Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    MrDT
    Adventures in Homebrewland (image heavy - you have been warned!)
    • #1
    • 1st Jun 08, 4:56 PM
    Adventures in Homebrewland (image heavy - you have been warned!) 1st Jun 08 at 4:56 PM
    Hello boys and girls! I started my first homebrew experiment off yesterday (cheapskate's cider), and took lots of pictures Here's my method if anyone else fancies having a go

    [1] First of all, get your kit sorted:

    Sterilised demi-john (or any big bottle tbh, large 5l plastic squash bottles could be ok)
    Some balloons (or if you're 'proper' you could get a bung and airlock, they'll only set you back about a quid in total)
    4 litres of apple juice (tesco value stuff is high in natural sugar and cheap so ideal)
    Some sugar (you can skip this, but I added a little to help push up the alcohol by volume - it also helps the yeast activate quicker)
    Some dried active yeast for brewing (bought this at a small local health shop, 1.15 for 100g, you just need a teaspoonful, but the 5g sachets were 75p so do the math)

    I sterilised my demi-john with boiling water. You can use sterilizing tablets if you want, but boiling water will do the trick just fine. Boiling water mightn't be ideal if using thin plastic bottles but no probs when using a thick glass demi-john.




    [2] Pour out a little juice (I used 175ml)




    [3] Add a little sugar if you like (I used 50g - helps the yeast activate and should result in higher alcohol by volume)




    [4] Whack the mixture in a saucepan




    [5] Add a teaspoon of yeast




    [6] Should look a little like this cold, stick it on a very low heat hob to warm up a bit




    [7] While the yeast mix is warming up, pour what's left of the open carton of juice and two of the three unopened cartons into the demi-john




    [8] Looks a bit empty huh? Don't worry about that




    [9] When the yeast mix is warm and looks a bit like this take it off the heat




    [10] Add it to your juice




    [11] Doesn't look much like Magners does it?




    [12] Pop the balloon on top to stop flies and bacteria and stuff getting in




    [13] Sit the demi-john in the corner and fuggedaboutit for a while. Do a Blue Peter and enjoy a little something someone prepared earlier




    [14] I forgot to check the time, but err, when you get to this point the balloon should have inflated a bit




    [15] When you realise you have no wine left in the house you then have to move to harder stuff. By the time you're half way through a bottle of rum your concoction should look a bit like this...




    [16] Xtreeeeem closeup! Aren't you glad you didn't bung that other litre of juice in?




    A good few hours later

    Well, when you eventually get up late Sunday morning (with a bit of a sore head) you will wander into the kitchen notice two things
    #1 the balloon is missing.
    #2 there are brown splotches all over the walls and ceiling.

    You eventually come to realise that the two are related.

    After five minutes of searching, you find the balloon sitting in a coffee mug the other side of the kitchen Put it in the bin, and put a new balloon on top of the demi-john :rolleyes: Get cleaning...

    What I've learnt from this is that the balloon isn't perfect, but can be modified to become perfect Put a tiny little pin hole in the balloon, this will allow air to escape but won't allow nasties in (as there's a constant flow of carbon dioxide pushing out). If you do this you can avoid scrubbing the kitchen walls again tomorrow

    What next?

    Leave it for a few days. I'm thinking a week should do it. Then you'll be adding the other carton of juice to top up, leaving for another couple weeks, syphoning into bottles, topping up wit a little more sugar if needed, refridgerating, then drinking

    With a bit of luck it'll taste ok, but like I said this is my first go, so we'll wait and see



    Anyone else gonna have a go? Or are you gonna wait to see if I survive first?

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Deborah; 26-05-2009 at 6:39 PM. Reason: thought it best to specify near the top that it's a cider recipe!
Page 1
  • MrDT
    • #2
    • 1st Jun 08, 4:57 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Jun 08, 4:57 PM
    One week later....

    Well, a week had passed, and it was all quiet on the bubble front. Either something had gone horribly wrong, or all the sugar had been converted to alcohol.

    Popped into town and bought myself a rubber bung, airlock, and a length of tubing for syphoning, the grand total came to the princely sum of £1.95

    Armed with my new kit, I removed the balloon, poured in my final litre of apple juice, filled the airlock with clean water and assembled the rigging. The yeast sprang to life and started attacking the sugar in the added juice, plip-plip-plip the airlock is doing its thing

    Here's a piccy:



    I'm pleased to say I took a whiff of the stuff before fixing the bung in place, aaaaaaand it smells like (really good) cider

    The plan now is to leave it be for at least another week before syphoning into bottles with a little sugar for carbonation. I'm looking forward to tasting this stuff now!


    ...Another week has passed!

    The cider has settled nicely, nowhere near as cloudy as it was. There's no more bubbling... and I reckon the cider is ready for tasting and bottling. GOOD TIMES!

