Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bottling Pipeline Cider

Keepin' the Flow

Follow up post for the Pipeline Cider. Homebrewers all know about "The Pipeline," the steady flow of fermented beverage required to keep a house happy. Because brewing takes so much time, (usually at least two weeks from mixing to drinking) it would be easy to let the stocks get too low between batches. Because of my hard and fast brewing rule:

Cory Brew Code

Art. 1, Sec. 1.7 (101) 
...Whilst in the process or method (sic) of homebrewing, and among these methods be, but not limited to mixing, measuring gravity, bottling, observing of the flavor and aroma properties; the brewer (he or she in possession of brewing and all others present in the household) must be enjoying a previously made homebrew...

I have to always have something ready. Thanks to my standard Pipeline Cider, I always have something I can easily and funly (?) throw together. In a bit over two weeks, this cider had fermented down from 1.054 to 1.006, giving me a little over 6% alc/vol. The cider had the same great look, smell, and taste that I have come to expect since adding the secret tannic addition: a little bit of black tea.

The Process

Time to bottle! I primed the whole thing with 5 tablespoons of brown sugar. I know, I know, I'm working on getting a metric scale to measure out my ingredients more accurately and so I can stop mixing metric and American measures. Until then... 5T for the whole batch.

Priming Sugar Before Dissolving for cider
Priming Sugar Before Dissolving

The batches from my water jug usually yield about 4L of finished juice. I set out and sanitized a 2L, 1.5L, and .75L bottles for bottling. I always have a little bit more capacity cleaned and sanitized just in case, so observe the little 500mL cola bottle on the left. Look a little closer and you might see my glass behind the bottles. Any leftovers are always welcome in that little glass. The glass today happens to be an Old Fashioned glass I found on Grafton Street late one night...

Empty Bottles Ready for cider
Bottles Ready

I set up my standard bottling rig, even though I was dealing with a small batch. Bottles on one chair, me on another. I start the siphon with the bottling tube from the fermenter above to the bottles below. I started the flow, and all three bottles were filled in three minutes.

Bottling Rig for cider
Bottling Rig

Filled Cider Bottles
Filled Cider Bottles

Bottles were filled and primed, with just a little bit of (rather cloudy) cider to top off my glass. Another small batch in the books.

Final Numbers

Brew No. 042

3L Sun Grown Apple Juice
1.5 Cups Golden granulated unrefined sugar
1 handful sultanas
1 teabag Barry's black tea
Yeast nutrient
1/3 packet dried cider yeast

-Boiled sultanas and teabag in water- removed teabag and simmered sultanas
-Strained liquid, returned to pan, added sugar and slowly heated until dissolved
-Added a pinch of yeast nutrient
-Poured first 1.5L carton, poured heated liquid, poured second 1.5L carton into fermenter
-Topped up with cold water to approx 4.5L
-Manually aerated (shook like hell) fermenter
-Pitched yeast

OG- 1.054

15 days later...

FG- 1.006, 88.85% Apparent attenuation, 6.26% alc/vol
Good apple taste, not too sweet, just a bit dry, good tannins

5 Tbls brown sugar priming, dissolved in approx. 50mL boiled water. 

Yield: 1x 2L, 1x 1.5L, 1x .75L

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