Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mrs Velkyal's Cider

Sometimes it feels as though our flat is slowly turning into a home-made alcoholic beverage production line. Regular readers will know that I have a 60/- Scottish ale currently in my carboy, which will be bottled on Monday, and then in a quick turn around I plan to brew up my imperial stout on Tuesday. Yesterday though, we added another boozy project to the list, when Mrs Velkyal made her first batch of cider. Last week there was an apple festival near Charlottesville, so while I was at work in the brewery, Mrs V went with a colleague and came back with 3 US gallons of pressed apple juice.

In order to make the cider we needed more fermenting space, so up to Fermentation Trap we went and bought another 3 gallon carboy, the necessary bung, airlock and yeast. Originally we were going to use wine yeast, but after speaking to the guy working in the store we opted for the Safale 04 dry yeast, which apparently most cider makers in these parts use. I also picked up some more steriliser because I didn't like working with the C-Brite stuff.

Mrs Velkyal's recipe was simplicity itself:
  • 2.5 gallons pressed apple juice with no preservatives and junk
  • Safale 04 yeast
The process was also simplicity itself, as you can see from these pictures:

1. Mrs V pouring the juice into the carboy

2. Yeast sprinkled on the must

3. Yeast happily doing its thing.

The OG of the must was 1.044, so we are looking for a 4.5%-5%ABV cider when it is done, and after months in bottles conditioning, something nice and refreshing for next summer. Now, where can we hide a small still?


  1. Hmmmm.... Cider... And home made at that!!!

    "Dej Bůh Šťestí"

  2. cider, imperial stout. looks like we will have similar beer inventories this winter

  3. Winter beers are always my favourites, I love the big warming brews - probably explains my predeliction for the barleywine at Starr Hill! I think I told you about my planned Christmas beer, the big dark top fermented smoked baltic porter - well I changed my mind and decided to do a strong biere de garde as an homage to a Biere de Noel I had in Bordeaux a few years back. Thank goodness Northern Brewer have the right French hops!!!


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