TheMighty - OH (Discord ID: 329927650107850756), page 1
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Would brewing/fermenting be appropriate here in the cooking channel?
@Deleted User - Very nice. I usually do 5-6gallon batches. I've been doing ciders lately and have worked out a decent/simple/cheap recipe. I'll take photos and post next time I do it.
@Deleted User - Took me a few batches, but I think the final batch turned out great! Great balance of sweetness, tartness, dryness, and abv. Most of the store bought was too sweet for me.
Yes, this current recipe is 100% apple based. Am going to try a 50/50 apple/pear for spring, but currently ive only done apple
I have two carboys and one of those new catalyst fermentors that I got for xmas, all of them hold 6-1/2gals if you filled them to the brim, but I usually do 5-1/2gal batches so I dont have to worry about using a blowoff.
I also have a home-made mash tun that I use for my all-grain batches
@Deleted User - The mini-freezer would be nice. Have you had any luck with lagers? I've tried a couple times and failed miserably
Am not confident enough to give you advice on a lager! I'd recommend trying a kolsch. Thats what i did after my lager failures lol
Here's a good 5gal Kolsch recipe. If the malts listed aren't easily available to you, you can sub the 10lbs of pilsner out for regular old 2-row and the 1/2lb of Munich for Vienna or 60L Crystal.
Interesting, what's the main flavor? Does it taste really vinegary?
Ah okay. i googled it and looked at some recipes. Most of them had apple cider vinegar in them. o.O
I'll make some when weather warms up
The truth will out.
***Long post warning***
Okay so here's my hard cider process/recipe.
I explain through some basic stuff here & there just to make it noob-friendly. So for the griseled veterans, don't take offense.
(6) Gallons of apple juice ($18)
(1) Pound of brown sugar ($2)
(2) Cans of apple juice concentrate ($3)
(1) Packet of dry cider yeast ($3)
Your juice can be apple juice or cider, it can be organic or non-organic, you can press your own apples, buy it from a farmer, grow your own trees, whatever. I personally am not a puritan with this stuff, so I use Kroger and CostCo brands (Kroger brand is pictured). There's just a couple things you want to look around on the labels and see if they're present. One of those things is whether or not it's pasteurized. 99.99999% chances are that it is. Most stores, and even apple farmers, won't put something on the shelf that could possibly get them sued. If you are a better man than I am and decided to crush & juice your own 100lbs of apples, then it is NOT going to be pasteurized. The only difference this is going to make in the process is whether or not you need to boil just a little of your juice, or ALL of it.
If you're going with store-bought stuff, you just want to keep an eye out some harmful preservatives. I won't get into the science of each, but here's a quick & easy cheat sheet for the most common one's you'll see:
Sodium Benzoate = BAD
Potassium Sorbate = BAD
Sulfur Dioxide = BAD
Ascorbic Acid = Perfectly fine
The bad preservatives will hurt your yeast's progress or halt it completely. Avoid them.
The presence of yeast is crucial to making cider, ale, wine, etc, however the type of yeast isn't very important to the un-snobbish amongst us.
I've used wine yeast, ale yeast, cider yeast, and wild yeasts, all with fine results. The only one I have yet to try is bread yeast, so I can't speak to that. Out of all that I've used, I found that the Cider House brand (pictured) is one of the more balanced, at least for the taste I'm going for. You may or may not find it at your local homebrew store, but you can buy it off of Amazon for $9 for a 3-pack. https://www.amazon.com/Cider-House-Select-Premium-Yeast-3/dp/B00N2WGUPW
***-Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate-***
I use this to back-sweeten, add some fermentable sugars to the batch, and to give back some appley-ness to my cider. Much like the juice notes earlier, you don't have to get very fancy with this unless you want to. Just read the label and make sure that the preservatives I noted earlier are not present.
This is another preference of mine. You could easily use white sugar or some other kind of candy sugar, but I found that brown sugar gives the cider a nice amber tone along with some nice earthy molasses tastes. On the practical side, it is adding some fermentable sugars to your cider as well as backsweetening it. Any old brown sugar will do, you can be as fancy or as cheap as you like here. I have found that the British stuff is the best, but it isn't always readily available.
Temperature is a big deal. Too hot will kill your yeast. Too cold and they will quit working and go dormant on you. Ideal temperature ranges between 70 to 85 degrees. A bit above or below that isn't going to be a deal-breaker, but be at least slightly conscious of it. Maybe don't leave your cider to ferment out in the garage in the middle of summer or in the garden shed in the middle of winter. I keep mine in my basement, as it has a pretty steady 70 degree range.
Sterilize everything. My routine is to wash everything with dish soap and the soft end of a scrubbing pad. Rinse it well.
Gather your tools and ingredients.
If your juice has been in the refrigerator, take it out and let it start warming it up to room temperature. Your yeast will hate you if you throw them into cold juice.
For tools, you should have a stockpot or kettle that can hold at least 2-gallons, a fermenter vessel that can hold at least 6-gallons, a lid for your fermenter, and an airlock of some sort.
