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Tusch

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Well I have 4 in primary and secondary and I am so excited for those I had to start some more. I gotta give credit to Pyro, he is the one that gave me some advice on this one.

******EDITED FINAL RECIPE********
Primary Recipe is as follows:
5 gallons Apple Juice
4 lbs. Frozen Blueberries
1.5 cups Craisins
2 lbs Light Brown Sugar
2 Cans Apple Juice Concentrate
1 pkt 71b yeast, rehydrated

When racking 4 750's worth was siphoned off and bottled, the secondary additions were to add more blueberry flavor and aromatics and replace what was taken out.

Secondary:
added 5 pounds of blueberries
62oz of pure blueberry juice
1 gallon of apple juice


I am sure there are some things I could have done differently, but this is all just experimenting for me and I am having a good time with it. I know that many people suggest adding fruit in secondary to impart more fruit flavor, but I chose to do it this way to start. Due to the advice of a member, I started the blueberries in primary and will rack onto some more depending on color and taste in a month or so.

The airlock showed activity within a couple hours and today it is bubbling once every 5 seconds or so.

So, I just started this thread to keep updates on this, because at least for me, I didn't see many threads on blueberry cider, some on meads and wines, but not cider. But any suggestions any of the more seasoned members have are and will always be very welcome.

Here is a pic showing it bubbling away in my bathroom on a towel to keep it from the cool floor, but the room itself is kept between 65 and 70.


And here is a picture of my "brewing closet" which contains my JAOM, my spiced cider, my cyser, and my pomegranate mead.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Well I used store bought frozen blueberries and do not have access to a LHBS. So since in my last internet order I chose not to order any, I went without yeast killers hoping that between the freezing processing and my yeast starter, that the naturals won't pose a problem.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Anybody at all with advice or what I should be seeing ahead? Like I said I am quite a newbie and would love any advice I get.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Well it has been just over two weeks and the airlock's activity is slowing down. I don't mind at all leaving it in the primary for quite a while, but I do intend on tasting for blueberry flavor and racking it over to secondary, possibly and probably on top of more blueberries.

However, I have a problem, the primary and my only large carboy is the 6 gallon glass carboy it is currently in. I am aware that I will have significant losses due to the blueberries absorbing liquid. So my question is more of a multiple choice
Do I:

1 - rack as much liquid as possible from the carboy into a plastic bucket that I will purchase, than dump the blueberries into the freshly cleaned carboy and rack back into it? (where do I get a 5+ gallon bucket? If I am not fermenting in it can't I just use any clean bucket large enough, perhaps from Home Depot or the like?)

2 - Should I just leave it in this carboy for the full term of the fermentation? I lose the ability to add blueberries and it will stay on the lees for significantly longer than desired, though from what I read that isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as it is not too long.

3 - Something else this amature can't think of right now.
 

Nazhuret

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I'm wondering how this turned out.

I just started a batch using bottled blueberry concentrate. Not as sexy as the berries but it is January... I couldn't wait till the season gets into swing.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Ummm I just posted yesterday saying it was still in primary haha. I used frozen blueberries. So I don't mind updating when its done, but could use some advice in the meantime.
 

Nazhuret

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D'oh! I was looking at the "join date" and reading it as the "post date".
I thought your last message was back in Nov 2007.

:eek:

Carry on...
 

placervilledan

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You should make sure to use food grade plastic buckets. The other stuff (Home Depot etc) is harder to clean. They scratch easier, which makes great hiding places for bacteria. At least that is what I have read. If you don't mind leaving it in for a little longer, order another carboy. That would probably be the safest.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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If I am merely racking to the bucket so that I can empty, clean and add more blueberries to the carboy, does the quality of the bucket really matter too much? I mean I don't expect, since this is my most likely scenario, that it would be in the bucket for more than 30 or 45 minutes.
 

Pyro

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Hey Tusch.

Thanks for the props in you initial post. Sounds like your batch is going good. I would'nt worry too much about the bucket from Home Depot. I know they say it should be "food grade", but if you're using a sanitizing agent like "StarSan" (the best in my opinion), making sure it has the appropriate amount of contact time, and minimizing the time in the transfer bucket before you rack it back into the carboy,... I really would'nt think there would be any problem. Your other option of ordering another carboy is a good one too. Which ever option you choose, I'm sure it'll be just fine. My Blueberry Cider has been in the secondary for 40 days now(11 weeks total) on top of more blueberries. I've actually been thinking about racking or bottling it for the past couple of days. Still have'nt decided which is better...bottle aging or bulk aging. I dunno...I'll think it over some more. It is tasting really, really good now...I don't know if it was the second addition of blueberries, or time in secondary, or what, but...DAMN! I'm going to have a hard time laying off of it for the next 4-6 months while it conditions.

