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    Home brewing

    I'm getting back into the oul' home brewing after years of not being too lazy to bother. Thought it might be worth a thread for those who have done or are considering doing the same.

    Well, to be strictly accurate what I'm doing right now is having a first ever go at making some crab apple wine, probably about 10 litres or so to start with. Cooked them just enough to soften them a few days ago and then chucked them in a blender (they smelled fantastic) before putting the resultant glop into my old brewing barrel, which I had of course sterilised beforehand. Set some wine yeast on the go and left it for a couple of nights in a covered jar. Next step was to strain the juice through a muslin cloth - had hoped to do this just one day later, but I didn't get the muslin when I expected to so when I opened the barrel again the juice was already starting to show signs of fermentation even without putting in sugar or yeast. I'll add those once the juice is fully strained - supposedly you're not supposed to squeeze it through but let it drip at its own pace, anybody know why?

    Anyway, I have entrenched my position as the most popular member of the household by leaving much of this process to take place in one of the shower cubicles, using a little A-frame clothes rack to suspend the muslin and apple mush. This is also handy for draping a bed sheet over the top in an effort to prevent any fruit flies finding their way into it and turning it all to vinegar.

    At this stage I still have the choice of following different processes depending on whether I want to end up with crab apple wine or crab apple cider. I think I'll go with wine this time around and then cider with the next lot, which will involve cooking apples too.

    So - am I the only one, or are there more home brewers/wine makers out there?
    Tis but a scratch.

    #2
    Will you need the "extra sugar" to convert to alcohol ? I would of expected there would be enough natural sugars in the apples. Unless you are after a high ABV. You may need to add sweetener for taste and sugar for carbonation after the initial fermentation.

    Disclaimer: The above is my gutt feeling and not based on any known logic!! Happy Brewing, I hope it works out.

    Comment


      #3
      I am not one but harbour ambitions and have quite a few friends who are cider makers, some more successful than others!?!? Best of luck, I will be interested to hear how it all works out.

      Doesn't look like the first frost is going to come in time so I will have to get on with the sloe gin after putting the fruit in the freezer.

      Comment


        #4
        I do harbor ambitions alright!

        I've been stashing Grolsh bottles for the last few months and am gearing up to try a cider.

        Never did one before but am open to any suggestions.

        The plan is (roughly) whack a load of organic Apple juice in a demi john and add some tea and a touch of sugar along with cider yeast.

        My dad lives in a large middle eastern country where booze is verboten and he just adds a bit of yeast and sugar to a bottle of apple juice (grolsh type bottle to avoid explosions) and he's all set after a week or two.
        "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards - checkmate!" Zapp Brannigan

        Comment


          #5
          I think / know you are insane and no I don't want any
          My computer thinks I'm gay
          What's the difference anyway
          When all the people do all day
          Is stare into a phone

          Comment


            #6
            What does the tea do?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jelly belly View Post
              What does the tea do?
              It's supposed to add flavour. I haven't done it yet though.

              There's a big thread on boards about home brewing.
              "If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards - checkmate!" Zapp Brannigan

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ruck Em View Post
                Will you need the "extra sugar" to convert to alcohol ? I would of expected there would be enough natural sugars in the apples. Unless you are after a high ABV. You may need to add sweetener for taste and sugar for carbonation after the initial fermentation.

                Disclaimer: The above is my gutt feeling and not based on any known logic!! Happy Brewing, I hope it works out.
                Yeah, especially with crab apples - the little yeastie beasties need it in order to have a good feed and then drown in their own excreta. That's fermentation! Was thinking that I would add some extra sugar at the bottling stage in case it needs a little extra kick. Still have a couple of kilos of blackberries that I gathered over the weekend, but I still think I'd rather mix that with some blueberries for jam.

                Originally posted by sewa View Post
                I think / know you are insane and no I don't want any
                Huh, wasn't offering!
                Tis but a scratch.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                  I'm getting back into the oul' home brewing after years of not being too lazy to bother. Thought it might be worth a thread for those who have done or are considering doing the same.