    First you need to sterilise your container (in my case a 2nd demi-john) and tubing, and set everything up somewhere that's ok to get a little wet





    Now you can start syphoning. You'll get a taste of some very warm cider, don't let it put you off! Oh, and keep your syphon tube away from the bottom of your first demi-john, the whole point is to get rid of all the muck at the bottom of it



    Syphon syphon baby



    Stop before you p[ick up all the scum from the bottom of the demijohn. I gave the dregs a good shake to illustrate the difference between the good stuff and what you'll be throwing away. The cider's looking good, the sludge, not so much



    Next I sterlised my bottles and added some sugar to each one (45g per 2l bottle)



    Finally, syphon the cider into the sugared bottles. Don't forget to keep a little to pour into a glass



    The cider will now continue to ferment in the bottles, producing co2 - which will result in a little bit of bubbly goodness. As soon as there's a decent amount of pressure in the bottles I'll stick them in the fridge to stop the reaction, this should leave some unfermented sugar in the mix to sweeten it a bit

    The little taster glass I added half a teaspoon of sugar to it, gave it a stir, and plonked in the fridge to chill. I've tasted it, and the result - GOOOOOOOOD
    Last edited by MrDT; 14-06-2008 at 5:08 PM. Reason: update
  • Marru
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:10 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:10 PM
    Good luck,

    Definitely will wait till you survive first!

    Marru
    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."


    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 1st Jun 08, 5:14 PM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    • #4
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:14 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:14 PM
    Hi, there! Can I clarify - you're making cider?

    Penny. x
    Last edited by Penelope Penguin; 21-01-2010 at 3:59 PM.
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
  • mandy_moo_1
    • #5
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:14 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:14 PM
    aw Mr DT thanks for taking the time to post all those pics........i've just got 4 cartons of whoopsied apple juice from morrisons yesterday, so i think i'll be giving this a go.....haven't got a demi john tho, but i've found an old brewing barrel in the loft, so might have a go in that (when i've seen if yours worked that is!!) i'm gonna save this post and do it the same as you.....last time i attempted cider, i got it bottled, put it in the garden to finish fermenting about 6 months ago, and now i daren't go near it cos the bottles keep exploding as soon as you look at 'em

    make sure you keep us posted, i'm waiting for the next instalment

  • Gangstabird
    • #6
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:26 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:26 PM
    What a fab idea. It's cider right?
  • 2cats1kid
    • #7
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:36 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:36 PM
    Looks great! I was only saying to DH today that I was looking at the elderflowers and dandelions that are about at the moment and remembering childhood days spent gathering the wherewithall for my parents' HM wine. Wonder where I can find a couple of demijohns cheap?
  • MrDT
    • #8
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:41 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:41 PM
    Hi Penelope and Gangstabird, yes it's cider Well, it should be cider... Let's see how it turns out lol

    Scrumpy is usually made with mashed up raw apples, but using cartons of juice is just sooo much easier!

    Marru, can't say I blame you lol

    Mandy_moo, cool, first person to show an interest in joining me I see you're gonna wait it out like Marru though lol With regards to the exploding bottles, I think the cider will continue fermenting in the bottles, so pressure will build up over time I intend to be drinking the cider in a month so hopefully no problems there, and I'll be using plastic bottles just to be safe. I suppose loosening the cap every few weeks could help?

    I'm sure there must be a way to kill the yeast to stop the reaction from continuing when bottled, but I've not looked that far ahead yet (note the splattered kitchen, that's how I roll lol).

    Glad I got a few replies so quickly, thanks guys I thought there was a good chance of this thread sinking without a trace!

    Will report back soon
  • mandy_moo_1
    • #9
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:42 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Jun 08, 5:42 PM
    Looks great! I was only saying to DH today that I was looking at the elderflowers and dandelions that are about at the moment and remembering childhood days spent gathering the wherewithall for my parents' HM wine. Wonder where I can find a couple of demijohns cheap?
    Originally posted by 2cats1kid
    have a look on freecycle for demi johns, or car boots are usually good for finding them

    • Bongedone
    • By Bongedone 1st Jun 08, 5:42 PM
    • 2,390 Posts
    • 1,636 Thanks
    Bongedone
    I will keep an eye out for updates on your cider experiment.

