Racking off cider

no doubt some buggers, especially you charlie, are going to laugh at this. Uncharitable huas.
Friday was racking off night for the cider. I started 10.30pm, not realising how long it would take, finished after 1 am.
Groan, what a bloody job that was. Cleaning & sterilising everything, bad enough.
5 x 5 litre carbouys from the first cider pressing. 1 x 23 litre plastic brewing barrell from the second cider pressing. around 47-48 L all up. 7 x 5 litre carbouys (inlcuding the 5 with cider brewing in them), 2 x 3 litre carbouys and 3 x 2 litre old sherry flagons. About 47 L capacity.
Trying to figure what brew to syphon in to which carbouy/flagon was interesting. Because I had several experiements with apple juice & brewing techniques I wanted to try and keep each seperate through to tasting time. I sort of got it ok. Easy part that.
Syphoning. Not my strong point. ABout 2 litres ended up on the laundry floor I reckon before I had it sorted. Place stunk like a brewery. Floor got mopped out twice.
Worse still, mouth fulls of just fermented cider. Easy you say, spit out. Yup, I learnt that after I had swallowed about 12 mouthfuls. Gees it tasted crap.
Next morning I woke up feeling a little seedy. Not hung over, just a slight headache from drinking something bad.
The 23 L brewing barrell batch tastes not the best, it has a slight sulphur taste to it. I sterilised with sodium metabisulphate. Instructions said not to rinse as it is harmless to the brew in the concentrations used. I understand that the sulphur taste should clear in time anyway.
The 5 x 5l brews each tatsed slightly different. The two that I sulphited and used cultured yeast taste similar to the 23L batch. The best stuff is where I didn't sulphite and used either wild yeast or a mixture of wild & cultured yeast. They had a cleaner taste and a little more appley. The sulphited brews taste, at this point, kind of like the shitey commercial ciders we get over here. Shitey and fake. Shitey tasting commercial ciders, with a shitey taste.
Leave to sit for at least 3 or more months I reckon & then bottle. Leave for at least another 3 months and maybe try one or two, leave longer if taste requires.
rob
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wrote:

Yup, I'm laughing....because my experience was quite similar...

Yeah, I also waited til late at night when everything was settled down and the kitchec was cleared out for the day. Effing mess to clean up again!

Yeah, seemed like it should be snap job, but took foreffingever, as I was using 12 oz. bottles.

Man, you've a lot of time and work invested in yours....hope you wind up with better than vinegar. ;-)

I used storebought cider and two types of yeast. One batch was fermented with Montrachet and the other with Pasteur Champagne. They taste different and we prefer the Montrachet, not quite as dry as that using the champagne yeast. The Montrachet batch has a better apple flavor, IMO. To the five gallons of Montrachet cider, I added a pound of organic cane sugar. Didn't have my hydrometer yet, so no idea where it started or where it has ended.
We've eight different varieties of yeast and are going to start making one gallon batches.
I racked mine to 12 oz bottles, and after siphoning to six bottles, with the resulting mess, I changed course. I sterilized several 1/2 and one gallon juice jugs and siphoned to them and then filled the bottles with a funnel from the juice jugs. Still made a bit of a mess....that last hlaf-inch fills *fast*. I left the bottles in their boxes, thinking that I could assembly line cap them and be good to go. Hell no, the capper wouldn't fully scrunch the caps, so I had to take them all out, cap, and put em' back....wasted steps.
I added some fresh juice to 12 bottles to see what will happen with a secondary fermentation and carbonation.
I effing quit bottling after two cases and put three jugs in the fridgie to age there, as an experiment. I left it in primary for six weeks and skipped secondary, as fermentation was done and it had cleared. The jugs in the fridge are showing very little sedimentation. I tasted a glass a few days ago and it was pretty damned good. The bottles are gonna sit for several months.
Son sent me this link and it is chockablock full of recipes and ideas. It has a recipe for, amongst a million others, coffee wine...that shoudl be a good way to start the morning! ;-)
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/index.asp#menubar
Charlie
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Charlie wrote in

get a racking cane! seriously, it's a wonderful invention. on second thought, get two. we broke a few when we first started bottling, but once you get one you won't ever bother with syphoning again.

BTDT. we do an assembly line. my 8 year old does the capping (we go over again after, because he hasn't quite got the proper strength for the hand capper)
lee <now fermenting Maple ale from extract. will be brewing an all grain Maple this week>
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yes, things you learn after doing it wrong first time around. The guy in the home brew shop said nah, you don't need a pump syphon. Just give it a good suck and then bung in the carbouy when the fluid starts. PMSL. He didn't mention the box of asprin the next day.
Anyhow, there may not be a second time Lee, depending on the results in 6 months.
rob
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wrote:

Thanks, that looks like a good idea. One other question....do you use a valve on the fill end of your siphon line? Pinching the tube between bottles is a bit....messy!
I remember your advice to someone a while back about getting more than one hydrometer, which I did. After getting them, I see how they can break easily.
Last year you gave me the address for your supplier. I lost it when my machine crapped out last fall and son has been ordering for me from Northern Brewers, but I seem to remember your guys looked good.
Thanks Charlie
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Charlie wrote in wrote:

yes, our racking cane has a valve. still, i line up the bottles to be filled on a rag rug. there's always drips, no matter what. the rag rug soaks up more than a towel & lies flatter.

of course, & they're *expensive*. haven't broken one lately here though.

hmm. was it Mt. Washington Homebrew Supply? http://www.brewbyyou.com / lee
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wrote:

Nice hint, thanks.

