Started September 19, 2007

4 cups of honey (fireweed honey in this case, though it is probably mixed with blackberry)

1 gallon apple cider

1/2 a campden tablet (the cider was pasteurized)

1 tsp of acid blend

1 tsp of yeast nutrient

a package of Lalvin EC-118 yeast

Created starter with yeast and tap water. Over the next two hours, I added a quarter cup of the must (honey and cider mix) every 15 minutes. I wasn’t very precise about the timing or the amounts, for the record.

Meanwhile, I heated the honey and 1/4 of the cider in a pot on the stove, just to make it easier to pour the honey. And to make it let go of the measuring cup.

I put the rest of the cider into a three gallon carboy. I then poured hot honey and cider into the cold stuff. And then I stirred in the campden tablet (crushed and dissolved in some water and then in cider), the yeast nutrient and the acid blend.

After two hours, the yeast starter went in. I loosely covered the opening of the carboy and let it sit on the kitchen counter where the temperature is about 68 – 70 most of the time (usually around 20 Celsius).

I’ll pop an airlock on it today, I think. It may be a disaster leaving that much airspace (almost two gallons), but this is really the primary fermentation and the yeast needs some oxygen. The closed carboy won’t fit in the kitchen, so it’ll be heading down to the basement which is quite a bit cooler and where the fermentation will likely take at least a month more).

I figure I’ll let it go until it clears quite a bit (the cider is quite thick) and then rack it into the gallon jug as a secondary.

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