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Old 10-28-2011, 02:23 AM   #1
llamabox
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Default First timer brew log

I figured since this would be my first attempt at brewing I would log the experience. This will help me as my memory tends to be lacking. And if I get some help along the way it might even help other newbies that happen across this thread.

As with anything new I get into I have tried to do my research first. I have spent a few weeks reading, listening to brew related podcasts and watching tons of videos. But even if I did make a mistake I guess I wouldn't know till I tested the end product unless someone more knowledgeable than myself happened by to say," Hey that shouldn't be like that." But till then this is what I am doing.

Where to start.... Equipment I guess.
I have a couple 4.5gal HDPE #2 jugs I plan on using for fermentation. Then stopped by the LHBS and got a vial of WLP775 English Cider Yeast, airlock w/ stopper, and some sanitizer. I already had some equipment used for canning and such, pressure cooker, funnel, mason jars, ect.

So I got what I need to get going, but I'm nervous and don't want to mess stuff up. After all I have like $14 invested here. LOL So I read some more, check out all I can find on starters, watch a few videos on them and then 3 days later I decide to start one.

Pulled my liquid yeast from the fridge before I went to work. When I got home I washed and sanitized everything. Placed a Qt of apple juice on to boil and diluted it a bit with a cup of water. Just as it came to a boil I pulled it and allowed to cool in the pot in an ice bath. With my sterilized instant read thermometer I wait for the must/wort? to get below 75 as the vial from White Labs says this is the high end of the viable temp range. Once it gets below 75 I transfer the juice to a 1/2 gallon glass jar, whose plastic screw lid has been prepared by drilling a 1/4" hole in it and packing this hole with polyfill to act as an air filter.

Now it's time to pitch the yeast. I dump the vial and watch it swirl up in a neat looking cloud. I seal it up with a non-prepped but sterilized lid and swirl/shake it to get it all mixed well then put the filter lid on it and sit it to the side.

This is what it looked like right after pitching the yeast and mixing it up.



24hrs later when I come home from work this is what it looks like.



The yeast has settled a bit into what looks like 2 layers.



But I still see small bubbles breaking the surface much like a soda pop so I know it's still going. So I gave it a little swirl and put it back in the dark.


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Old 10-28-2011, 07:05 AM   #2
dinnerstick
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it's not heart surgery, if you're just fermenting juice with yeast chuck it in the carboy and move on. being clean and sanitary is good, but bear in mind people have for centuries been making cider by squeezing some apples and waiting. we now have fancy chemicals to help subdue the wild yeasts bacteria and whatever else on the apples but the stuff we ferment, bottled juice excepted, is far from sterile. and it comes out good.
personally i would (/will) never 1. cook the juice (why would you?) nor 2. dilute the juice with water, with cider you often have too little apple flavor, dilution is your enemy.
good luck and enjoy your cidermaking, seems like you already caught the addiction


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Old 10-28-2011, 09:34 AM   #3
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I got to agree with dinnerstick on the heating of juice. Often store-bought juices are already pasturized, no need to heat them. Boiling juice can & will likely set the pectins, which can result in cloudy cider; it can also alter the flavour, making it taste more "cooked." Not too different from the difference between a fresh apple & a cooked apple. There are some who actually seek to replicate that "cooked" flavour though, it all depends on what you want in your finished product. I use Campden tabs (potassium metabisulfite) to sterilize non-aseptic fruits & juices, it's never failed me yet.
Sounds like you're on the right track though, won't be long till you're making all sorts of tasty libations, just cuz you can.
Regards, GF.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #4
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I am using a commercial sized gallon of concentrate I picked up free at work. It has a 5-1 dilution ratio and since I am using tap water I decided to boil it to drive off any chlorine or other municipal additives.

I will be pitching my starter tonight and will post some more pics then.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamabox
I am using a commercial sized gallon of concentrate I picked up free at work. It has a 5-1 dilution ratio and since I am using tap water I decided to boil it to drive off any chlorine or other municipal additives.

I will be pitching my starter tonight and will post some more pics then.
Good luck llamabox
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:36 AM   #6
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Sorry for not posting the pics. I guess it seemed like it was doing well so no need.
I am coming up on day 5 and the airlock has slowed to 1 bubble every 2 seconds.


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