Good luck!
 

RogerK

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Tusch said:
However, I have a problem, the primary and my only large carboy is the 6 gallon glass carboy it is currently in. I am aware that I will have significant losses due to the blueberries absorbing liquid. So my question is more of a multiple choice
Do I:

1 - rack as much liquid as possible from the carboy into a plastic bucket that I will purchase, than dump the blueberries into the freshly cleaned carboy and rack back into it? (where do I get a 5+ gallon bucket? If I am not fermenting in it can't I just use any clean bucket large enough, perhaps from Home Depot or the like?)

Check your local bakeries. They often get fillings, etc in food grade 5 gal pails, with lids. I can get mine for $1 ea, if I need to pay for them at all:cross:
 

beala

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Pyro said:
I know they say it should be "food grade", but if you're using a sanitizing agent like "StarSan" (the best in my opinion), making sure it has the appropriate amount of contact time, and minimizing the time in the transfer bucket before you rack it back into the carboy,... I really would'nt think there would be any problem.
I think the food grade label is also to insure it's the right type of plastic to be in contact with food. For example #1 plastic doesn't let oxygen through, which is great to reduce oxidation, but I think a bigger worry is the fact that the cheaper plastics may leach chemicals into your brew. I know liquor shouldn't be stored in plastic, because of the high abv, but I'm not sure about things like beers and wines in the 5-10% abv range. I'm not saying all plastic is dangerous. better bottles/#1 plastic is definitely safe, but I'd be wary of those #7 plastic containers.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Well, the airlock is gurgling less and less. This is a big exam week for me (man I hate school, 4 exams in one week, 3 of which are thursday/friday) and this weekend is trip to chicago with SWMBO, so... looks like I will look into it in a week or so.


Oh but I tasted some more and mmmmm, once I get more blueberries in there for secondary it will be amazing. It already is now, it just needs more bb flavor.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Ok so I have heard that with certain fruits, they will eventually sink to the bottom of a carboy. I remember seeing this in the JAOM recipes, where some people suggested waiting until the oranges drop before bottling or racking. So should I expect the blueberries to drop? I have a feeling they won't and I should just move on with my plan to rack onto more berries, but thought it might be worth it to ask.
 

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interesting recipe....did u take a SG or have a projected FG? its gotta be a BIG cider with all the sugar, right? i love blueberries and i think this ones on deck for the next experiment. Also if you put 4 pounds in teh primary, how many pounds would be in the secondary?
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Well considering I was a cheap ass when I started this, with next to no money to devout to homebrewing (SWMBO is still a gf, so she's more expensive than a wife), I don't own a hydrometer. But I have ordered one and will start to brew using it. Unfortunately I don't have a SG, but with my new hydrometer I should be able to get an accurate reading of when it is done. And I guess at this point it really isn't a cider, because even with guessing on the OG, it would be more accurate to call it a Blueberry/Apple wine, I suppose.

When I do rack to secondary, I will take a tasting and see where the blueberry flavor is at. I will be adding between 3-5 more lbs of blueberries. I have read that just an estimate would be, 1lb;gal for essence, and 2 lbs/gal for dominating flavor.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Tool a Hydro reading tonight, finally got one, and it was sitting comfortably at 1.002 Looks like it ready to be racked over, I am thinking wednesday if this reading is constant. Buy some blueberries and get it going.
 

gwood

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Tusch said:
Tool a Hydro reading tonight, finally got one, and it was sitting comfortably at 1.002 Looks like it ready to be racked over, I am thinking wednesday if this reading is constant. Buy some blueberries and get it going.
Nice. I'm curious to see how it turns out.
 

placervilledan

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Any update? I'm going to start a blueberry cider for summer and was wondering how this turned out.
 

Preliator

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Tusch,
I was wondering how your blueberry cider turned out...looks good and i happen to have a couple of free carboys just begging to get drowned in something!!!!!
let us know bud
anthony
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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You guys are really making me feel bad about not getting this finished haha. I've just been letting it sit for now. I will be transferring to secondary sometime soon, will give you guys an update on the taste than. At that point I will have to decide on the amount of blueberries to add.

But anyways, thanks for showing interest, and keeping me thinking about this!
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Well I still haven't gone secondary, I mean I am a lazy college student haha. No, I actually just been very busy and have chosen to age it a while longer in its current carboy. I will be secondarying it on a few more pounds of blueberry, but so far, this stuff is AMAZING. I have tried it several times, but this is the first time in a few months. And it is tasty stuff!
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Yeah the small amount of co2 in it added a nice touch. I am definitely going to go with a mix of carbed and still on top of sweetened and straight.

