Bigger Batches Means More Cleaning

Like so much in life, I don’t always think about the amount of work that goes into my work. For example, I was so excited to make a larger batch of cider this time around that I never gave a thought to having to clean everything. Naturally, the more you make, the more equipment you need, the more there is to clean. It’s all worth it, but now I understand why larger cider makers make it clear that they need a convenient source of water and floor drains to make the work easier. Having water and drains in the same space as the brewing is certainly better than moving large glass carboys between the second floor bathroom tub and the kitchen. Fortunately, no boys or carboys were harmed in the cleaning of the cider equipment.

Yesterday I racked off the ciders and perry we started last month. That includes six gallons of a sugar and raisins batch as well as three test batches, including:

These are l-r:
– November blend juice, 1/2 lb light brown sugar, and WL English cider yeast
– Trader Joe’s unfiltered juice, 1/2 lb light brown sugar, and WL English cider yeast
– Pear juice and WL English cider yeast

The foggy bottom never fell out.

You’ll notice that the perry (on the far right) is pretty low. That’s because it had a foggy bottom. I used Ceres juice, which includes pear puree. I was hoping that the solids would settle out, leaving clear juice above. Instead the juice separated into a clearish top and a thick, cloudy bottom. After three weeks in primary ferment and no change in fogginess, I cold crashed it for a week hoping to reduce the cloudiness. Before I put it in the fridge I marked the top of the cloud with a piece of tape so I could see how much everything settled out. After a week it only went down an inch.

Since I only racked off the clearer juice, I lost a lot to the the puree. I’m hoping once it settles into secondary I can cap it to keep the air out so it doesn’t turn to vinegar. I doubt I’ll use the the Ceres juice again.

Here’s the cydery as it stands at the moment:

There’s room for three more gallons on the top shelf. Just sayin’.

 

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