Orchard Orgy Type 25a

Ref 2020-09 Orchard Orgy (Type 25a) Brewer Farmer Jim's
Style Traditional Sparkling Type Cider
Started Thu 24th Sep 20 OG 1.046 Status Available, 5.9% ABV
Packaged Fri 20th Nov 20 FG 1.001 Fermenter Fermzilla
Handle 2020-09 Orchard Orgy (Type 25a)
Brewer Farmer Jim's
Style Traditional Sparkling
Type Cider
Fermenter Fermzilla
Status Available, 5.9% ABV ABV
Started Thu 24th Sep 20 OG 1.046
Packaged Fri 20th Nov 20 FG 1.001

Part of a 25 litre bucket from our main pressing of 2020, this went from Port Erin to Onchan for secondary fermentation before being partially bottled – 39 clear flip-tops. I wanted to get this bottled with varying amounts of priming sugar in order to work out what our mixed-apple cider would taste like after primary fermentation in cooler temperature without any yeast or fermentables added. The remainder of the 25 litre bucket went on to create Types 25b and 25c, where I’m experimenting with further fermentation.

Milestones & Tasks

Dec 25 -651dStarted conditioning
Nov 20 -686dBottled 39 clear flip-tops
Nov 17 -689dMoved from Port Erin to Onchan
Sep 25 -742dPressed 2020 apple harvest
Jan 202111Mon

This is pretty sharp. Not acidic or bad, but you have to be in the frame of mind for a tart (fnar-fnar) or a Sour, otherwise this will disappoint. Based on this I think we’ll keep producing unsweetened ciders in future but we may try to stop them sooner in order to retain some of the natural sweetness rather than adding it back in with non-fermenting sweeteners. But will it be possible to carbonate them if fermentation is stopped before bottling? Need to research that one.

More Carbonation?

Speaking of bubbles, I see from the notes that each bottle had 2 carbonation drops aimed at 500 ml and while this cider is certainly sparkling it’s nowhere near the level of a sparkling wine. Might be worth paying attention to other stuff we’ve bottled and tagged as over-carb in order to get a feel for how far we can push it – maybe 3 drops would have been possible without risking explosions?

17 days
Dec 202025Fri

We kept two bottles back from the batch that moved to the garage today in order to have a cheeky sample before Christmas lunch. Both had 5 ml of non-fermenting sugar added, one Xylitol and one Erythritol, both primed with one Fox’s carbonation drop aimed at 500 ml.

It wasn’t a true one-on-one comparison since we’d shared one bottle with ice before opening the other, but we couldn’t really tell much of a difference between the two – though Jackie thought the Erythritol was more apple-y and had slightly more carbonation. What was indisputable was that 5 ml of non-fermenting sugar results in a cider that’s toward the dry end of the scale but perfectly enjoyable. This doesn’t bode well for the unsweetened bottles, which may be on the sour side, though I’m now looking forward to finding out if the 15 ml versions – our sweetest variant – is going to be sweet enough. I hope so, because 15 ml of sugar is quite a pile for one bottle.

To be continued …

0 days
Dec 202025Fri

I hadn’t realised these were still in the server room, let’s hope that cider isn’t too fussed about spending 35 days in a warm place prior to conditioning. The bottles do look somewhat cloudy still, with some sediment on the bottom and and a very faint hint at different layers of cloudiness towards the top, which disappeared with the slightest handling. Moving to the garage where it’s between 3 and 5 ℃ at the moment.

Type 25a prior to conditioning

The 6 release candidates from our very first batch this year are also being moved to the garage today, and those look much clearer. Wonder if that’s due to the 5 days longer that they’ve had in the bottles or some other factor.

35 days
Nov 202020Fri

Decided to go ahead and commit some of this batch to bottles as it’s clearly not going anywhere now. From the 25 litre bucket I bottled the following:

  • 9 bottles with 15 ml Erythritol
  • 7 bottles with 10 ml Erythritol
  • 7 bottles with 5 ml Erythritol
  • 3 bottles with 10 ml Xylitol
  • 3 bottles with 5 ml Xylitol
  • 10 bottles unsweetened

Each of the above was bottled into a clear flip-top and received 2 carbonation drops aimed at 500ml. According to the ABV calculator (and not allowing for carbonation drops) we should be looking at around 5.91% ABV.

I’m storing these in three brown cardboard boxes in the server room at between 20 and 22 ℃ until they’re ready for conditioning.

1 day
Nov 202019Thu

We racked to a new FV and checked the SG before moving this from Port Erin 2 days ago, and it was sitting around 1.001 with no signs of activity. Moving it to Onchan (and raising the temperature from 12 ℃ to 21 ℃ in the process) caused a very brief period of bubbling, but that’s now stopped again with SG still at 1.001 and absolutely nothing happening in the airlock.

2 days
53 days
Sep 202025Fri

Pressed around 140 litres of apple juice and 8 litres of pear juice in Port Erin. OG around 1.046 across the board, decanted into various vessels.

  • 1 x 25 litre bucket in kitchen
  • 3 x 1 gallon (13.65 litres) demijohns in garage (sweet – to be bottled)
  • 1 x 1 gallon (4.55 litres) demijohn in garage (dry)
  • 2 x 22 litre bucket in garage (mixed) ➜
  • 1 x 25 litre bucket in garage (mixed) ➜
  • 34 x 75cl bottles pasteurised juice (racked in garage)
  • 0.75 x 1 gallon (3.41 litres) demijohn Perry (Jim’s + champagne yeast)
  • 1 x 1 gallon demijohn Perry* (4.55 litres, Onchan) ➜

* the Perry was actually pressed one day earlier, but who’s counting?