Spring is here, but I'm still slow to rejoin the biking community. This is somewhat problematic, because I am registered to do the Cannon Falls Duathlon in only a few short weeks. I've done some running so far this year, but the bulk of my energy has been going into our bathroom. After a couple of dumpsters full, it's down to the subfloor and studs. Also known as "blank slate" mode. Now comes the real work of putting it all back together.
My friend Joel came over on Sunday and we put together 3/4 of a stir plate project, something I'll post more about once it's complete. And I also managed to steal away 30-45 minutes in the afternoon to put together a batch of hard cider. It's my first attempt at a cider, and I'm finding it is very easy to make. The only difficulty comes if you want to get fresh apples and juice them yourself. I was content to just buy 5 gallons of juice at the grocery story and throw in a couple pounds of honey. I wanted to make this an SCD friendly batch of cider, so I used honey for my yeast starter instead of DME. I didn't realize my yeast had been in the fridge quite as long as it had been (November date on the smack pack) so I stepped the starter up once also. Making the two starters was the majority of the work. Sunday I just sanitized, poured the juice into the carboy and aerated for 30 minutes while I pulled nails out of the wall studs. After aeration, I pitched my yeast. I've got a good steady fermentation going after less than 24 hours.
If I hadn't been in a hurry to get back to the bathroom, I would have remembered to take a hydrometer reading. I plan to make another batch using yeast that I harvest from this one, and I'll use the same approach with the honey and juice, so I should be able to back into an approximate gravity reading for both batches that way. It won't be exact, but it will be better than nothing.