    I made ginger beer using a 2 litre plastic bottle the other week. It turned out good. I let it ferment to 5% alcohol then put it in the fridge to stop the fermentation.
  • MrDT
    Looks great! I was only saying to DH today that I was looking at the elderflowers and dandelions that are about at the moment and remembering childhood days spent gathering the wherewithall for my parents' HM wine. Wonder where I can find a couple of demijohns cheap?
    Originally posted by 2cats1kid
    Hi 2cats1kid, I was lucky enough to be given my demi-johns for free, but a good place to look would probably be car boot sales and maybe even freecycle. They cost about £15 new, but I bet you can get some tatty old ones from a car boot for a couple of quid

    Elderflower wine sounds good, I'll see how my supposedly idiotproof cider turns out first though lol My grandad used to make carrot and beetroot wine, sounds disgusting, but apparently was very tasty :confused:

    Good luck finding your kit, but remember for the sake of the cider above a large 5l plastic squash bottle should work

    edit: thanks for the tip bongedone! ( ps - recipe for ginger beer wouldn't go astray i know, i can be pretty cheeky at times )
    Last edited by MrDT; 01-06-2008 at 5:50 PM.
  • archived user
    Wow, i'm impressed at all the effort you are going to to lure me along on a frugal date

    You had better invite me on date no.1 and nyk on date no.2 through, as she will probably down the lot......
    • Bongedone
    • By Bongedone 1st Jun 08, 6:50 PM
    • 2,390 Posts
    • 1,636 Thanks
    Bongedone
    Hi 2cats1kid, I was lucky enough to be given my demi-johns for free, but a good place to look would probably be car boot sales and maybe even freecycle. They cost about £15 new, but I bet you can get some tatty old ones from a car boot for a couple of quid

    Elderflower wine sounds good, I'll see how my supposedly idiotproof cider turns out first though lol My grandad used to make carrot and beetroot wine, sounds disgusting, but apparently was very tasty :confused:

    Good luck finding your kit, but remember for the sake of the cider above a large 5l plastic squash bottle should work

    edit: thanks for the tip bongedone! ( ps - recipe for ginger beer wouldn't go astray i know, i can be pretty cheeky at times )
    Originally posted by MrDT
    I used this one but I upped the sugar as I wanted more alcohol. The recipe as it stands makes the soft version. I left it to ferment for 4-5 days for the hard version. Make sure you release the pressure often or you will have an explosion. I imagine you could use the balloon method above. When you are about to suspend the fermentation leave the lid on till the bottle till its hard then put it in the fridge, this will carbonate it. Also read the comments as I left a tip at the bottom for preparing the ginger.

    Edit: The link http://www.vurt.co.uk/2005/06/15/GingerBeer/

    Edit again: You can actually skip the yeast altogether for a quick ginger drink. Just lower the sugar a bit.
    Last edited by Bongedone; 01-06-2008 at 6:54 PM.
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 1st Jun 08, 6:52 PM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    Hi Penelope and Gangstabird, yes it's cider Well, it should be cider... Let's see how it turns out lol
    Originally posted by MrDT
    So strictly it's fermentation rather than brewing

    Good luck, and I'm following with interest!

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
  • MrDT
    So strictly it's fermentation rather than brewing

    Good luck, and I'm following with interest!

    Penny. x
    Originally posted by Penelope Penguin
    Lol, that's me told then huh

    I've already started meddling... Added a couple of extra teaspoons of sugar Hopefully I'll manage to leave it alone now for a week or so. I can't help myself can I? :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the link Bongedone, that might well be experiment #2

    Oh, and Jumble, I'm wondering what kind of frugal meal the cheapskate cider should accompany, any requests?
    • Bongedone
    • By Bongedone 1st Jun 08, 7:08 PM
    • 2,390 Posts
    • 1,636 Thanks
    Bongedone
    You may be interested in getting these for future use. They stop the fermentation so that you can leave some of the sweetness in the drink. They are also used for cleaning the apparatus.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campden_tablets

    I used to make beer when I was a teenager. The OH won't let me now as we live in a flat and the smell of the fermentation is strong.
    • mossstar
    • By mossstar 1st Jun 08, 7:37 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 318 Thanks
    mossstar
    he he he he - brilliant!
  • CoD
    turbo cider is delicious, i've also made it with super expensive (reduced to 10p) apple juice which was on it's use by date.

    I would just say that i poured boiling water into a demi john while making wine and there was a MASSIVE crack noise and that demi john is now being used as a plant cloche, never again to be reunited with it's bottom. you can sterilise with specific powders, or campden tabs, or things meant for babies bottles.
  • loulou88
    I made some home made cider (well i used a kit) I didn't have proper demi johns so I used 5 liter water bottles plastic ones They worked fine and cost just over a pound filled with nice water.
    I will be having a go at this after I go shopping can't wait THANKS
    lots of small steps
    will get you a long way
    bsc 140
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 1st Jun 08, 8:01 PM
    • 10,098 Posts
    • 125,278 Thanks
    kazwookie
    I'm taking cover!!

    I just hope you don't live near me!!!!

    Good luck
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

959Posts Today

6,401Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Today's FRI Twitter poll: As everyone knows, you're a creative genius with an huge range of highly honed skills.? https://t.co/KV5FHAqK6v

  • Watching Theresa May... seriously would anyone in their right mind truly want her job right now!

  • RT @thecheekypostie: @MartinSLewis Thanks to this, I have just skim read it. To those in Scotland - on page 548, Dounreay is mentioned by n?

  • Follow Martin