let's hope the fermentation begins soon

Tips from Mark

We (Pam and Chris) went to Wells today to collect 350 bottles for the cider from Mark.

We also took samples from the 3 fermenting bins for him to test/try. It
turns out that the big barrel is still fermenting and the smaller two a
little bit so there’s no panic on bottling.
The big barrel was 1001.5 SG so still a bit of a way to go. John, that
doesn’t tally with ours. I wonder whether we may need to buy another
hydrometer just in case ours is malfunctioning. I’m going to check the cider
weekly to monitor progress. Mark seemed to think it was the fluctuating
temperatures.

He also sampled a drop (mouthful) of each and came up with the conclusion
that we’d be best blending them all – 70% (big barrel), 15%, 15% split. The
big barrel is more acidic than the others.
When we do finally bottle it he suggested 0.05 grams sugar dissolved in a
bit of warm water per bottle. This will need to be done in batches – maybe
20 litres at a time. I think we need to confirm this with Mark prior to
bottling.

He will test the ABV next week when he does his own cider but suggested it
will be in the region of 5.5 to 6.5. Another thing he mentioned is that we
don’t have to be too accurate when we label the bottles – 0.5 either way is
acceptable.

Mark also gave us 6 330ml clear bottles for vinegar samples which Susanne is
going to take to various outlets with the aim of selling this year’s batch
of apple cider vinegar. So for sale next year – 2016.

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