So I was bored 2 days ago...

Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:02 am

So I was bored 2 days ago and all my fermenters were full, except the 5 gallon plastic carboy that is only really useful as a secondary and since I haven't done a brew that needed a secondary...

Being an industrious lad, I went to the store and bought (5) gallons of Martinelli's Apple Juice, (2) 2Quart treetop concentrate (only juice concentrate + ascorbic acid). I managed to get like 4.7 gallons and the concentrate in the carboy before worrying that it was a little full, but I thought I'd read in these forums that cider doesn't ferment like beer and I shouldn't have to worry too much about super active fermentation or a ton of headspace.

I aerated a bit, cracked a servomyces inside and pitched a vial of WLP002. Plopped the bung in the bunghole with an airlock full of starsan, and think to myself "What's the worst that can happen"?

Day 1: Nothing (actually the servo+yeast has managed to create a somewhat greenish looking layer in the top 1/3rd of the carboy)

Day 2: Nothing

Day 3: Oh look, the airlock is brown. And full of cider. Pull the towel off the carboy and see that I'm happily fermenting away at 68F and each tiny yeast fart is bubbling more cider out the airlock (and onto the towel). Replace the airlock with a fresh one, paper towel the spilled cider out of the hollow bung (who though that design up?), and spray the crap out of the outside with starsan. 1 hour later, more of the same.


1) Foam control next time, or just use a 6.5 gallon fermenter like the cool (smart) kids?

2) When it's done, bottle with more concentrate or with corn sugar (I realize this will end up SUPER-DRY either way)?

Thought I'd share my experience and solicit any insight :jnj


EDIT: Wonder if I'll ever successfully post without a typo?
User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: So I was bored 2 days ago...

Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:39 am

You can use a blowoff tube. I keep having experiences that remind me I always need to use one. And foam controll can work.
Remember you can carbonate with anything that has sugar. And Randy Mosher's book experimental brewing he suggests using liquors like cream de mint or cream de coco. How about Aftershock!
Apple cinnamon's pretty good. The trick is finding how much to put in. You could use honey, I think it's about a half a cup for priming.
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:39 pm

Re: So I was bored 2 days ago...

Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:54 am

Oh wow, thanks for the response norfire0!

Aftershock or Cinnamon Schapps+honey?

You've made me go off on an entirely new tangent; apple+cinnamon schnapps +honey (apple+cinnamon for flavor and honey for carb and a few complex flavors)?

I may try this with half the batch :)

Thanks for the great idea! This is why I love th BN!
User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:24 pm

Re: So I was bored 2 days ago...

Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:34 am

Too late now but next time I'd just use 5 gallons of juice and save the concentrate for backsweetening. Let the cider ferment out totally, transfer and hit it with campden and potassium sorbate and backsweeten to taste.

I don't get a lot of krausen with cider but your OG was probably pretty high with the concentrate added. I generally just use regular sugar (brown sugar the last couple times with my Apple Pie Cider) since the yeast is just going to eat it all anyways.

I would suggest at least a 6 gallon better bottle so you can end up with 5 gallons at the end.
Sergeant, BN Army
R.I.P. Rat Pad ('05-'12)

Fermenter: Mayotoberfest
Kegged: Common, Cherry, & Apple Pie Ciders, Falconer Pale Ale, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: German Pilsner, Chinookee Wookiee
User avatar
Global Moderator
Posts: 4584
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:45 pm
Location: Derry, NH

Return to Mead & Cider

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


The Brewing Network is a multimedia resource for brewers and beer lovers. Since 2005, we have been the leader in craft beer entertainment and information with live beer radio, podcasts, video, events and more.