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Old 02-02-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
frugalaudio
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Default My first ever batch of cider...

...is in the primary.

Weird experience. I bought the sweet cider a couple weeks ago. To avoid taking up space in my tiny fridge, I put it on the attic stairs. This being Buffalo, and the attic being uninsulated, I figured this would be a good place to store them. This time of year I thought the temp on the stairs would hold somewhere around 35-40F. Yesterday, I finally managed a stop at Niagara Tradition to pick up the last couple things I needed to start. Today I go to get the juice and all the bottles (one gallon plastic) are distended and some have lost notable amounts of juice. My first thought was that they froze and burst the bottles. So, off I run to the store to get more of the same juice from a local orchard. Fortunately they still had some. Back home, I open the distended bottles and they FIZZ! So apparently, rather than freezing. On one of the recent warm sunny days they started to ferment on their own. Lesson learned, flash pasteurizing apparently does not kill all the yeast!
I poured a little off of each bottle and tasted it. It was carbonated, but still tasting mostly like juice, if a little yeasty. So not wanting to waste it, I poured it into my freshly sanitized five gallon bucket (managed to save about three gallons). Dropped in my brand new hydrometer. If I'm reading it right it came in at a bit below 1.05. On this hydrometer that's in the range labeled "beer before". So I went ahead and added a little less than two gallons of the stuff fresh from the store. The hydrometer bumped up just a touch, right on the 1.05 line, right between "beer before" and "wine before". Pitched in the Nottingham yeast (actually I made a starter). Closed her up.
The bucket's in my spare bedroom which I keep closed off this time of year and seems to hover right around 60F. Will watch carefully. I'm guessing ten days to two weeks in the primary. Still hoping to find some used glassware otherwise it's back to Niagara Tradition for a carboy or some demijohns for the secondary.
Fingers crossed.



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Old 02-02-2012, 01:52 AM   #2
Daze
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how come you added extra yeast?? since it was already going I might have just run with the yeast that were coming alive on their own. Not putting down what you did there is nothing wrong with it, just curious why you did it.



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Old 02-02-2012, 02:52 AM   #3
frugalaudio
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Well, I already had it. And I wasn't entirely sure the natural yeast would keep going. So, I stuck with the original plan. That said, I plan on trying a one gallon batch with natural yeast that I started earlier with some of the juice and a couple of ground up apples from the same orchard.

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Old 02-02-2012, 03:42 AM   #4
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hey makes sense to me. If the wild yeast are well established they may both work away at the sugars, and you may end up with something unique.

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