In my photos I am using a Catalyst Fermenter, and I really can't recommend these things highly enough. https://www.amazon.com/Catalyst-Fermentation-Craft-Brew-Fermenter/dp/B073W7MGL4
If you don't have $200 handy for getting one of these things, any old food-grade plastic bucket with a lid will work fine. There's also a number of cheap alternatives in your local homebrew store, home depot, Amazon, or wherever. An igloo water cooler works just as well as any fancy fermenter.
An airlock is something that you can find at any homebrewing store for $2. But it isn't a super-duper crucial thing. My Grandmother used to make booze in a metal garbage can with a cheesecloth draped over it. Ultimately you just want to keep critters from getting into your cider.
Get your yeast started.
You can always just dump the dry yeast straight into the fermenter when you're done, but getting them started prior to that gives them a chance to wake up, rub their eyes, stretch, hump their wife, take a shower, have their coffee, maybe stop by the gym on their way to work etc. Put yourself in the yeast's shoes. Would you rather wake up naturally and give yourself ample time to get moving in the morning, or would you rather wake up in a panic to a blaring alarm in your ear. Getting them started is a simple task, so you may as well just do it, the yeast will appreciate it.
Take a cup of lukewarm water along with a tablespoon of the brown sugar and swirl it around until the sugar is mostly dissolved. From there dump your yeast in and swirl them around until the whole concoction is sufficiently mixed. Set it aside somewhere warm.
Start your science experiment.
Add a gallon of your juice to your stockpot and turn the heat up. You don't need to boil it, just get it up to a simmer. Once it's simmering, add (1) can of your frozen concentrate and (1) pound of your brown sugar to it. Get yourself a spoon or ladle that's big enough so that you don't have to stick your hand into scalding liquid, and from there just gently stir it until everything is dissolved. I'd say a good 30minutes should suffice.
*For those of you familiar with brewing beer, you're probably wondering what this devilry is all about. You're used to getting the whole thing to a rolling boil and then leaving it that way for an hour or more. Cider is different, the ingredients are different, and the invasive bacteria that can ruin your beers are different, so a lot of the steps a beer brewer is used to doing aren't at all necessary with a cider. Cider is far more forgiving than beer.*
Add frozen concentrate
Add brown sugar
Simmer for a bit
Cool it down.
Pretty self-explanatory. Once it's simmered for a good 30min or so, just put it somewhere cool/cold and let it cool down. Wintertime is nice for this, as you just toss the whole pot outside and let the weather do the work. You can also put it in the refrigerator if you have the extra space, or even fill your sink with some icewater and set the pot in it. It really doesn't matter, just cool the stuff down. You'll know it's done when you can put your hand on the side of the pot and hold it there for 10seconds without burning yourself.
Fill up the fermenter.
Dump (4) gallons of your juice into your fermenting vessel, it's as simple as that really. Hopefully it's at room temperature, but if not, don't worry too much about it.
Mix it all together and top it off.
Your concoction sitting out in the winter air should hopefully be cooled down enough after an hour or so. Take that pot and dump it into your fermenter on top of the 4 gallons of juice that you just put in there. The mixture of the regular juice and the semi-hot concoction should bring all 5 gallons to a liveable temperature for your yeast.
Take your last gallon of juice and top off your fermenter with it. Leave it about an inch from the top so it has some room to fizz without making a mess.
Pitch your yeast.
Your yeast should be awake and ready to start their day at this point. Ideally they are bubbling along in their container, tasting the brown sugar you gave them, and looking for more of it. They're ready to go.
If you have a thermometer somewhere, do a quick check on the temperature of your juice in the fermenter. Optimal temperatures are between 70 to 85 degrees (Fahrenheit!), a little bit up or down from that isn't too big of a deal. But again, put yourself in the yeast's shoes. Imagine washing ashore on a tropical island full of blonde-haired blue-eyed Caucasian women who are wearing only leaves to cover their bits, you'd be ready to get to work right away! Amirite?! Now imagine that same scenario, only instead of the Bahamas you wash up in Antarctica, or the Sahara desert. It becomes a bit of a different scenario. Not an impossible one, but less than ideal for sure.
If your temperature looks good, then you're all set. Dump that container full of yeast right in!
Lock it up.
A lot of people like to leave the airlock off for a day so the yeast get a steady supply of fresh air while they're multiplying and reinforcing their ethnostate. The claim is that it makes the process faster, but I personally haven't really noticed much of a difference. My general approach with brewing and fermenting is to fix-bayonets and yolo, so I just strap on the airlock and leave it alone for a couple days.
Usually within 24-48hrs you should be seeing quite a bit of activity. Your fermenter should be cloudy, your airlock should be bubbling away and your yeast should be happily eating their way through the sugar utopia you placed them in. Check on it every couple of days, but mostly just leave it alone to do it's thing.
Rack it, bottle it, or neither.
Around the 10-15 day mark, you should be seeing significantly less activity. There's less (if any) bubbling in the airlock, there's a weird sediment at the bottom of the fermenter, This is something of a crossroads for you, think of it like one of those 'Choose your own Adventure' kinda books.
We can: A.) Bottle the semi-cloudy cider up and be done with it. or B.) Leave it be for a bit longer so it can clear up some more.
