I’ve finally converted a portion of this year’s backyard hops harvest into a fresh hop IPA. The batch I made last fall had a bunch of issues, but a year’s worth of thinking about how to not repeat them seems to have paid off. This is the fourth batch with this recipe and it is the first batch comprised solely of my backyard hops. There’s five plus gallons of wort in the fermenter and the processing all went well this time around.
Also not repeating last year’s mistake (ie: the massive back breaking effort to hand press something like 130lbs of apples), today we swung by the apple farm and simply bought six gallons of cider. That was cheaper than buying apples. And saved eight hours of labor. So there’s five plus gallons of apple juice fermenting as well with the extra in the fridge for non-hard drinking because it’s just that time of year. The apple farm smelled like heaven. I skipped the campden tablets this time, because the store bought cider isn’t truly raw and I’m thinking it shouldn’t be too risky from a bacteria/fermentation standpoint to just dive right in with some biotin nutrient, pectic enzyme and wine yeast. We bought proper (plastic) champagne bottle corks and wire baskets since it seemed like our capper didn’t seal quite well enough to hold in the CO2 and get decent carbonation in the first batch. Or that’s my theory anyway currently. I may decide I need to supplement sugar and/or yeast at bottling time. We’ll see. It’s barely batch number two…it’ll be a while before we have the hard apple cider thing truly worked out.
I am tiiiiiired. Brewing’s hard work.