Tag Archives: Newport Mixture 2013.11

Bottling Perry and Cider

The identical looking brews

After my earlier post, I decided that I could probably bottle things pretty quickly “before lunch” <cough>.  I cleaned up the bottles by simply putting a tiny amount of cleaning and sterilising powder in them and filling with warm water.

Though both have been bubbling away gently in the garage, I ‘d found that they had not changed their specific gravity at all.  When syphoning, I found that they were already rather fizzy – I put this down to the garage being cold and the carbon dioxide being more soluble in cold liquids than warm ones.

All my recipes say bottle with priming sugar – at least a teaspoon full.  Given that these were fizzing as bottled and that my first cider has bottles as hard as bricks I erred on the side of caution and did half a teaspoon per bottle.

The final alcohol levels in these are for the perry, 5.9% and the cider 6.1%.  I got a tiny taste of the perry and it seemed OK, a lot better than when I racked it off and put it in the garage.  I guess that like cider, it needs quite a while to sort itself out.

Finally, I found the cider and perry look almost identical, so I need to find a labelling system that is easy to recycle/remove.

Mass specific gravity check and moving the wine on

After posting about demijohns, I thought it might be an idea to actually check the specific gravity of the quince, grape and perry.  Here are the results.


Quince Wine 2013.11

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content
4th November 20131,1100%
13th November 20131,0705.3%
27th December 20131,0389.5%
15th February 20141,0359.9%

The recipe says “When fermentation has ceased, rack the wine into a clean jar and place in a cooler environment and leave. When the wine is clear and stable siphon into bottles”.  Fermentation is slow but visible (and the utility room is 16°C), and with alcohol of 9.5% I am happy to leave it going as is.  Back to the utility room.  It is still rather cloudy, so I wonder if I should not have added pectolase at the start.  I looked at whether you can add it later and it looks like you can, so I’ll wait and see what happens when the fermentation really slows down (you can still see obvious bubbles).   If it does not stop being cloudy I will add some pectolase and see if the fermentation speeds up again.

Waitrose Grape Juice

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content
22nd November 2013
(Grape Juice)
22nd November 2013
(Juice + 100g fructose + 100g caster)
27th December 201399610.9%

According to my “wine from white grapes” recipe, I need to act on this, rack it off and degas it. So I got one of my father-in-law’s recent gifts, sterilised it (it was already clean – thank you David), and syphoned the wine in.  Weirdly the new demijohn was significantly smaller in volume than the old one and I didn’t realise until I had a fair sized puddle on the floor.  This is actually good news, because there is no air gap.  At the same time I put in a Campden tablet and some potassium sorbate to knock the yeast out and allow the carbon dioxide to come out with a shake or two over the next few days “degassing”.

Old Manse Perry

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content
21st October 20131,050?0%
7th November 20131,0105.7%
27th December 20131,0105.7%

Very confused about this one, that has been slowly fermenting for weeks without changing its alcohol content.  I think I might just bottle it without adding much sugar for the fizz – the bottles from the first round of cider I made are rock hard and I suspect I will need wellies when I open them.

Newport Mixture Cider

DateSpecific GravityAlcohol Content
7th November 20131,0500%
19th November 20131,0006.6%
19th November 2013
(after apple juice)
27th December 20131,0046.1%

Another that has been fermenting slowly without much change in alcohol.  Probably needs bottling like the perry.


Confusion about Newport Cider


I think I have mucked up the Newport cider by the specific gravity get too low.  When I checked today it was 1.000, but if I had followed my instructions I should have stopped it earlier.

“Do not allow the gravity to drop below 1.005 unless a very dry cider is preferred.”

So I racked it off and whacked in nearly a litre of apple juice from a carton.  This brought the specific gravity up to 1.004.  I guess it will be digested by the yeast anyway, but hopefully in the garage it will be too cold for that and it will be sweeter.

I am also a little perturbed by the colour, which looks more “scrumpy” than “cider” to me.  I used granulated sugar with this one rather than brown sugar so that may explain it.  It is also rather cloudy, but hopefully it will sort itself out in the garage, where the Perry is looking pretty clear.  It too is rather green, but the photo doesn’t show it very well.


Newport Cider – with bramley yeast

The new cider batch with the first batch bottled behind

The Newport apple juice had rested with its campden tablet for about 24 hours (this kills off the nasty stuff).  Today I checked the gravity.  It was at 1.044 and needed to be 1.050.  My table says 1.044 is 19oz sugar per gallon and 1050 is 21oz sugar per gallon.  I therefore had to add 2oz of sugar.  I dissolved some in warm water and poured it in.  A thorough stir and the og was spot on 1.050. Hurrah.  I added some pectolase to break down the pectin (this stops some sort of haze forming – not really sure), added some yeast nutrient and then did something new.

The yeast/juice mix before I returned it to the main demijohn

I reused the yeast from my first cider batch.  I just poured some juice from the new demiohn in to the must at the bottom of the old one, swilled it around and poured it back in to the juice.  I had not choice if I wanted cider yeast.

I then realised that the recipe said that the demijohn should be at 20°C – the Brew Belt could come back in to play.  Yay.  Also it would be nice to have a temperature band on the demijohn.  This meant that I would have to peel it off the perry (bad idea) or rack off the perry (good idea).  I racked off the perry easily enough (more later) poured the concoction in to the new and carefully cleaned demijohn, wrapped it in the brew belt, and switched on the timer (15 minutes in 45).  For once, checking regularly is allowed, since I have to keep an eye on the temperature and want to see the yeast working.

In situ with the brew belt, temperature strip and timer. In a pan in case it overflows – which can happen if it gets a little over enthusiastic after a couple of days.