I typically choose option B, but with some conditions. I'll give it another few days, but I also close the vents in my basement so it cools down into the low 60's. The cool temperatures speed up the clearing phase. The yeast will drop to the bottom (that's what that weird tan sediment is) and the cider starts to look more and more like something you'd like to drink. But also keep in mind that the cider will just as easily clear up in the bottle, so it's really up to you. Feel free to pour yourself a glass and check it out. It isn't quite what the final product will taste like, but it'll give you an idea.
If you intend to leave it alone long enough to clear out completely, then I would suggest siphoning your cider into another vessel, cleaning out the main fermenter, and then siphoning your cider back in to the fermenter. This is called "racking".
Leaving your cider on that tan yeast sludge for extended periods of time can give it some off flavors, and nobody wants that.
Bottle it up.
For the roughly 6 gallons of cider we made here, you're going to need roughly 3 cases of 12oz bottles (72 bottles) or roughly 2 cases of 16oz bottles. I keep a few growlers around in case I run out of bottles.
***DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT USE WINE BOTTLES! This stuff is going to be under pressure and wine bottles are not made for that kind of pressure. Champagne bottles are fine, but wine bottles are NOT.***
WASH YOUR BOTTLES.
The easiest way is to toss them all into the dishwasher. If you have some bottles that have some stubborn debris in them, add a tablespoon or two of bleach, top them off with warm water, and let them sit for an hour or two. Bleach will take off the most stubborn grime 99% of the time.
Take your last can of frozen concentrate and heat it up in a saucepan with a couple cups of water. The added water will make it less syrupy and easier to mix in with your cider. Once it's cooled down, dump it in your cider and give it a few stirs with a large ladle or spoon.
Pour or siphon your cider into your bottles and cap them off.
Let it age.
Sit them on a shelf and leave them alone for at least 7 days.
The longer you let it age, the better it will get, most traditional ciders won't get touched for a minimum of 3-6 months. But let's be real, traditional ciders don't use Kroger apple juice either, so we're going to make our own damn rules here.
Give one a try after a week, if it tastes a little flat or a little too sugary, then give it another week.
Keep that tan sludge! Those are your yeasts! They're tired and a bit drunk, but they are very much still alive. Once you've bottled up your cider, add a little bit of water to whatever cider is still left at the bottom of your fermenter. Swish it around until you've dislodged most of that sludge, dump it into some jars, put a lid on them and toss them in the fridge. Next time you make a batch of cider, don't bother with using a fresh packet of yeast. Instead just let that jar warm up a bit, shake it around, add a pinch of sugar, and dump it into your new batch. Hey it's not alot, but $3 is $3 right?
Enjoy your booze.
If anyone has any questions, always feel free to dm me
Lol, Kaiser and I are the first votes for IE.
Side note: Joe Ross is a really good guy.
I was surprised at the results of the poll, because it usually seems like that group is overrun with TWP folks.
WEEZ WAZ BILDIRZ!!
@Deleted User - I Assume you're joking?
Makes me miss CO. Sigh.
Strawberries are usually like weeds. What state are you in?
House memo release.
@Deleted User - So, technically, he's partly your son now. Sue the family for 1-day per week custody and bring him to meetups.
Future IE boy came into being yesterday!
@Francis V I don't know much about you or your lady, but there are some non-religious aspects to consider. A woman wanting her mate & potential father of her children to have resources to sustain them is pretty normal. There's a hardwired biological aspect to it, so I wouldn't get too concerned about that part. Seeing as she's Christian, it may even be more prevalent, as religious women often have a desire to take a traditional role.
As far as your love not being used against you: If you are a Christian, then you are already following Christ off of raw faith, you have to put a little bit of faith in her, and she in you.
Having doubts before typing the big knot is normal. Cover your bases, but do not talk yourself out of a good thing because of uncertainties.
^^ Wife is a nurse and we had it out about this as well. When we found out our #2 was going to be a boy, we circled back around and had the arguments again. I won and we left him uncircumcised.
Ultimately she was fully swayed when she asked a pediatrician friend who actually performs circumcisions. He told her that there is no reason for doing it unless for religious reasons or you live in the 3rd world.
Exactly. But the foreskin doesn't even separate until they're older, so there's not even a need to clean anything until he's almost in puberty.
We had some heated arguments as well, it actually really put a strain on the marriage
Honestly, if it comes down to it, you have every right to pull the veto card. Just tell any doctor, nurse, aid, whatever that you do not consent to circumcision in any way and that if they so much as give your boy's weiner a second look, you'll sue them.
No doctor will touch him if both parents aren't in agreement.
Moly actually did a really good video on it, it got my wife to at least question the necessity.
Great video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLmU6xTdeTI
Vaccines are a dicey topic, am not anti-vax, but I think they give them a lot of unnecessary stuff. I don't let them do flu vaccines and other random stuff.
They'll try and give them hepatitis shots minutes after the kid is born. Tell them no and that the pediatrician can give them the shot if needed.
I believe it's hepB, not sure though. But it's something that is primarily spread sexually, so it's absurd that they try and give it to newborns
I started down a similar path lol
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