Monday, 16 February 2009

Nothing fermenting

Because of family visits I have literally nothing fermenting at the moment. And I feel strangely sad because of it. Still, I have plenty to think about, with starting a new job in a couple of days. Hopefully, after the weekend and the family visits out of the way, the vessels can be filled again and away we go!

Turbo Cider 003 - Bottled

I also bottled the third Turbo Cider while I was bottling the Wherry.

2009-02-12 Gravity: 1006. Bottled.

Beer 002 -Bottled

After several successive hydrometer readings of 1016 I bottled the Woodfordes Wherry. It tasted sweet and bitter at the same time, not very beery whilst bottling. I do not hold out much hope for this being a successful brew. However time in the bottle may do something magical, so we will see. Stocks of Beer 001 are now perilously low.

2009-02-12 Gravity: 1016. Bottled, estimate circa 3.4%

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Turbo Cider 003 - Fast fermentation

Turbo Cider 003 had finished it's fizzing within about 3 days, although because of people being here I didn't get to do anything with it.

2009-02-10 Gravity: 1006.

Turbo Cider 002 - Taste

Gemma had been into a bottle of Turbo Cider 003 over the weekend, when Cider 001 was finished. She was quite remiss in her tasting duties, as she didn't report that there was a difference from TC 001. I found out as I opened a bottle to make a cider sauce/gravy with last nights meal and used the rest of the bottle as a taster. The verdict? This had a lot more of an apply sharp taste to it, a lot more body overall. This is curious as it was just apple juice chucked in over the goo from the previous batch. Curious.

Beer 002 - Unstuck

It looks like the nutrient and extra yeast has done something, as the Wherry has now slipped below the dreaded 1020.

2009-02-10 Gravity: 1016.

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Weekend

Over the weekend I enjoyed several bottles of Beer 001, which turned out to be rather drinkable. We had Jo & Andy up and between the four of us managed to polish off a substantial amount of the supply of beer and cider.

I also managed to get down to Brewmart to pick up some yeast nutrient and a couple of packets of Safale S04. I made up a small solution of yeast nutrient and added it to Beer 002 along with a packet of the Safeale. I'm leaving it alone for a few days, then I'll check the hydrometer reading.

Unfortunately Brewmart in Hillsborough is closing soon, they are consolidating to their other shop on the other side of town. This is kind of out of my way, so I may have to start ordering on-line.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Beer 002 - Most likely stuck

I checked again this morning to see whether there had been any movement on the hydrometer. There hasn't been so I think that it has stuck. I've given the sediment a bit of a stir up to try and re-suspend the yeast, and I'll pick up some yeast nutrient this afternoon. Hopefully that will get it moving again.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Turbo Cider 003 - With tea

Prior to bottling Turbo Cider 002, I made a cup of tea with a couple of teabags, stewed until the tea cooled. After bottling and leaving a little of the cider/sludge mixture in the bottom of the fermentation vessel, I added 3L of apple juice, along with the cup of tea. The idea being that the tannins from the tea might give the cider a little bit more body.

Turbo Cider 002 - Bottled

The second Turbo Cider got chucked in 4 x 1L PET bottles this morning (2009-02-04). One of the bottles was a little short as I was trying to leave some in the bottom of the fermentation vessel for the next batch. I topped this off with a litle apple juice, which should mean it will introduce some carbonation in the bottle.

Beer 002 - Stickiness

I checked the Woodfordes Wherry kit this morning, and I can't be sure I hadn't made a mistake with the hydrometer reading last time, so I'm going to leave it another day, check again and then try and fix.

2009-02-04 Gravity: 1018

Monday, 2 February 2009

Beer 001 - Ready (according to kit instructions)

Since it was just after the fortnight anniversary (2009-02-02) of bottling the Young's kit, and as such the kit instructions recommended maturing time, I decided to crack a bottle open. The difference between the early taste and now is quite remarkable. The beer has lost the 'tang' that it had, there is no detectable yeasty smell upon pouring. I'd be lying if I said it was the best pint I've ever had, but on the flip-side it's certainly not the worst I've had either. It's an OK pint, and if it continues to get better in the bottles it'll be very good. The wisdom from Jim's forum seems to suggest at least an additional week before it's at it's prime, i.e. the kit's underestimate the amount of time required, probably so they can emblazon 'ready in 3 weeks' on the box.

Turbo Cider 002 - Ready

The cider has completely stopped fizzing. To be honest I haven't checked it nearly as much as the first lot.

2009-02-02 Gravity: 1006. Still would've thought that the wine yeast would let it get down further. Will be going in bottles when I free one up.

Beer 002 - Stuck?

Just checked the second batch of beer, hydrometer reads 1020, which seems to be the sticking point. I'll give it another check tomorrow and if it hasn't moved I may have to add some yeast nutrient or something to it.

2009-02-02 Gravity: 1020.

Turbo Cider 001 - Tasting

We cracked into the cider on Friday night (2009-01-30), this was after less than a week in the bottle. We were very pleasantly surprised. It smelled and tasted like cider, not unlike that which I've had in pubs before. If anything it lacked body, certainly in comparison to Weston's ciders, which are Gemma's favourites. I will have to have a think about what we can do about that, I have seen strong black tea mentioned (for the Tannin), so perhaps I'll give that a bash.