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Old 05-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
detlion1643
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Default 1st timer - understanding before I'm too involved

FYI: This is not a discussion/thread about making "hooch".

Before I look at spending the money on a "kit" or supplies in general, I was thinking on doing 2 expirements. One will be with frozen canned juice, the other with smaller fruit like rasberry/blueberry/etc. The concept probably just doesn't use the right materials, but I want to understand if I can do it.

I have done a lot of reading on here, but I am still "learning" the process of it all. I'd like to try to figure those out before getting into bigger buckets, carboys, racking, and whatever else there is.

Since this is for expirementation purposes, I will have 2 clear 1 gallon jugs.
Ok, so on to the questions:
- Is it ok to "divide" down a recipe to 1 gallon? I've read keep the yeast the same amount but wouldn't that be too much yeast for the smaller amount of sugar (doesn't this make it dry)?
- For the one with fruit instead of juice, do you just let the fruit soak freely with the sugar/water/yeast? What happens to fruit when little pieces of fruit can "dissolve/breakaway" and float around in the liquid?
- Is it possible to get the abv or gravity without a kit? Not concerned with these until I know I can do it and get a kit.
- How to remove the liquid without the left over debri at the bottom of the jug? Is that what the "racking" procedure is?
- Should I forget all of this, and just get a kit regardless? I don't have a lot of room in my house, no basement in fact either.

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Old 05-31-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Go ahead and do this.

Yes you can scale down the recipe. I would scale down the yeast as well as too much may give an off flavor. The yeast will only attenuate so much, so the ABV shouldn't be too dofferent regardless of the amount of yeast unless to pitch far too little.

I would suggest mashing the fruit. Put in some water and campden tablet to kill wild yeast, and let set for 24 hours.
Then pitch your yeast and stir a few times a day for 7 days.
The ABV is the yeast eating the sugars and pooping alcohol. You will get it without a kit. You will probably want to add some corn sugar depending on the sugar content of the fruit you use.
You siphon the liquid with a racking cane. If you hold it in the middle you will get neither the junk on the bottom, or the stuff floating.

You can start however you like. I have done a kit and they are really easy and bulletproof. If you go with fruit, google Jack Keller.

That is all.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
The ABV is the yeast eating the sugars and pooping alcohol. You will get it without a kit.
I probably should've clarified what I meant by getting it. The readings, not that it matters to me for these attempts at the moment.

Quote:
Then pitch your yeast and stir a few times a day for 7 days.
I come from a bread baking background, where I always activated my yeast with warm water and sugar set aside for about 15-20 minutes. 7 days? I thought that once fermenting started, the container should be airlocked, being left alone until it's done. I can't imagine activating yeast for 7 days?

Thanks so far! I'm getting excited to try it tonight!
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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you can buy a hydrometer for like 6 bucks.....you can then calculate abv, lots of online calculators to translate SG's into ABV's.

If you don't have a fruit press, freezing the fruit is next best alternative. The freezing breaks down the cell walls and allows for better utilization of the fruit.

When using fruit you will find it much simpler to use an open bucket for your primary (initial) ferment. You can often find food grade buckets at bakerys for nearly free. Don't worry about excess space in primary. In secondary you want jug as full as possible. I just drill a hole in the lid for air lock to fit snugly in. I bought a TIDE laundry bag at walmart for less than 4 bucks. Works great for fruit. Just fill it, zip it, and let it soak.
Gets rid of the floaties.....most of em anyways.

Yes the racking procedure is to hopefully leave the sediment behind. Each rack leaves
yo with a clearer brew than the last. They sell an EASY SIPHON at the LHBS. They come in 3 sizes......you will want the smallest for your 1 gal jugs. GREAT INVESTMENT

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Old 06-02-2012, 01:37 AM   #5
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So I found some (a couple) supplies at a local distrib in town. I saw a 1gal and 5gal carboy + better bottle, corks/caps, pails, and an auto siphon. I guess it's all the basics at least, so I picked up one of the siphons.

Now, I'm an experimenter, so this first experiment I did tonight will possibly fail. I put 3 cans of 100% white peach juice with water, sugar, and yeast in a 1 gallon jug with some room up top. About 2 1/4 cups sugar. This is not from a recipe, but rather see what it does. After the whole thing, cleaning up, I realized I put my bakers yeast in it .

The other 1 gallon jug I did, I basically did the same thing, although I cut a 5 gal basic concentrate recipe down to 1 gal, with 1 packet of wine yeast . At least I did the right yeast in this.

I left both with the caps just kind of sitting on, as I read this is ok for fermentation at least. Considering these are expirements, after most of the fermentation process is done, I am wrapping some pinholed balloons on then to see the decline in activity.

I'm writing this mostly to say thanks for the information here and on basically the whole site. I don't think I'd have ventured this without it. I'm looking into some kits meanwhile, smaller ones, and if the activity and all that goes well, I'll pull the trigger one something. Thanks guys!!!

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Old 06-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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Did you perchance take any specific gravity readings?

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Old 06-03-2012, 03:57 AM   #7
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I think a previous question was not really answers when you asked about "activating" the yeast for 7 days. Oxygen and lower CO2 levels are good for the yeast in the first week of fermentation. Since you have jugs it is hard to introduce oxygen and really stir things up without having an eruption of must everywhere. So about twice a day just slightly swirl the jug on the edges of the bottom and help release some CO2 for the first week. This will help the yeast to not be stressed as much and you will have a better product.

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Old 06-04-2012, 01:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Did you perchance take any specific gravity readings?
No. I don't have a hydrometer (?) yet.

Quote:
...slightly swirl the jug on the edges of the bottom and help release some CO2 for the first week...
I figured this might've been what the idea was getting at. Glad to have a confirmation of it.

The 2 jugs I've set up have been bubbling/fermenting along fine now, going into today as the 3rd day. I think with the help/info you guys provided her for me for my "1st experiments" and how they are working correctly, I'll be aiming at getting a kit real soon.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #9
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if you dont have a hydrometer put an egg in the must and add sugar untill the egg floats that will give u about 1.085 which translates to about 11% ABV.
you can also get a small paint strainer bag and put your fruit in it and place in primary, and remove it with most of the pulp at the end of the first week, the rest will settle out in time


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