Cap off, Cup day crazyness

Tuesday was Melbourne Cup day. The race that stops a nation. Well, nearly. I forgot to turn on the TV and only got to see the winning jockey and trainer being interviewed. Whoops.

But that’s not what Tuesday was about. Tuesday was a very special day. I went a little crazy and made some cider.

Yep, the guy who normally doesn’t drink the stuff has made some. It came around due to a couple points. First, summer is coming up and need some more ‘lighter’ drinks. Second, with summer comes festivals and outdoor events. They don’t normally like you bringing in glass bottles which means using plastic bottles.

I’ll be getting around to brewing some pale ales. And I’ll get around to trying plastic bottles for beer, actually it will be this weekend. This cider crazyness is all about me experimenting. I didn’t even have Chas helping out!

Those who know us or have been reading our posts for a while will know that we’re fans of Craig Tube. For those who don’t know him, he’s a Canadian home brewer who has been posting videos up on home brewing for years. There’s a lot if great instructional videos on kit and extract brewing. If you’re starting off go check out the Easy Home Brewing – Beer series.

Anyway, Craig did a mini review of some Pat Mack’s Home Brewing Caps. They allow you to ferment in a bottle! It looked really easy, like a lot more than what you do for a kit. So, I ordered some online and waited a few weeks for them to make their way from London to Melbourne.

The caps come with “Champaign” yeast, which is high alcohol producing yeast. The pack also comes with a couple recipes and a whole lot more online.

The promotion of these caps has been about producing cider. So, I thought that would be appropriate to try that. The recipe only needs apple juice and sugar, easy! There were two caps in the kit I bought and wanted to try two variations with different amounts of sugar.

Apple Cider 1+2

Apple Cider #1 and #2 in bottles with gravity reading

Bottle 1.
1.2 liters of apple juice
150 grams of sugar.
1/8 th (ish) teaspoon of yeast.
1/4 th (ish) teaspoon of yeast nutrient.

Bottle 2.
1.2 liters of apple juice
250 grams of (caster) sugar.
1/8 th (ish) teaspoon of yeast.
1/4 th (ish) teaspoon of yeast nutrient.

Process is exceptionally easy. Put juice in blender. Add sugar. Blend. Pour into bottle. Add yeast (and nutrient). Put lid on. Shake. Done.

The yeast nutrient was probably not required. But after the low fermentation I’d a few beers at my place I didn’t want to take any risks.

A you can see the only difference is the amount of sugar. I deliberately wanted to see how the difference in sugar levels would work. Of course the gravity readings were going to be high. I sort of expected something like the 1.089 original gravity for bottle 1. But was still a little shocked when it came in as 1.111 for bottle 2.

The idea is to only let it ferment for a week. Then they will go in the fridge for a week to settle out. In theory this should prevent full fermentation. That means it should still be sweet and should not be too high in alcohol. Will wait and see.

-Mikey

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2 thoughts on “Cap off, Cup day crazyness

  1. Ian says:

    Did you have any trouble getting the caps on? Were they a snug fit? I found mine a bit flimsy and had to have a couple of goes to get them neat.

    • mikey says:

      I found one of them worked fine and the other was a bit wonky. But both fermented and carbonated fine.
      I tried a few different bottles before using them for a brew. The caps don’t fit all bottle tops.

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