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Brew Day – Making Speed Cider

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.


A cup and a half of brown sugar and 2 cinnamon sticks

Right out of the gate, I split the 6 gallons into two fermenters.  img_20160911_143357106To 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.img_20160911_145153938


The Brix should be 12.8….not 12.5


The Brix should be 12.8….not 12.5

After just a  few hours, I noticed some activity in the S-04.  There was no noticiable activity in the T-58.img_20160911_174513650


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. img_20160912_054413424img_20160912_054359263









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!img_20160914_223303407img_20160914_223229390





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.


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