May 2011’s Turbo Cider

As the Wurzels once said, “I am a cider drinkerrr”. I do like a drop and these days like to experiment with making my own. I make “Turbo Cider”, which is pretty simple once you have the kit. It’s called “Turbo” as it’s very quick to brew and you can use off-the-shelf juice from the supermarket instead of pressing your own apples.

Here’s the latest brew’s ingredients:

  • 12 litres Essential Waitrose Apple Juice (from concentrate)
  • 1 litre Cawston Press Apple Juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2x75cl bottles Clive’s Fruit Farm Pear Juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1 mug strong tea (PG Tips – 4 teabags)
  • 1 sachet Lalvin Champagne Yeast (EC-1118)

Apart from the yeast, you can pick all that up from a supermarket. I went down the posh route and got Waitrose juice, but it really doesn’t matter too much. I then pep it up with some fancier juice, including a couple of bottles of pear juice which I find softens it a bit.

The method’s pretty simple – bung it all in a (sterilised) fermenting bin, give it a good old stir, then check the gravity with a hydrometer and add sugar if you don’t think it’s going to be strong enough (I’ve never needed to). Once that’s done whack your yeast in according to the packet instructions. In this case I sprinkled it on and let it fizz a bit, then gave it a gentle stir in.

My hydrometer reading was 1.046, which should give it an ABV of 6.1%. Lovely stuff. To calculate predicted ABV I got a nifty iPhone app – Alcohol Calculator.

Now leave the bin with the lid on somewhere not too cold for a week and you should be about there. Make sure you leave the lid slightly ajar so the pressure doesn’t build up and make a mess or you’ll get in trouble with the missus.

Here’s what it looked like after about a day:

May 2011 cider after 1 day

I started this brew on the 2nd of May. I checked the gravity this morning and it was 1.008, which means it should be done in a day or so (needs to go to 1.000 ideally). It still smells a bit, er, yeasty and is very cloudy.

I’ll report back tomorrow and hopefully get bottling!

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