Tag Archives: cider

Homebrew: Adding Oak Cubes and Vanilla to the Nightly Serenade Imperial Porter

Sorry again for the inactivity, last week I started working at the PBL Brewing Laboratory at VTT, where I will be writing my Master’s Thesis, so have mostly been busy with work. This weekend I thought I’d devote some time for my homebrews, so today I have been preparing some bottles for finally bottling the apple cider I brewed about 6 months ago, which has been bulk aging in a corny keg the last 5 months. Will hopefully have time to bottle it tomorrow. I have tasted it on a couple of occasions during the summer, and it is quite tart, but it is slowly mellowing fortunately. Hopefully it will become enjoyable in the upcoming months.

I also added 50g of French Medium Toast Oak Cubes (which had been soaking in bourbon) and 2 sliced up bourbon vanilla pods to the Nightly Serenade Imperial Porter. I took a gravity sample, and it had fallen to 1.023, giving the beer an ABV of 7.5%. With the bourbon it should rise to about 8%. I tasted the gravity sample, and the beer featured a combination of coffee and dark fruit tones. I think this will need at least a couple of months of maturing to reach its prime.

Took some small taste samples from the Unexpected Predator American IPA and Czech Mate Pilsner as well, which have been in kegs force carbonating and lagering. The IPA had a nice resiny hoppiness with a strong bitterness, coupled with a caramelly maltiness, but I think this will need a couple of weeks of maturing still. I will be bottling the IPA next week. The pilsner was a bit more interesting for me, since I haven’t brewed one before, and it featured lots of grassy and spicy hop flavours, coupled with a bready maltiness, and slight butterscotch tones (which I guess are from diacetyl). I guess I will leave this for 3 more weeks of lagering (it has been lagering for 3 weeks now, giving a total of 6 weeks of lagering).

Homebrew: Apple Cider

Today I had a go at making some Apple Cider. The ‘brewday’ was surprisingly short, as all I had to do was sanitize the fermenting vessel, add in 13L of organic fresh pressed apple juice (Satower brand, brought from a shop called Toivo in Sello), 0.5L of apple juice concentrate (Brunneby brand, was hoping for a stronger apple flavor), and a packet of S-04 yeast (took a total of about 30 minutes). In about 3 months time (1 month in the fermenter, 2 months conditioning in the keg) the cider should hopefully be ready for drinking. I was thinking about adding some lime juice (for tartness), tea (for tannins) and pectinase (for clearing), but not having made cider before, I thought it would be best to first try what kind of result you get from not adding anything extra. If the cider is cloudy still after conditioning I might add some pectinase (even though it is recommended to add it pre-fermentation since the enzyme is partially inhibited by alcohol), since I’ve read some reports of it still working post-fermentation. The OG of the cider was around 1.045 (11.5 brix), so (if this doesn’t ferment bone-dry) it should end up with an ABV of around 5-5.5%.