Cider v2.1

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So far, so good!

I finally got around to racking my batch of cider (though I probably should have done it a couple days ago). The specific gravity today was 1.002 (+.001 @ 73F) which should yield about 6.0% alcohol (by volume). I drank a the volume used for measurement and was pleased with how the brew is coming along (Cider v1, at this point, was a great deal less palatable).

So I tried out my new racking wand to rack the cider from the carboy to a bucket (which is very similar to the process described in this forum post) and found it to be disappointing. I couldn't get a siphon started by blowing into the racking cap (I managed a slight trickle at one point but it petered out fairly quickly). After spending too long and too much breath trying to get it working I finally fired up my big air compressor, turned the output pressure way down and stuck the end of the hose on the racking cap's "mouth piece". That did the trick! It got a perfectly acceptable siphon going and, before long, the cider had made its way into the secondary fermenter. (Thoughts for next time: maybe the hose I used to go from the racking wand to the secondary had too large of an internal diameter? I did have to hose-clamp it onto the racking wand to prevent air leaks. Also: maybe my lungs are crappy?)

Since I made a bit of a mess with the racking process (I probably stirred up a good deal of sediment just trying to get it to work) I'll probably rack it again in a week or so to see if I can remove more of the lees.

After racking, I was left with about a liter of lees-rich cider at the bottom of the carboy. Hesitant to dump it down the drain, I decided to make a cider beaujolais out of it by pouring it into a 1-liter bottle and tighly capping it. In a couple days I'll be carbonated and I can open it and drink the first un-aged cider of the year! Yes, I know it will be a little gross. But what else would you have me do?

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