The last one worked quite well, though it could have done with tasting a little more “appley”. This is basically the same recipe, but rather than Aldi juices I’m using Princes apple juice (a slab from Costco, so I have plenty left for another batch in a few weeks), and a Ocean Spray cranberry juice from Morrisons (which isn’t as “pure juice” as I’d like, being only 24% juice from concentrate, but since it only contributes 500ml I’m not going to worry too much).
- 4 litres Princes Apple Juice
- 500ml litres Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
- 4 tea bags
- Champagne yeast + 1 rounded tsp yeast nutrient
Rather than making 500ml of strong tea, this time I put 500ml of the apple juice into a pan and brought it almost to the boil (it was just beginning to bubble). I then steeped the 4 tea bags in the apple juice for a few minutes. With luck, this will increase the amount of apple flavour in the final cider.
I’m also using a pack of Champagne yeast that I’ve had in the freezer for absolutely ages. It might be as much as a couple of years old, so if there’s no sign of life in a couple of days then I’ll pitch a sachet of either Windsor or West Coast Ale yeast.
Again, it’s a bit tricky to measure the OG as I’m again keeping 500ml of apple juice back to add when the first and most vigorous fermentation has died down. Since I used 500ml of apple juice instead of water for making the tea, I’ve also got a slightly higher quantity of fermentables than last time, so I’m expecting it to end up somewhere between 5% and 6% ABV (420g sugar from apple juice, plus 57g from the cranberry gives 472g sugar. Taking this weight from the weight of juice gives about 4 litres, and BeerSmith suggests that 470g sugar in 4l water would be 1.045, and last time we finished at 1.006, which would give 5.1%) .
Since the apple juice has been living in the garage and it’s been chilly of late, I’m letting the mix warm up to room temperature before I pitch the yeast.
2015-02-08: Primed with 40g sugar, which gave SG of 1.005, then filled 9 bottles. Smells and tastes a little sharp, but still rather good; if memory serves it’s better at this stage than the last batch. Colour is slightly more orange than last time. Given the gravity after priming, that’s pretty well attenuated, so should be quite a dry cider. I’m looking forward to this one conditioning, ageing, and being drunk!
2015-03-08: Huge improvement over the first batch – a lot better flavour.