Blueberry Orgy

Ref 2021-01 Blueberry Orgy Brewer Farmer Jim's
Style Fruit Flavoured Sparkling Type Cider
Started Sun 10th Jan 21 OG 1.032 Status Available, 6.9% ABV
Handle 2021-01 Blueberry Orgy
Brewer Farmer Jim's
Style Fruit Flavoured Sparkling
Type Cider
Status Available, 6.9% ABV ABV
Started Sun 10th Jan 21 OG 1.032
Packaged Mon 18th Jan 21 FG 0.997

This experiment was created by taking the last of Type 25c and splitting it in two; this Blueberry variant and another Cherry variant. The original gravity of 1.032 includes approximately 2.3% alcohol since half of this 5 litre batch is made up of cider, the other half is fruit juice and sugar.

Milestones & Tasks

Jan 30 -269dStart conditioning
Jan 18 -281dBottled 7 flip-tops
Jan 10 -289dStarted as continuation from Type 25c
12 days
Jan 202118Mon

Airlock activity on this one has also stopped in the last 12 hours or so, and I’m going to take a gamble and bottle it straight away rather than waiting two days for the same gravity reading. And because I’m lazy, and have the production line all set up for the Cherry variant today.

Like that one, this blueberry brew fizzed actively when I dumped 5 ml of Erythritol into each bottle, and maybe for a few minutes afterwards but at a much reduced level as I fitted the flip-tops. Total yield here is 7 x 500 ml, each bottle getting two Easybrew carbonation drops aimed at 500 ml.

Final gravity came in at 0.997, so two points lower than the Cherry and making a total of 6.89% once the cider base was factored in. Taste is a little sharp with a synthetic finish, hopefully that’ll settle down with gentle conditioning as the bottles carbonate.

Off to the server room @ 25.7 ℃ for a couple of days and then out into the cold.

5 days
1 day
Jan 202112Tue

Time for a quick check-in with the Blueberry and Cherry variants of our own cider, and both vessels are doing OK.

The Cherry is popping the airlock slightly more frequently at every 8 seconds or so, and has a consistent layer of fine foam bubbles on top as well as an audible hissing quality.

The Blueberry is also popping away, but a little more slowly, maybe every 12 seconds. What’s interesting is the continuous formation and disappearance of foam; she’ll spend a couple of minutes building a fine layer of bubbles and then that layer disappears again over the following minutes. No idea what’s going on in there, but I hope it’ll produce some excellent flavours.

2 days
Jan 202110Sun

First things first, I decided on a change of approach when trying to keep track of our cider experiments. From now on I’m treating each stage in the evolution of a brew as it’s own brew. For example, if we press 200 litres and they ferment in 4 barrels, then one of those barrels is split into 5 demijohns each of which has a different amount of flavouring / yeast then each of those 5 variants will start, as a brew, at the point where it’s split, and not at the point where we’re pressing. I can use links between those brews, but trying to represent the lifecycle of each bottle right back to pressing leads to a logical tree with a ridiculously thick trunk, and I’d rather have a series of branches tied together with links. I hope this works out … hell, I hope it even makes sense six months down the line. Anyway …

This evening I kicked off our experiment into fruit cider using the last demijohn from our Type 25c batch. I’m calling this one Blueberry Orgy in honour of the original Orchard Orgy Type 25c that provided the cider component, approximately 2.5 litres. Also along for the ride:

  • 2 litres of Blueberry juice from Tesco (BBE May 2021)
    • Water
    • Blueberry Juice from Concentrate (17%)
    • Sugar
    • Citric Acid
    • Flavourings
    • Vitamin C
    • Sweetener (Sucralose)
  • 300g Brewing Sugar + warm water to 400ml mark
  • ½ teaspoon wine yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon wine nutrient

After measuring the OG at 1.032 (I can call it Original Gravity since I’m starting a new brew, right?) and tasting the sample from the trial jar I confirmed the suspicion that first surfaced when I tipped 2 litres of blueberry juice into the 5 litre Tesco water bottle which I’m using as FV: there’s too much juice, and not enough cider. It didn’t taste overpowering or sickly, but it didn’t taste of cider either. If I do this again I’m going to start with one litre of fruit juice instead of two, i.e. ⅕ instead of almost half.