                  Well, to be strictly accurate what I'm doing right now is having a first ever go at making some crab apple wine, probably about 10 litres or so to start with. Cooked them just enough to soften them a few days ago and then chucked them in a blender (they smelled fantastic) before putting the resultant glop into my old brewing barrel, which I had of course sterilised beforehand. Set some wine yeast on the go and left it for a couple of nights in a covered jar. Next step was to strain the juice through a muslin cloth - had hoped to do this just one day later, but I didn't get the muslin when I expected to so when I opened the barrel again the juice was already starting to show signs of fermentation even without putting in sugar or yeast. I'll add those once the juice is fully strained - supposedly you're not supposed to squeeze it through but let it drip at its own pace, anybody know why?

                  Anyway, I have entrenched my position as the most popular member of the household by leaving much of this process to take place in one of the shower cubicles, using a little A-frame clothes rack to suspend the muslin and apple mush. This is also handy for draping a bed sheet over the top in an effort to prevent any fruit flies finding their way into it and turning it all to vinegar.

                  At this stage I still have the choice of following different processes depending on whether I want to end up with crab apple wine or crab apple cider. I think I'll go with wine this time around and then cider with the next lot, which will involve cooking apples too.

                  So - am I the only one, or are there more home brewers/wine makers out there?
                  Mmmm yum yum
                  Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. (Marcus Aurelius, 121-189 AD)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Going starting our first ever cider batch tomorrow. Haven't really got a clue what we are doing but gonna research tonight and start picking tomorrow afternoon

                    Does this make it look too easy to be true?

                    http://m.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-cider/
                    Last edited by Cowboy; 29th-October-2013, 15:40.
                    I am the million man.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                      Going starting our first ever cider batch tomorrow. Haven't really got a clue what we are doing but gonna research tonight and start picking tomorrow afternoon
                      Tips: Use as many different varieties of apple as you can get in the mix.
                      If using big plastic 7Up/Coke bottles don't use big 2/3 litre bottles use the smaller ones. That way you can crack a few open to test as the weeks go by and you won't feel compelled to drink 3 litres of rough hard cider every time you want to sample it.
                      Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've a batch of windfall "cider" maturing in the spare room since a month or so.
                        I haven't got much space left in my gaff in Limerick to be making anything interesting and accumulate brewing equipment, so have gone with a simple "cider", which is more like a spiced apple wine. It's the easier of two recipes in the Forgotten skills, Darina Allen book.

                        Basically, you grate apples (skins and all) into a fermenting vessel (I used an enamel tub), cover with water, and leave for around a week covered by a cloth. (the idea is that it absorbs yeast from the air). Strain, then add some cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger and sugar and leave for a day or so. Then strain again through muslin into bottles and leave for around 4-5 months in a cold place.

                        As I'm fairly certain these will have little or no kick, I have given a few of them an alcoholic boost.

                        If any of you are interested, I can copy you with the proper recipe.
                        Darina has another simple one in the same book but needs yeast and more equipment.
                        Last edited by Huwie; 29th-October-2013, 20:07.
                        The axe that cuts the tree can easily forget, but the tree thats been cut will not forget.

                        Originally posted by the plastic paddy
                        Gwan the Welsh

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Be thinking along the lines of the Cori Tap stalwart, Exhibition.

                          I'm aiming to make proper rocket fuel scrumpy.
                          I am the million man.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Cowboy View Post
                            Be thinking along the lines of the Cori Tap stalwart, Exhibition.

                            I'm aiming to make proper rocket fuel scrumpy.
                            Woaaa, I like your thinking!
                            It will be tough to make boss, but by jove will we have some fun trying.

                            I'm regretting giving away my brewing equipment now! Mam had a great cider press as well which she gave away.
                            The axe that cuts the tree can easily forget, but the tree thats been cut will not forget.

                            Originally posted by the plastic paddy
                            Gwan the Welsh

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Huwie View Post
                              Woaaa, I like your thinking!
                              It will be tough to make boss, but by jove will we have some fun trying.

                              I'm regretting giving away my brewing equipment now! Mam had a great cider press as well which she gave away.
                              I've the postman on a mission to get a press he knows is available however if that's not a goer this is my plan:

                              Thinking of using a flat bottomed plastic tub, holes in the corners on the bottom. Crushed apples into muslin inside said tub and press it with a cut to size piece of ply and press using concrete blocks on top, a block a day etc.

                              The orchard where the pigs are is riddled with apples. So will use them. Crushing and pressing seems straightforward. After that it gets a bit complex and into the realms where prior experience seems invaluable.
                              I am the million man.

                              Comment

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