So one of the things I do from time to time is a bit of brewing, my philosophy behind this however is as simple as it can get, accessible and as natural ingredients as possible. Sure, I could dive into some sweet fermenters or temperature controlled environments but that doesn’t exactly make what I’m doing accessible and doable by anyone on a budget. Basically my entire kit consists of;
2 x 5L Demijohns
2 x Airlocks and Bungs
1 x Hand pump with filter
1 x PVC hose
1 x Set of jugs
1 x Hydrometer
So for this cider brewing I needed;
9KG Apples (making about 4.5L Apple Juice)
Something to sterilise your equipment and fruit
Yeast (I needed to select one suitable for room temperature brewing, be careful what you choose)
Nutrient (Yeast cannot live on apple juice alone)
Some kind of sugary addition you can add to pitch the yeast (brewers sugar works well)
Pressure rated bottles, regular bottles won’t cut it here
The first step before I got started was to pitch my yeast, adding some nutrient, some sugar and water together before I got started helped here. Then cleaning my equipment, making sure you’ve cleaned everything is super important here to prevent the wrong things infesting your juice.
Once done I got to juicing my apples, then filtering the juice to get rid of scum on top It’s also important to clean up your fruit prior to avoid natural yeasts infesting your juice. Quite a few people will use a sterilisation tablet either to wash the fruit or in the juice its self and wait 24 hours before pitching their yeast and add it then.
Once the juice was prepped, I added my yeast to the demijohn then poured the apple juice in and sealed with the airlock. I was fortunate at the time my ambient temperatures were in the perfect range but this is something to watch too and can ruin a good brew, read your yeast instructions.
After brewing for about a week, It was time to bottle, about 2 priming tablets in a 750ml bottle was enough to ensure carbonation, Much like prepping the equipment earlier, clean and sterilise everything.
Oh and before anyone asks, the apple pulp? It’s being fermented too as an addition to the verge garden. Using bokashi allows me my quickly break down organic matter while also not having the space for a proper compost pit.