Thursday, March 12, 2015

Everyday I'm Bubbling!

While most of my blog will focus on my garden, I have several other projects going on around my house that I plan to blog about as well. One of the projects I am really excited about is making home brew hard cider. I received a Brooklyn Brew Shop hard cider kit as a gift from Hungry in the Hammer in the new year, and on February 22nd I decided to give it a whirl.

The whole kit and kaboodle!
 My kit came with pretty much everything I would need to make three batches of hard apple cider. It included a one gallon glass fermenting jug, an airlock, hose, a glass racking cane, a filter for the racking cane, plastic hose, yeast and sanitizer. The only things I need to provide are the apple cider, a funnel, a bowl and bottles to pour the fermented cider into.
The fermenter, racking cane, airlock and hose. 

The setup before I start making cider!

 Perhaps the most important part of making cider, or any alcohol for that matter, is making sure that everything is sanitized. If anything is contaminated it can ruin the whole process and make your cider taste like vinegar instead of delicious apples. Be sure to sanitize everything. If you are unsure, sanitize it again.
Sanitizer and a bowl of water.
 My kit suggested I fill a bowl with water, mix the sanitizer and then rinse everything in the sanitizer before letting it air dry.

Sanitizing the funnel! SANITIZE EVERYTHING!

Everything sanitized and ready to brew!

 Once you have everything sanitized and air dried you have to fill your fermenter with apple cider. Put your funnel in the fermenter and pour away.
Bennetts Apple Cider! Nothing but the best for my Brew!
 Once you have the fermenter full, you need to add the yeast. My kit came with champagne yeast and you pour the whole package into your fermenter. Once your yeast has been added to the cider, you need to shake the mixture in order to oxygenate the apple cider and activate the yeast.

Yeast and Cider. Shaken not stirred!
Once you have your cider and yeast mixed, you need to set up your cider to start fermenting. My kit directed me to sanitize the plastic tube, fill the bowl with a new batch of sanitizer and then push one end of the tube into the hole on top of the fermenter with the other end being left in the bowl of sanitizer. The purpose of this is to let carbon dioxide escape while making sure that the apple cider doesn't get contaminated. My setup looked like this. 

Let the fermenting begin!

At this point I left my cider sitting for three days letting gas escape while the yeast began to eat the sugars in the cider. After three days. I removed the hose from the cap. I sanitized, and then resanitized the airlock that came with the kit and placed the airlock into the hole I that had previously held the plastic tube. 

The waiting game. 
Once you have your airlock in place it pretty much becomes a waiting game, which is where I am at right now. The kit advises you to wait for two weeks or until the bubbling stops inside the fermenter. While it has been two weeks as of yesterday, my home brew is still bubbling so here I wait. Hopefully it will be ready shortly but if it makes my cider more delicious in the end, I feel it will be more than worth waiting a few extra days before bottling.

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