I am giving one bottle to SWMBO and another to a friend that turns 21 tomorrow. But I have 2 or 3 weeks before either of them will get these. These are the two main people I intend to sweeten it for, because it already tastes damn good the way it is.

So I plan on racking off enough for 3 wine bottles, and sweetening that bit. Bottle that up and give them as birthday presents. After that I will rack over to my once again bottling bucket. Add a few more lbs of blueberries to the carboy, rack back into the carboy and top off with more juice, perhaps straight blueberry juice instead of apple. Between the added berries and half a gallon or more of blueberry juice, the color should deepen along with the blueberry essence.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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OK, as I said I need to bottle just 2 or 3 bottles of this stuff soon. Would it be ok to bottle straight from the primary and then just finish off the racking to secondary with the rest of the brew? Or would it be best to rack 3 bottles worth into one container and let it sit for a few days for any amount of yeast to settle?

I just want to know if I am racking from the center of my carboy, how much sediment will I really pick up just for that first 3 bottles worth?
 
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Do it man Do it.

I would just be careful to keep the racking tip in the top 1/3 of the stuff and bottle away.

and DO NOT move your fermenter. Even a little movement will disturb a cloud at the bottom. Just rack it where it is.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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So Kahuna, you would say it would be fine to just bottle straight from the primary? As long as I kept in a safe area of the carboy? It is a 6 gal. so there are plenty blueberry and yeast free zones.

Once they are bottled with a packet or two of splenda each, I will then rack onto 5 lbs of blueberries and top off with more juice and let this baby sit for another few months and see much better it gets then!

Well currently going secondary with the rest but here's what I did first ;)

 
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Tusch

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It was officially put into secondary the day of my last post. I added 5 pounds of blueberries, 62oz of pure blueberry juice (DAMN that's expensive) and about a gallon apple juice. Had to replenish what I took out for those four bottles. I was a little worried about taking all the yeast out and then adding a bunch of fermentables in, so I rehydrated some ec-1118 and through that in today.
 
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Tusch

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Well, I'm assuming crazy is a good thing. haha Sucker blew through the airlock, not enough to bust it, but it was bubbling sweet sweet violet gold. After emptying the cider from the airlock, cleaning it up a bit and refilling it, its bubbling away nicely.
 
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Tusch

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Yup bumping my own thread again, I think I am about 3/4 of the posts in here haha.

Anyways, woke up today to a full airlock AGAIN. This cider is possessed and in a good way. Cleaned out the airlock, siphoned out some more and reassembled. There's no way it can happen again, right?
 

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Did you crush the blueberries?

I ran into this problem - the blueberries initially swelled and (I presume) fermented within the berry until they burst ... but in the meanwhile, since the gas was contained like a whole bunch of little balloons, they displaced tons of liquid, which went up, up, up, and out ...

I had to change the airlock several times - finally (with reluctance but resignation) pulled off some of the juice. Didn't have a blow-off tube handy.

Good luck ...
 
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Tusch

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I stuck with the method that was advised to me, since they were frozen berries, I thawed them and refroze them several times to break down the cell walls. Then added them whole to the carboy for secondary, just like I did for primary. I didn't have to take much liquid out, my berries did not burst in primaryand don't expect them to in secondary. My problem was i filled the carboy very full when I topped it off, then when the berries floated to the top, they took up much more space, since many floated above the liquid level. This displaced too much brew and forced it all up once active fermentation restarted.
 

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Tusch said:
I stuck with the method that was advised to me, since they were frozen berries, I thawed them and refroze them several times to break down the cell walls. Then added them whole to the carboy for secondary, just like I did for primary. I didn't have to take much liquid out, my berries did not burst in primaryand don't expect them to in secondary. My problem was i filled the carboy very full when I topped it off, then when the berries floated to the top, they took up much more space, since many floated above the liquid level. This displaced too much brew and forced it all up once active fermentation restarted.
what size carboy are you using?
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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Its a 6 gal. glass carboy. And even though I took some more out yesterday before it got the chance to overflow, guess what I woke up too today? Jeeze, how long can this go on for.
 
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Tusch

Tusch

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I sweetened some of it in bottles with splenda, I am aware of the dangers of bottle bombs, I also used wine bottles with corks.

The brew left in the carboy was not "sweetened" since it is still very much so fermenting, I top it off with more juices and berries when I went to secondary.
 
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