Cider mistakes

I didn’t exactly read directions before I started making cider and I don’t know why. I just used the stuff they gave me to add to it including the yeast and then waited until I thought it was done. Most of it wasn’t actually “done” because I bottled it and then several bottles exploded upon opening because I had added sugar to them too close to bottling. This causes carbonation and is done on purpose in a small amount if you want your cider carbonated. If you want your cider sweeter tasting you have to add an artificial sweetener like Splenda or Xylitol because the sugar will just get eaten by the yeast during fermentation.

One other horrific discovery was that some of my cider smelled like rotten eggs. So I guess apples have alot of sulfur compounds in them, or the yeast coverts something in them into hydrogen Sulfide gas (rotten egg smell). I found this out after I smelled one of the ciders that was bottled already and I hadn’t left it to ferment long enough. The smell also is happening in one of the ciders that is in the carboy right now. It’s supposed to go away after primary fermentation which is good. You are supposed to leave the cider to ferment for about 4 months not 6 weeks like I had originally tried. I was just impatient and wanted to use the carboys to start something else.

Fermenting things in the Winter  is sort of tricky because the temperature drops lower obviously and then the fermentation doesn’t stay steady. This can be fixed with an electric blanket or just putting the carboys somewhere warmer in your house. The reason that the apple cider needs to be fermenting now is because the apples didn’t ripen till September or early October here. This year I will start some in September though. There are also yeasts that do better at cooler temperatures which I also did not take into consideration.

I am also making a honey mead with vanilla, a pumpkin mead and then some kombucha tea.

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Planning for Spring

I have made up a flow chart of sorts so that I can keep on track with what I am doing in my agricultural-horticultural goals. It isn’t a flow chart really but I like the idea of making one and also drawing plans for what I want to do with the land once I get it. I have thought about leasing land and that is still a viable option but I will have to keep my eye out for it on Craigslist. Often they want just a share of the produce from what you grow and that would be great. This area has a lot of land not being used for it’s intended purpose in my opinion and it might just take the right situation (that’s close enough to home for me to get to it ) to have things go really well for me this year.

I don’t want to end up with too many laying hens and I am considering the idea of getting dual purpose breeds and then using them for both so I don’t have so many in the backyard for so long.  One of my neighbors doesn’t mind at all and the other one is a crazy lady and recently was yelling so loud at night at her ex-husband that I really feel like getting more chickens that cluck when they lay an egg is nothing compared to her being crazy every now and then and yelling.  I am going to be a responsible animal owner though and not do that. 🙂

You also shouldn’t let your chicken sit on your couch.

No job

Small CSA from home (includes eggs)

Sell extra eggs to people (neighbors)

Raise 15 meat birds and sell to friends and neighbors

Buy fridge for garage

 

Job

Small CSA from home (includes eggs)

Sell extra eggs to people (neighbors)

Raise 15 meat birds and sell to friends and neighbors

Buy fridge for garage

Buy land