Expensive? I guess I got cheap ones.......six bucks (and four bucks for the test jar/tube) and they are a buck cheaper at Mt Washington, as are most of their offerings.
Heh heh, you're saying you haven't broken one for a while necessitates extra care to avoid the JINX! ;-)

Yep, that was it!
BTW, I trust and hope your health is well after last year.
Thanks Lee
Care Charlie
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Charlie wrote in

ok, there's also More Beer in California: http://morebeer.com /

better. i've had 2 thyroid biopsies. the cells are abnormal, but not cancer. the doc suggests removal because the thyroid is so close to the lymph nodes that when the cells stop being merely abnormal, it can spread fast. i concur, but need to figure out affordability. i'm a bit tapped out between the cancer & the economy nosedive (plus Bank of America took over my bank and now they're playing games with my investments... like, i can't access my money. at all. and they want me to pay off my mortgage (which they also took over), even though i've never been even a day late paying it. they suck).
anyway, being insomniac & slightly stressed, i think i've figured out the solution to the Wall St. meltdown... first, put all the regulations from pre-1990 back into place. split the big money holding companies back up. then, since the guys at AIG/Goldman Sachs et al are the only ones that "understand" how their idiotic CDOs & CDSs work, we should force the executives & midmanagement of all those firms to purchase, with *their own money*, every single damn one of them. they thought it was a good idea, well then they can take the fall, not the taxpayers who had nothing to do with the house of smoke & mirrors. if the economy picks up, they'll make money. if the toxic stuff stays toxic & they lose everything, well good. maybe they'll learn that ethics trumps greed because greed bites you in the arse.
oh, and my daffodils are coming up, so it's time to start the 'maters & such :) lee
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<http://www.flickr.com/photos/tidewatermuse/134222791/
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA







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i think the dolphin on the right is much nicer looking... ;)
we were in FL at the end of February (won't do *that* again! live oak pollen & i do not get along well) & saw lots of dolphins and manatees. also had an interesting conversation with one of the workers at Sunken Gardens about snapping turtles. Sunken Gardens has a common snapper that has been there for 50 years. the original owners found him in the Swanee River, but his DNA is that of a Mississippi River snapper. apparently, since snappers are such homebodies, they can tell by the DNA exactly which part of which river/pond a snapper comes from, at least in the South. i wonder if DNA could tell me where my little snapping turtle belongs. i've had him almost 6 years & he's getting a bit large for his container (he's the size of my hand now). if DNA matters, he should go home (upstate NY). otherwise, if he does outgrow my abilty to house him, i'll be looking for a nature center that needs a people friendly snapper for educational use. he's too used to people to release. lee
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Laughing till it hurts in a good way.
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA







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spring loaded cylinder on the bottom that opens when pressed against the bottom of the bottle and closes when lifted up. When the bottle is completely full, removing the cane will leave a bit of ullage in the bottle which will allow for thermal expansion and contraction without the bottle leaking.

--

- Billy
"For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is
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"Charlie" wrote in message

Hopefully not vinegar Charlie. If it is, there will be a garage sale come spring of various brewing apparatus. We have all heard the stories from cider drinkers, had a few and didn't feel pissed, until it was time to get up and leave and then it hit. Bad hang over the next day. Just syphoning the shite made me queasy the next morning. Mate came round saturday & was interested in the cider. He had a small tasting from each carboy. I hoped he'd feel like I did after syphoning, he didn't. Obviously, with that process, it was one mouthful for the floor and one mouthful for me.
rob
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Too much SO2 will give you a nasty headache too.
I presume that you are using a clear polyethylene hose so that you can see where the fluid is. Prime from the top of the carboy/demi-jon and once you have a syphon, place suction end near the bottom of container. You may want to make a racking wand from pvc, that is closed at the bottom but has intake on the side, so that intake is lateral and not sucking up the lees.
Hopefully you can purge receptacles with CO2, or better yet argon, or at least nitrogen before filling. Only use CO2 when receptacles will be full or nearly full. CO2 dissolves into aqueous solutions and will draw a vacuum. I've had sealed 5 gal. (19 L) bottles implode on me while making wine.
--

- Billy
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wrote:

Amen. Whooda thunk it, until ya tries it! (Shoulda remembered those mouthsful of petrol, eh Rob? ;-P )

Is SO2 production dependant upon the strain of yeast, to significant degrees? My pastuer champagne cider had no sulfurous odor, and a slower rate of fermentation, but the batch fermented with Montrachet smelled like rhino farts. After a week of really heavy fermentation (my airlock was farting once/sec) I gave the carboy a good shaking to incorporate some 02 (seemed like a good idea) and it began to settle down and smell a bit more pleasant and appley.

Thanks for this advice.
To keep this on a garden note, wonder what turnip wine tastes like?
Charlie
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and diethyl SULFIDE "MAY" be produced during fermentation. The former smells like rotten eggs and the latter, like skunks. Montrachet yeast is known for its' tendency to produce sulfides. Sulfides can be removed throgh a process call "blue fining" with copper sulate.
The third compound is SULFITES (SO2) which are added as a preservative and to deactivate enzymes that can discolor wine. SO2 is not bactericidal but rather bacteria-static. They jam-up bacteria and yeast as long as it is present. Wines are typically bottled with 30 - 40 parts per million (ppm) free (unbound) SO2. The free SO2 will be eventually bound by components of the wine, but after 18 months there are no more viable micro-organisms left in the wine. SO2 these days is usually added as disolving metabisulfite (K+ or Na+) in water before adding it to the wine. In olden days, it was made by burning sulfur. SO2 is heavier than air and rests on the bottom of a barrel and the burning removes oxygen from the barrel. I once made a Riesling (the third wine I ever made) with 100 ppm FSO2. It gave a blinding headache for the first year.

like that.

ALOHA OY: Love; greetirgs; farewell; from such a pain you should never know
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- Billy
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