After pressing all the juices out of the must, you fill the canister, add the yeast and close the lit with a water lock. I didn’t know that the temperature is supposed to be around 20º Celsius. This is never the case in our house so we had to stoke it big time. Placing the canister closer to the heater did help as well. 🙂
The water lock will prevent fresh air coming in the canister meanwhile it helps to escape the produced CO2. The Carbon-dioxide in the canister also prevents the start of any other bacteria and fungi ‘poisoning’ the cider.
The Production of alcohol takes place in the first days. The yeast seperates the sugars in Alcohol and CO2. The produced gasses will burst out through the water lock. It’s just amazing. We managed to keep the mixture warm enough during the first days, the bubbling was crazy. After 4 or 5 days the frequency of bubbles coming out decreased as the yeast had done most of its duty. You have to leave it like this for at least another week or two. Note: don’t open the canister to look inside. It’ll bring in fresh air, fresh bacteria and breaks the CO2 seal. I can tell because I did.
You’ll see the ‘pre-cider’ starting to become more and more transparent and a layer of ‘dead’ yeast at the bottom of the canister. Now you can leave the canister close for another two weeks to really have all the work done. In total it takes around three weeks. One week of dramatic gas production and two weeks of slowing down.
I broke that rule of opening. And bacteria did enter the cider and created this slimy cover over the water. When touching with a spoon the slimy stuff turned into white threaded substance. We went to the shop ‘Brouwmarkt’ in Almere and they advised us this dirty trick:
Take off the slimy stuff as much as possible. Kill the bacteria with a little sulfite. Siphon the ‘juice’ to a clean canister. Add a little extra sugar and yeast to re-start the process and bottle right away.
But before bottling you have to make sure your bottles are clean in and outside. Wash them carefully and sterilize them. Cider has a low alcohol percentage is very vulnerable to contamination. I got a good advise from my friend Nico who told me how to sterilize 12 bottles in one go. Simply put them in an oven at 180ºC for about 5 minutes. Perfect. Done.
Bottling is actually not as easy as you think. You have to make sure there’s no ‘dead’ yeast going into your bottles. That makes you check two things at the same time. The transparent pipe of the siphon in the canister as well as the plastic tube going into your bottles. As one sucks up the juice and the other puts it in the bottles. Those are like a meter apart … LOL.
My score is six bottles of Cider … my own Supergites’ Cider. They have to rest in a warm place for another three weeks to give the new yeast and sugar some time to produce the wanted bubbles. You have to lock the cork with a special iron to make sure the build up pressure doesn’t take them off. After these weeks you will see some residue at the bottom of the bottle indicating it’s finished and ready for cold storage.
You can find Part 1 here
Part 3 in 6 months.
Thanks to Brouwmarkt