||10-15-2011 08:47 PM
2nd Attempt, 1 problem...
I tried making 5 gallons of hard cider last year. it was definitely potent, but it tasted like hell, so here's what I have going this year:
-6 gallons local cider (pasteurized, no preservatives)
- 3 lbs. brown sugar
- 1.5 lbs. local honey
- 1 packet Yeast (Red Star Premier Cuvee)
FG: don't know yet
I just started it on 10-11-2011 This yeast didn't take any additional effort to get it going. I poured the honey, brown sugar, and 3/4 gallon of cider into a pot and let it simmer to dissolve the sugar and honey. In the meantime, I let the remaining gallons of cider get close to room temp. I poured the sugar/honey/cider mixture into my fermentation bucket, then poured all of the remaining cider into it. I sealed the lid, added my airlock, and in less than 2 hours, the airlock was already bubbling!
I'm going to rack it out a week or so after I started and check the gravity of it. I have a feeling this one's going to pack a punch like last years, but here's hoping it tastes better!
I do have a potentially serious problem: I didn't start my cider in a carboy; I am using a fermentation bucket with a spigot towards the bottom of the bucket (for easy bottling I'm assuming had I used this for my secondary container) and the top has a small diameter hole big enough for a rubber stopper for my airlock. My problem is, the hole in my lid is too small for my racking cane to slide into it.
I was thinking I could re-sanitize the outside of the lid, a knife/razorblade, and an appropriate sized rubber grommet. I would use a marker to trace out my hole, then quickly cut the hole I want. I would leave the rubber stopper and airlock in it so I don't lose the plastic piece in my cider. Then I'd install the rubber grommet, hopefully without dropping it into the bucket (ill have a few backups handy), then re-insert the airlock/rubber stopper. If I do this fast enough, should I be concerned about air making contact with my cider? I would much rather use my racking cane than the existing spigot on the bucket so I don't dispense the lee into my secondary fermenter.