By day 5 on my first batch of cider, I was racking to carboys and the SG was 1.01. I racked the second batch on its fourth day with an SG of 0.992. The recipe had recommended racking at 1.040. I don’t know why, unless it was to slow things down and get the cider off of the sediment or “lees”. Some reading I have done indicates that cider that sits on the lees too long tends to pick up a yeasty or bread-like flavor that is considered undesirable in cider. Anyway, this is Day 6 for cider batch #3, 5 days since pitching the yeast. The big difference is that the yeast in this batch is Safale s-04, while the first two batches have Champagne yeast at work. The Safale s-04 has been described as a slower acting yeast, by comparison. Safale s-04 is described as a quick fermenting yeast though, with high flocculation (clumping of yeast…desirable in promoting the clearing of the beer or cider). As of last night, the frequency of the bubble in the airlock was about every 13 seconds. This morning, it’s going about every 15 to 17 seconds. Later today, I’ll check the SG and, depending on how it looks and the number I come up with, I’ll make a decision on racking. I only have one empty carboy though, so I either need to bottle cider batch #1 or come up with a creative secondary container for some of #3.
Sometime this afternoon or evening, I hope to sample the test bottle of Fawlty Brown Ale!
7:00 pm Well, the flip-top sample beer bottle was barely carbonated at all. I heard a little “fsst”…which was encouraging, but it was practically flat. That pretty much seals the deal on Munton’s CarTabs. I’ve seen too many negative comments on these and a similar product by another company…all the same problems that I’m having: slow or no carbonating, floaters in suspension, undependable. I added priming sugar, closed and left out on the counter…maybe it will work. The color and flavor seemed okay. Thankfully, I used regular priming sugar for the full bottling of the beer batch.
So, with that disappointment out of the way, I decided to take on bottling my first batch of cyser! I am, however, using priming sugar, instead of tabs. I have just under a gallon, so I used 3/4 ounce of primer. I mixed the priming sugar with 1/4 cup water and added it to the carboy that I then racked into.
There was little sediment and I had enough left for a small sample glass to chill and enjoy “still”. Very tasty! Pale color, nice and clear, like white wine. Now I need to work on the labels for them! The FG reading, before priming was 0.990 at 73 degrees room temperature. Adjusted to 0.991 for hydrometer calibration. Unfortunately, I can’t determine the ABV % very accurately, because I didn’t get an accurate OG for this batch. Batch 2 started at 1.045, so if the first batch was in this range, the ABV for batch #1 would be around 7.2%. Woo hoo!
I spent some time tonight, working on the labels for the freshly bottled cyser. I think they turned out well!
I checked the SG on cider batch #3 and it was around 1.022. Now that I have 2 carboys available again, I’ll probably rack #3 tomorrow.