Author Topic: Started my first whatever it is  (Read 615 times)

Offline Artos

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Started my first whatever it is
« on: July 19, 2019, 06:24:11 AM »
Not sure what this is technically.  First thing Ive ever tried to make.  Taking a bit of a risk by not sticking to a known recipe and working without any sort of test equipment, but it just got to the point I needed to brew or get out of the kitchen, ya know?

Recipe:
1kg pure honey
2.2L Apple Juice
1L Sour cherry juice
4oz English Breakfast Tea
1Tbsp bread yeast

All went into a 3L water bottle with a balloon.  Im constrained by a lack of options as demon alcohol is illegal in this country.  I do have a homemade airlock made, I may use it if the balloon doesnt seem to work.  So far so good, 2 hours in and the balloon is up and the size of an orange.  Ill wait at least 2 weeks and transfer to 1L flip-top bottles. 


Offline David in MN

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 06:53:54 AM »
Might work. Tea might make it a little astringent but you never know. I'm guessng with alcohol banned brewing yeast is impossible. That sucks. But if my guesswork is right if you got a full ferment you might have a potent drink. So if you have to cut it with a little fruit juice to drink it... Well, we've all been there. I always advise that the first batch usually sucks (mine did).

Were I in your shoes I might have started with a simpler apple cider just to get going. If you can get your hands on The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible there are a ton of recipes made with bare bones "no brewing equipment" and even references to people in your position. It might be a good resource.

Either way welcome to the brewing community!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 01:58:20 PM »
Welcome to brewing.  I'm thinking that what you have there is a melomel, that's mead with fruit in it.  It it was just apple juice with the honey, it would be a cyser.  But it really doesn't matter what you call it. 

Bread yeast works, but it will likely have a distinct biscuit like aroma.  Not bad, but different.

Offline archer

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2019, 09:13:36 AM »
congrats on starting your 1st batch.  dont be tempted to shake it to get it to ferment higher, i did that to my 1st batch, it was rocket fuel, but the flavor was really weird.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2019, 09:45:14 AM »
dont be tempted to shake it to get it to ferment higher, i did that to my 1st batch, it was rocket fuel, but the flavor was really weird.
That was probably oxidation that gave it the weird taste.

Offline Artos

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2019, 10:02:13 AM »
Thanks all.  Its keeping positive preassure with the balloon.  Meaning it is inflated to tennis ball size and stable but I can smell the ferment within the closet its in (steady about 72F).  Wondering if i should have put in half a cup of raisins for yeast nutrient? 

plan going forward:
1. Wait
2. Wait some more
3. decant off the lees to a pitcher.
4. stir gently to degas
5. taste
6. bottle in 1L fliptop bottles with balloon covers (nervous about a secondary fermentation, not trying to make it bubbly this time)
7. Wait
8. Close tops and age as long as I can stand it


What about that looks wrong to you?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2019, 04:54:10 PM »
Next time you make it, toss in the raisins, but it won't help this batch. 

I would skip decanting it into a pitcher.  I'd go directly into the bottles.  I also wouldn't worry about degassing it.  It will degas on its own in the bottle during the secondary ferment.  You'll probably leave it in secondary at least a month, that's plenty of time for it to degas on its own, plus you don't risk oxidation.

Offline archer

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 04:46:07 PM »
That was probably oxidation that gave it the weird taste.
thats what i figured....

Offline Artos

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2019, 06:25:21 AM »
So I cold crashed my 1st 3 5L experiments for the last 48 hours and just racked them into secondary bottles.  Here are my notes so far.
 #1: 2.2L apple juice, 1L sour cherry juice, 4oz English breakfast tea, 1tbsp bread yeast in .5C apple juice, 1kg honey.  Started 19 July and racked to secondary 9 Aug after 48 hour cold crash. 
Tasting notes: Slightly cloudy, semi-sweet, slightly sharp medicinal notes.  Faint apple nose.  No off flavors. Yield 4L

#2: 3L white grape juice, 1L apple juice, 1C sugar, 2tbsp white raisens, .5 packet Red Star Cotes de Blanc yeast. Started 27 July racked to secondary 9 Aug.
Tasting notes: Golden color.  Clearest of the 3.  Mild apple nose.  Less complex palatte than #3. Tart/sour and a little thin.  Yield 4.5L

#3: 3L pear, 1L Apple, 1C sugar, 2tbsp white raisans, .5 packet Red Star Cotes de Blanc yeast.  Started 27 July racked to secondary 9 Aug.
Tasting notes: Very sour/tart.  Semi cloudy.  Beer on the nose.  Apple flavor.  Straw yellow color.

I think all will benefit from aging, but none have off flavors and all are "smooth" to my palatte.  My secondaries are all air-tight so im watching them for a few hours as they warm to make sure i havent made bombs

Offline archer

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2019, 05:42:32 PM »
let them age for a month then test, the age and test, then age more and test..

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2019, 08:10:58 PM »
I must admit... I find myself chuckling about your finding away around the restrictions :)

Offline Artos

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2019, 12:38:05 AM »
LOL.  The funny thing is, ive been here almost 4 years and am just starting to work this out.  Because before I just smoked my cigars and limited my alcohol consumption to when Im not here.  But with the change in import restrictions its almost impossible to get cigars or pipe tobacco in here in sufficient quantity to meet my demand.  So Ive been forced to this life of crime by the bullies in government and their import restrictions!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2019, 06:28:29 AM »
let them age for a month then test, the age and test, then age more and test..
Agree completely.  But this constant age and test cycle is why I'm not a fan of smaller batches.

Offline Artos

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2019, 12:55:45 PM »
I do have a plan here.  If I can get a consistent recipe that I like I will see if it scales.  If it scales I have an unlimited market here.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Started my first whatever it is
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2019, 09:02:28 PM »
ha! An entrepreneur meeting a market demand.