On Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 5:45 PM Steve Paulson <blueangel6@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I bought the Cider House Select "Pear Cider" kit. It makes 6 gallons and
calls for a 7.9 gallon fermenter. 1) My largest fermenter is 6.5 gallons
and 2) you know by now that I like small batches. The kit clearly states
not to open the kit until you're ready to make cider. Watching a YouTube
video revealed the reason: the large pouch has a divider down the middle.
On one side is the cider concentrate (7 cups or 5 pounds 1 ounce). On the
other side are the instructions and remaining kit ingredients: yeast
packet, pear flavoring packet, and sweetener (xylitol)
I poured the cider concentrate syrup into a 2-qt measuring cup on a tared
scale. I decided to go for a medium sweetness, so I weighed out (on a
smaller scale) half of the xylitol (3.15 grams of the 6.3 gram packet) and
stirred it into the syrup until dissolved and uniform. I (and here might be
the boo-boo*) also added the entire pear flavoring packet to the syrup and
stirred for uniformity.
I divided the total weight into 6 equal portions (to make 1 gallon
batches) into ziploc bags and put 5 of them in the freezer.
For each batch, I'll dissolve 5.3 ounces of corn sugar into 2 cups boiled
water. Stir in a bag's worth of prepared cider concentrate and add cold
water to total 1 gallon in a 5L fermenter.
From the yeast packet (adequate for up to 6 gallons they say), I added
1/6th of the yeast (1.5 grams). I didn't use a calculator, but I'm assuming
that's essentially proportional. Add airlock and wait. (starting visibly
fermenting within a day)
*So here's the thing: the pear flavor packet was supposed to be added
after fermentation, but it is a very small amount of liquid and I didn't
know how I might deal with that across the 6 batches, so it's already in
there. Not knowing what exactly the pear flavoring is (probably
artificially-produced pear-like esters?), I figure I may lose some of it
during fermentation. Will it be metabolized by the yeast? Will it blow off?
Will it inhibit the yeast in some way? I guess we'll see... Any guesses?
The fermenting cider started a bit amber colored but very clear. It soon
clouded up. Is this normal for the cider kits? Will it clear up after
fermentation / flocculation are done? If not, I probably have some
contamination from previously using this fermenter for aqua kefir
(unintentionally probiotic cider?). To be sure, I gave my other two such
fermenters an extra thorough, disassembled cleaning with 10% bleach
solution (I wouldn't normally, but Charlie Papazian says it's OK if you
rinse well) and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed.
If cider batches in the bleached fermenters don't cloud up, that may be