Thursday, December 01, 2011

Oh shit! it's alive

Don't count the kid out yet!  I came home to the glorious sound of my airlock bubbling away, I got anxious in the rapid cell growth phase and was going to dump out the cider when I got home!  Turns out the stuff took off and is happily bubbling away at about 13 bubbles a minute or one every 4-5 seconds.  This is pretty good and solid fermentation.  It was probably both lowering the PH (even only slightly) with brown sugar water, and adding a hardier yeast.  The champagne yeast is a higher attenuating yeast tolerant of up to 18% abv, and grapes are naturally somewhat acidic anyway.  I started this little experiment with some Nottingham ale yeast, that attenuates to about 8% abv, but I was hoping for some more complexity than the champagne gave me last time.

This batch is out there and may not be the most drinkable thing I've ever made, but damn it the yeast lives and that just makes me smile so hard right now!  I had been researching additives that would lower the PH, and found calcium carbonate and potassium carbonate are relatively cheap ~$5 and used to balance highly acid grapes, the brewstore guy warned me that the calcium carbonate would add an earthy flavor to the finished product.  I bought some, but when I got home and heard the fermenters bubbling I could hardly stop smiling.

So the good news, I didn't freak out when it wasn't working and kept the process clean, sanitizing things as I went.  There is a really good chance that this batch will turn out as good as it is able to because I was levelheaded in my dealing with a bad situation, and sometimes a funky brew is fun.  If it is as sour as I think it is, and attenuates all the way it could be in the 8% range it will be like a sour kick in the face for drinking.  Champagne yeast ferments with a dry finish, so sour with a dry finish might work out to be kind of fun.  Good thing I only have 8 gallons of the stuff to play with.  Maybe I'll get freaky and brew something else to blend it with, I have all that pumpkin in the freezer that needs to be used for something or even open up some of the cider from last year and blend them.  Aged with young and sour?

In all it was a fantastic day, the boy only screamed at me for like 45 minutes, and Tuesday night I got to sleep for about 9 hours uninterrupted (love you honey), minus the stupid truck needing to get repaired (yeah I didn't need those $120 dollars any way right? sob.)

No comments:

Post a Comment