Trader Joe’s Cyser, Take 2

Despite the failure of the previous cider experiment, I remain undaunted. “Who needs daunts?” I cry.

Last week, on September 5th, I started another batch of cider using Trader Joe’s unfiltered apple juice and one pound of TJ’s clover honey.

Since the previous batch didn’t start fermenting on its own I added a packet of Nottingham ale yeast to this one. The potential alcohol reading was an even 9%.

Thanks to the yeast, the cider started fermenting in two hours.

The yeast is pretty dependable, but in warmer weather it’s also very active. It’s optimal temperature range is 57 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to keep the must (fermenting juice) within that range. However, the last week’s mini-heat wave meant it was much warmer than 70  degrees in the house (there’s no basement or climate control). The must bubbled up into the air lock. Which gave me a chance to try using a blow off tube. It allows the must to bubble up without losing too much juice.

The tube fit inside, not around, the inner post and runs up into a container (in this case a recycled vase that was conveniently sitting on the counter next to me) with a water-sanitizer mixture which prevents mold growth.

This batch should finish fermenting in early October. Just in time to start larger batches with raw (right from the press) juice.

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