So just about a year ago, I “brewed” up some speed cider. That time, I added some cinnamon and two types of hops, one immediately, and one dry hop. This time, I decided to have some variations to try. I am attempting different yeasts as well as different dry hops.
This all came to pass because I got the Speed Brewing book by Mary Izett. I originally read her small article in BYO magazine, and wanted to know more. This was a perfect purchase with gift cards that I had received! I knew that I would not be using all the information in this book as it covers many other fermentables that I am not into (right now), but the information on the cider that was deeper in depth than the article was of interest to me.
So for this batch, I chose to make a total of 6 gallons. I went to the local supermarket, and tossed 6 1 gallon containers of juice into the cart with the regular grocery shopping. My boys immediately knew I was going to be “brewing” with that. So I got home, and during halftime of the Buffalo Bills game, I “brewed” up some speed cider.
Right out of the gate, I split the 6 gallons into two fermenters. To each fermenter, I added some yeast nutrient, a cup and a half of brown sugar, two cinnamon sticks and three gallons of apple juice. Then I pitched two different types of yeast. In one, I tossed in some Fermentis S-04. In the other, I tossed in Fermentis T-58 yeast. I chose these yeast since it should send the final gravity down pretty low. The differences of the two yeast should provide me some interesting examples of flavors. I can kind of catch a feeling of what I like with different hops. I am not usually a Belgian guy, but for the sake of this experiment, I am willing to try it.
After just over 15 hours, there was a nice krausen forming on the S-04. The T-58 didn’t have a krausen level, but there was obviously activity going on in the carboy….there was some condensation forming at the top in the head space.
Three days in, there was an obvious difference between the two carboys. The T-58 is much lighter in color and cloudier and is throwing off some sulfur smells. The S-04 smells more of apples. Notice on the darker S-04 yeast, it almost looks like some egg drop soup is moving around in there!
So it has been 13 days since I brewed the speed cider. It is still perking! If you look into the carboy, there are still small bubbles coming up to the surface. I think it is about time to transfer it over to 4 different Mr. Beer Little Brown Kegs.