Some time ago I made the plunge and bought myself a full on kegging system. Two five gallon cornies, dual regulator, CO2 bottle, the works. Had I done the proper research I would have found out that U.S. and Japanese fittings don’t mate; sigh. The kegs have been staring at me ever since, laughing that evil laugh of theirs. I put a stop to all that laughing this evening by filling one of those kegs up with five gallons of cider-ish beverage.
I found a mini-CO2 regulator that can attach to my kegs and is used mainly for picnics or serving kegged beer away from a normal bar setup but works perfectly in my current situation. I carbonate the beer using DME then hook up the CO2 and tap to the keg and push it out that way. Wonderful.
I absolutely HATE bottling. Using the mini-kegs was a step in the right direction but I still had four to clean, sanitize, and fill. Using corney kegs means I clean, sanitize, and fill just once. I’m so happy I might cry. Bottling is no longer a headach and it also speeds up my next least favorite thing in the homebrew world: cleaning.
The hydrometer reads about 1.011 FG but I can only guess at the abv because I didn’t take an original gravity reading. I’m not overly concerned with alcohol percentage, anyhow. As long as it’s in there and it tastes fine then I’m good to go. Maybe down the road when I get more proficient with my skills I’ll care more but for now it’s a second tier concern. The hydro sample tasted nice, too. Apples, tart but not overly so, light sweetness, too. I can’t wait to sample the carbed and aged version. I think a couple weeks of aging will really aid the cider and tone down that green taste.
Oh, how I love homebrewing!
I got the recipe from homebrewtalk.com and have been eagerly awaiting a taste. The time for tasting is closing in now that it is carbonating.
- 1/2 lb Crystal 120L
- 1 oz Carapils
- 4 Gallons apple juice (No preservatives is recommended)
- 1 gallon water
- 2 lbs of DME ( I used 1 lb. amber and 1 lb. light DME)
- 0.5 oz Crystal Hops (any low alpha acid hop will work. Stick around the 6-8% range)
- 1 packet nottingham dry yeast (Safale 05 will work just fine)
- Steep the 120L and carapils in 3/4 gallons of water at 155F for 30 minutes
- Sparge with 1/4 gallons 170F water. Discard grains.
- Add 2lbs DME and bring to a boil.
- Add crystal hops when boiling starts and boil for 30 minutes
- Cool the wort to 70F or so. If you don’t care about clarity you can do this by adding the four gallons of apple juice but the heat of the wort will haze up the cider.
- Aerate wort and add to carboy
- Add hydrated yeast
- Ferment for two weeks then bottle or keg
There you have it. Pretty easy day. I doubt I’ll have the patience to wait two weeks to take a sample. I’ll most likely dive in to this bad boy this weekend.