Continuing on with a new found inspiration for experimenting, we decided to mix some things up in our house cider recipe. One of the things I love most about wine and cider making is the experimentation. Just when I get it right I love to try and make it better.
The trouble being, you just don’t know if you did right or crashed and burned for like six weeks.
The latest endeavor…use new yeast and add homemade vanilla. I broke my cardinal rule! One change at a time…
Recipe: 3 gallon yield
- 12 cups Zulka’s Morena Pure Cane Sugar
- 2 16 oz Bottles Bernard Jensen’s 100% Apple Concentrate
- 2 gallons Spring Water
- 1/4 cup Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 1 packet Red Star yeast “Pasteur Champagne”
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
The new yeast…
I have been an advocate of using bread yeast since the beginning. I like being able to pick some yeast up at the grocery store. Quick and easy. We also really enjoy the wine we make.
I will write another post on yeast this week.
According to my sources we should be able to produce a cider or wine around 16-17% ABV. We have been experimenting with using a hydrometer to get some actual readings on our batches.
Check out the before reading!
The other tweak we included was using homemade vanilla extract. My wife started making our own extract a little over a year ago and I love the flavor of it. The decision to use it was part flavor and part pride of using an ingredient we make here at home.
As always we will let you know how his batch turns out through the stages…brew, rack, bottle, enjoy!
Update: I prepared the yeast as directed on the package. I think that was a mistake and though the prep used low heat (lower than 100 degrees) I believe it killed the yeast. After about 12 hours the carboy had no bubbling activity.
I decided to add another envelope of the champagne yeast directly to the batch. The champagne yeast is slower and not a vigorous but I felt there was no activity at all.
I wanted to salvage the batch if at all possible!
I think I made the right decision…after 12 hours I had large bubbles forming; very slight bubbling in the air lock. One pop every 10-15. This morning I awoke to the beautiful aroma of my favorite reaction and the air lock was popping constantly…a dutiful pop, pop, pop. No pause.
Hope you enjoy!