How to make proper scrumpy?

Discussion in 'Wine, Cider, Mead and Kombucha Discussion.' started by SJB395, Oct 3, 2017.

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  1. Oct 3, 2017 #1

    SJB395

    SJB395

    SJB395

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    Good afternoon all,

    I hope somebody can help me.

    I currently have 100 litres of cider fermenting from home grown apples, yes it took a long time to collect, rinse, squash, and de juice!

    I am looking to make proper old fashioned scrumpy as nature intended. I have added nothing to the juice & I am letting the natural yeast & sugar do the job, which it is doing. My first 25 litres is reaching the end of its fermentation as there are now hardly any bubbles left coming up the air lock.

    After reading so many different opinions on what to do, I am looking for some advise.

    What I would like to now know if do I need to rack (siphon) the cider from my plastic fermenting buckets to a large glass demijohn or carboy, or to simply bottle it right now? I know scrumpy is cloudy so I would of thought one or none racking is required? The next question is then can I drink it right away, or shall I leave it for a while?

    Either way it looks like I am going to have to spend some dosh & buy 3 large carboys and a lot of 1 litres bottles! The idea is keep most of the cider in the large carboys while I drink the ones from the bottles. Once done, refill.

    I have found the below on a website which makes sense, but unsure if this means drink straight after the first fermentation or to drink after the maturity phase. I won't be leaving it for 4 - 5 months that's for sure.

    Within a few days the natural yeast will start to work and the fermentation process begins. This will be evident as the juice will begin to bubble. The fermentation process involves the yeast, which feed off the natural sugars in the juice to produce alcohol. We expect the process to take between 4 - 5 months to the point that all the sugars have been 'processed'. Once the process has been completed we will then seal the barrel. The next stage is to 'rack' each cider around springtime. The process of racking is to remove approximately 95% of the cider into another container. This is in order to take the cider off the 'lees'. This appears to be a fine dust at the bottom of the container and is made up from the spent yeast. An old name for the lees is 'the snarlydogs'. The cider in the new barrel will be then allowed to mature over the next few months. A secondary malo lactic fermentation may occur but not always. The maturation period mellows the cider and the taste is not as sharp as a newly fermented cider. This may be the origin of 'scrumpy' or 'rough cider' and the practice of drinking it as soon as the cider is ready to drink.

    Many thanks, SJB395.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2017 #2

    scott78

    scott78

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    the 4-5 months will be for when your still pressing apples in December and fermenting outside,the cider is ready once you like the taste.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2017 #3

    terrym

    terrym

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    I love scrumpy, beats the socks off TC imo.
    Anyway, the little I know about making scrumpy cider is that 'proper' commercial cider makers do leave it for months to mature so you may be advised to do the same, to get the best out of your endeavours
    And you must have had a shed load of apples (literally) to make 100 litres of juice!
    Hope it works out for you. :thumb:
     
  4. Oct 3, 2017 #4

    SJB395

    SJB395

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    Thanks Terrym do you think I should leave the scrumpy in the plastic fermentation buckets for the months on top of the lees or shall I rack it into some big glass carboys and then leave for a few months?

    My parents have some very large old Apple trees so instead of them going to waste I thought I'd use them. I bet I still have another 100 litres to make!
     
  5. Oct 3, 2017 #5

    freester

    freester

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    100 litres nice work that man.

    If I were you I'd top up the fermentation vessels with a bit more juice. That'll kick off the fermentation again.

    I wouldn't be thinking about racking off for a few more months yet.

    I kicked off an 'au naturel' Demi John's worth in September. Topped it up everytime I pressed with a drop more juice. It's still bubbling away slowly. Leave it somewhere cool and rack it off nearer Xmas / New Year.

    That's how the old boys in my village do it...
     
  6. May 9, 2018 #6

    SJB395

    SJB395

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    Afternoon all,

    It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd give you an update.

    I like the cider, but a lot of people find it to tart/sour. Is there a way to make it sweeter? I added honey to 5 litres (10 teaspoons) this did the trick but I kept having to shake the demijohn up which caused a lot of gas.

    Any of you with experience, I would appreciate your help & knowledge.

    Thanks, SJB.
     
  7. Jan 23, 2020 #7

    toadinthehole84

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    Im also setting up to make some cider and same as i dont want to add anything at all just medievil cider! Also was unsure whether to drink right after fermentation or wait, so think im going to taste it and see
     
  8. Jan 24, 2020 #8

    DavieC

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    Hi @toadinthehole84 , I've not made a lot of cider, but this year I've done a few 5ltr batches using cider yeast and ale yeast and a 2ltr 'wild' ferment, which went well, nothing added just pressed juice from foraged apples, fermented from 1049 down to 1001. Tasted ok when I racked but I've put all batches in cold storage(dj's with airlocks in) and shan't touch them until spring so they may get a malolactic fermentation.
    I made a turbo cider using the yeast from the wild ferment(used some of the lees and added it to juice in a covered dish to make a starter) which I sampled last week, it was very good, quite an authentic farm cider taste.
     
  9. Jan 24, 2020 #9

    dwhite60

    dwhite60

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    Easiest thing is to sweeten it when serving it. A half teaspoon or so of sugar in a 250ml glass.

    I do this with wine and mead. Beats the backsweetening headache. Some people like tart cider,
    myself included.

    All the Best,
    D. White
     
    johncrobinson likes this.
  10. Jan 26, 2020 #10

    johncrobinson

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    As far as topping up the fermenter again goes,I did something similar nearly 20 yrs ago getting wine production up from a simple batch system.To continious production.
    Its not what the experts reccomend but it did work.
     

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