
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A few things you might not be thinking of:

1) Do you plan on carbonating these? Do you have bottling equipment to do so?

2) You realize that if you just ferment out those juices, the end product is NOT going to be sweet? They will be dry and maintain some of the fruit flavor, but won't be sweet. If you plan on carbonating these, the backsweetening procedure for bottled beverages is a pain, in my opinion. If you don't plan on carbonating, save about 10% of the sweet juice, then add it back to the fermented juice right before you put the beverage in the fridge. The cool temps will hybernate the yeast so they don't ferment those sugars.

3) If you have a homebrew shop near you, go pick up an airlock and a stopper for whatever you are fermenting in. It should cost you about $3.00 or so total. If you can't pick up an airlock, just cover the top of your fermentation vessel with about 3-4 layers of aluminum foil and poke about 10-15 holes in it with a paper clip. Not ideal, but about 95% effective, and much more practical than a balloon.

4) It will likely only take 2-3 days to fully ferment the juice at room temp, but go ahead and leave it for 2 weeks to be sure, since you won't be doing any hydrometer readings. Also, note that any of those juices are going to take a good 4-6 weeks to condition at room temp before they are really drinkable, and they won't fully mature/peak until more like 4-6 months.

I do alot of hard cider. Feel free to ask any questions you may have!

Good luck!

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Welcome and good luck in your new hobby. For your cider, you might browse through the cider section at http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/

Your strawberry and peach juice fermentations are fruit wines, you might take a look at our wine forum at http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/

Jump on in, you'll have fun!

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