January 14, 2012 4 Comments
After bottling Cider Experiment #2 (still haven’t posted) Divide! commented that he liked the cider but hated the bottling (this was 100 bottles!).
I thought about it some more, and an experiment was born.
“could you make cider lazily, and just bottle in the juice jugs themselves and be carbonated in a week?”
My first experimental steps were:
- Buy 4 Jugs of cider
- Put yeast in all 4
- After 1 day, seal the lid for Jug 1
- 2 days in, seal Jug 2, do the same for Jugs 3 and 4 on days 3 and 4…
- At a week, bring them to a party and see what level of carbonation is best.
The things that held me back was I did not have an event where I could bring 4 gallons of cider. Then we started planning a party…
I had a big brewing day. I was making a mild with 2nd runnings from brewing at Tom Schmidling’s, and I was brewing 3 versions of a CDA with 3 smoked malts (future post). The counters were full of brewing goodnesses.
I went for a reduced experiment.
- 2 1 Gallon jugs of cider (same as previous).
- Put hydrated yeast in both,
- Just place the lids on loosely
- at 20 hours I closed the lid on #1.
- With in 2 hours it was puffing":
- Hmmm, This is science so I should measure
- 5 hours later, this is starting to look like a bad idea, and by bad idea, I mean explosively bad, and by that, I mean AWESOME.
- I decided to take a precaution and put the sealed jug in a pot:
- Yeah, that is going to blow… I put a grocery bag over the top… Which was a great idea, when 2 hours later, it blew:
The sound was like a gunshot. Amazingly, no one woke up for that…
Since I still had a gallon of cider, or so, in the pot, I decided to pour it into a 2 liter bottle and put an airlock in the top. Now when you write that sentence the fact that 2 litres is significantly less than 1 gallon seems obvious, but at the time it did not. The problem was pouring from a large pot into a 2 litre bottle. I did it in the sink, with the idea that any spills would go into the sink…
It worked, for filling. It was tricky, holding a funnel and bottle in one hand, and pouring from a 3 gallon pot in the other (2 liter bottles are not very tip proof). I poured the cider in, suddenly realizing I has too much in the pot. I then carefully put pot on the counter. Did I mention the counter was full of brewing goodness, ginger bread houses, and other things? Well I carefully set the pot on the counter, making sure it was stable, only to discover it was not. The liquid in the pot has sloshed toward the middle of the counter letting me thing it was stable, and then sloshed back informing me it was not, by dropping to the floor. The loud clatter was what woke people up, and made the floor sticky, not the explosion. I mopped the floor 3 times that night, and it was still sticky the next day.
The results are that you cannot carbonate in the juice jugs, they are not pressure worthy.
This was likely a known bad idea had I thought about the jugs [insert joke here]. I could have test the pressure worthiness of the jug before hand. However, using a 2 litre bottle as a back gave me a further idea, that I could just ferment the 2 gallons in 4 of those.
So the idea of just going to the store for cider and the LHBS for wine yeast and having cider in a week, now requires more equipment (bottles seem to hold up to 200PSI), but that can be found material.