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Adventures in Homebrewland (image heavy - you have been warned!)

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Comments

  • MrDT
    MrDT Posts: 951 Forumite
    My bubbles have pretty much stopped :o

    The first night was really quick acting (as can be seen from the photos in the first post), but since then it's been pretty slow going. The froth on top has levelled down to about half a centimeter. There are some bubbles finding their way to the top, but not much. Does anyone know if this is normal?

    I think I'll leave it be for now, then at the weekend add the last carton of juice. I'm thinking of adding a little more yeast at the same time, anyone think this is a good/bad idea?

    I'm also thinking of starting off some orange juice wine in my second demijohn at the weekend too. I was keeping it aside for the syphoning step, but I can use a big mixing bowl for that, and double up on my toxic juice :D

    Oh and I'm gonna splash out a couple of quid on a couple of bungs and airlocks, I reckon I'll keep at it if this stuff turns out anywhere near decent, so it's worth getting the proper kit :) Next step will be foraging for wine ingredients (I think blackberry wine sounds good!)

    Lots of people seem to be joining in now, fantastic :D Lots of help and tips too, good stuff, thanks everyone! :T
  • Bongedone
    Bongedone Posts: 2,457 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Don't add anymore yeast as there is plenty in there. It stops bubbling when the yeast runs out of sugar or has reached maximum alcohol content that the yeast can survive.

    Your brew is ready now so you need to bottle it in sterile bottles. Your cider will be very dry as it has no sugar left.

    If you want to carbonate it then put it in a 2l plastic PET bottle and add a level tsp of sugar to it and cap it. You want to leave as much of the yeast as you can behind. It will take a few days to become fizzy (the bottle will go hard). Put it in the firdge after this to make the yeast dormant.

    If your looking at buying equipment you should invest in campden tables and some plastic tubing to syphon. When you syphon you don't disturb the sediment.

    Campden tablets can also be used to stop the fermentation when there is still sugar in the drink. The only problem would be that you could not carbonate it as you kill the yeast.
  • john.xs
    john.xs Posts: 494 Forumite
    beware making strawberry wine with real fruit.the seeds blocked my air trap.the pressure built up and on waking one morning my mum found the kitchen covered in sticky strawberry substance and smelling of a distilllery.we wondered what that loud bang was during the night.needless to say i spent the next few days cleaning up . you cant imagine the places it reaches! i have never attempted brewing since.
  • Bongedone
    Bongedone Posts: 2,457 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    john.xs wrote: »
    beware making strawberry wine with real fruit.the seeds blocked my air trap.the pressure built up and on waking one morning my mum found the kitchen covered in sticky strawberry substance and smelling of a distilllery.we wondered what that loud bang was during the night.needless to say i spent the next few days cleaning up . you cant imagine the places it reaches! i have never attempted brewing since.


    What a nightmare. I bet the wasps where hanging around your windows.
  • john.xs
    john.xs Posts: 494 Forumite
    i was more worried about the look on my mums face. as it was 25 years ago i think i have been forgiven and we can laugh about it now!
  • CoD_2
    CoD_2 Posts: 275 Forumite
    ditto re not adding more yeast, if you're going to add more juice then i'd add and again wait until it stops bubbling before bottling so the yeast can use up all the sugar in the juice, tubing to siphon it off will be useful.

    i've never added more than a teaspoonful of yeast per demijohn and i've brewed about 100 demijohns worth over time
  • CoD_2
    CoD_2 Posts: 275 Forumite
    I syphon into bottles, never into another demijohn. sometimes when i'm trying to degass a demijohn and i'm too weak to shake it for long periods of time i keep emptying it into a bought specifically sterilised washing up bowl, then use a funnel to pour it into the demijohn. i repeat this a few times (for wine not cider)

    i view my 5 demijohns as having an unfulfilled life if they're empty, especially as some wines (like blackberry from berries) can take months to mature
  • mrbadexample
    mrbadexample Posts: 10,805 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    So...my mate sorted me out with a couple of nice, clean demi-johns.

    DSCN0704.jpg

    Not. :p
    If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again, it was probably worth it.
  • Sagaris
    Sagaris Posts: 1,852 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic Debt-free and Proud!
    I've been busy today too!

    I thought I had a demijohn lurking in the shed - I was right! I cleaned it up and sterilised it with Wilko's baby bottle sterilizing tablets - it now contains a medium red kit which is just starting to ferment. Not so pleased with the demijohn I bought in Wilko's though - when I got it home I noticed both the handles were cracked - so that can go back tomorrow, wonder if I will be tempted to get another kit while I'm in there?

    A book I can recommend is this one : http://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Steps-Winemaking-C-J-J-Berry/dp/1854861395/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212604082&sr=8-1
    I used to have a copy but have mislaid it - it's the only book you will ever need to buy, all sorts of info and recipes for making wine from scratch. Can always put it on my birthday list I suppose!
    :j Almost 2 stones gone! :j
    :heart2: RIP Clio 1.9.93 - 7.4.10 :heart2:
    :p I WILL be tidy, I WILL be tidy! :p
  • 2cats1kid
    2cats1kid Posts: 1,179 Forumite
    I have bubbles! (And it's not from baked beans.) So looks like putting it in the airing cupboard did the trick. The air lock thingy is plopping away happily now.

    The story about the strawberry wine reminds me of when my mum used a glut of tomatoes to make tomato chutney when I was a nipper. She can't have sterilised the bottles well enough, as one day there was an almighty BANG and one of them exploded. It was inside a kitchen cabinet at the time, and that was bad enough to clean up, so I can't imagine what an uncontained explosion would have been like.

    Going to do some research tonight about what might go in the plastic water bottle. Want to try one from fruit juice next, rather than another kit.
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