Saturday, September 17, 2011

#4 - Pomegranate Honey Cider [Juice]

I can't remember where I got this recipe for this brew but it was really an experiment and my first time to make a smaller batch in a 5Litre Demijohn. I felt a bit guilty that I was making all this beer and SWMBO only really drinks very specific brands of cider. So this was my attempt to make a drink that she would like and I got her to make most of it too. :)

Everything that I used for the recipe can be seen above. I made sure to get pure pressed juice that didn't have any preservatives as this doesn't agree with the yeast too well apparently. It wasn't that much expensive than the concentrate so all was fine there.

Unfortunately after this point everything went to complete shit. I forgot to boil the sugar and honey to pasteurise them and I just dumped the two of them in on top of the juice like an animal! This didn't seem to matter in the long term as no noticeable infection occurred as a result. I gave everything a big shake, checked the temperature, took the gravity reading and then WTF 1081 !!!!! All my gravity readings up until this point had been in the 1040 - 1050 region and this one completely blew it out of the water. I had been expecting it to be on the high side but not that high,  I read around on the internet and deluded myself into thinking it would be fine and the yeast would simply die in the high alcohol content.

It didn't die.

It kept fermenting all the way down to 1004 giving a final alcohol content of nearly 11%!!! I bottled it and thought it would be fine after 3 or 4 weeks 'aging' in the bottles. It wasn't fine. When I opened the first bottle I poured it out into a glass, I didn't even have to sniff the glass I could smell it from a distance. It smelt vile. The taste was out of this world in terms of disgusting things I had consumed! I gave some to SWMBO and I thought she was going to start crying the taste was that bad!

If I was ever to attempt this recipe in the future I would take gravity readings on the 3rd or 4th day of fermentation and see what the gravity was. When it got to a value that would give a 5% alcohol content I would then stop the fermentation by killing the yeast. Unfortunately I don't know how I would carbonate the bottles if I did this.

Started - 15.5.11
Racked - NA
Finished - 28.5.11
Bottled - 30.5.11
Code - 1004
Yeast Brand - Coopers Standard Ale Yeast
Yeast Code - 15310W
Y-Temp - 22.5
Beer/Product Type -  4L Apple Juice, 07L Pomegranate Juice
Malt/Sugar Type - 300g Honey, 300g Sugar
Volume -  5L
OG - 1081
FG - 1004
Proof  - 10.8% (Including 0.5% for priming) 

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