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Day 24 Carbonation Check on Watson’s Cyser, Free Brew Stuff!

Checked the screw cap soda bottle of Watson’s Cyser for carbonation. It’s definitely coming along. I haven’t done this before, so I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I didn’t think it could be ready this soon. I’m going to give it at least one more day before I pasteurize it. Sediment has settled in the bottles nicely.

One aside: I may have been operating under a misconception. I thought that all sparkling apple cider was considered to be a “Cyser”. I now am realizing that cysers are considered a hybrid of cider and mead; therefore, a cyser would necessarily contain honey. Without honey, perhaps my beverages are simply sparkling ciders. I already have labels for my current batches #1 and #3, so I’m not changing them now. I’ll correct the terminology for future batches.

Carbonation test bottle for Watson's Cyser.

Carbonation test bottle for Watson’s Cyser.

Soda bottle for testing carbonation...with sediment.

Soda bottle for testing carbonation…with sediment.

I got a message from a friend who has a friend who has some brewing stuff he wants to get rid of…free! It doesn’t sound like he’s giving away any 5 gallon containers or large stock pots (too bad!), but he did mention two cases of bottles, a bag of caps, a bottle rack and other miscellaneous stuff. The bottle rack alone makes it worth the drive! Bottles and caps, I can use. He wants whoever takes the stuff to take ALL of it…so, if any of it is junk or of no use to me, I can just toss it. The are some ingredient supplies that are a couple of years old…have to check their packaging and condition carefully to see if they’re in good enough shape to use. If not, I haven’t lost anything really. If okay, then I get some free beer! Sounds like mostly malt and barley. Looking forward to seeing what all is there…meeting at about 9 pm tonight.

11:30 pm     Cha-ching! The used brewing stuff was worth the trip! There’s a few things I’m not sure I’ll ever use, some stuff I’m not sure what it is or if it’s complete and some ingredients I’m not sure are still usable. I tossed a ziploc of barley and a small bag of Irish Moss that were open. The rest is sealed, except for the corn sugar. There are three big bags and one small bag of Light Malt Extract.

Questionable ingredients.  The malt is very tempting.

Questionable ingredients. The malt is very tempting.

I’ll have to do some research and get some opinions. Maybe I’ll pile some stuff in the car next time I go to the brew shop and get their input. Much of what I got, I do recognize and can use. First of all, what I thought was going to be a single bottle rack and maybe a tray, turned out to be an expandable bottle drying tree with 90 pegs! There’s also two bottling buckets with lids and spigots!

Nice haul...for free! Some good, used brew supplies!

Nice haul…for free! Some good, used brew supplies!

Also, there is a decent supply of caps, a digital probe thermometer (a few batteries and a clean up and it works), a long stemmed 50-550F thermometer, a nice hydrometer, a couple of funnels, a capper, some good brushes, some airlocks…good basic stuff that I can use. I spent about an hour and a half washing everything except the 2 boxes of bottles. I’ll tackle that later. Everything else took a little sweat and elbow grease, but cleaned up nicely.

A selection of goodies.

A selection of goodies.

1:00 am (Technically the next day, but I haven’t slept yet, so I’m adding this here.) I just had an “Aha!”moment. A couple of pieces that I didn’t have identified are now revealed! One piece obviously goes with the bottle rack, because of the red plastic. The other piece, I thought was part a tap pump. Well, it turns out that they fit together to make a bottle cleaner/sanitizer that sits inside the clear container on top of the bottle rack. Put sanitizing solution in the container and push the bottle down on the white plastic, spring-loaded tip and the solution shoots up into the bottle! Sweet! (I spotted this photo while searching pics of bottle racks)

Bottle sanitizer on top of the bottle tree...cool!

Bottle sanitizer on top of the bottle tree…cool!

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