‘Tis the season ChipWIN Nation. The season of warm evenings, flowers in full bloom, and evenings spent in lawn chairs watching beautiful sunsets with a cold drink in your hand.
That cold drink is all the more refreshing if a reasonable amount of your own effort has gone into constructing it, but serious home brewing takes serious effort. If you’ve got the spare cash for starter equipment, and the patience and fortitude good four hour day in front of a hot stove, then check out the resources in the link section below.
If you’re as lazy as I turned out to be, then prep your speakers and continue on noble ChipWINner!
As always, before you begin, set the mood in your kitchen for creation. I highly recommend suspended FORCE’s mid-April release, GARDENIAN. The perky melody that is going on in most of these tracks pairs nicely with the bright and fizzy drank you’ll hopefully get out of this recipe.
Returning to the matter at hand…
Above, I used the word reasonable, a concept everyone will have their own definition of. That’s why for this adventure, I’m including a special bonus difficulty mode if you want to push this one step above.
Two notes for the list below. The first is that I’ve included links to relevant products on Amazon.com so you have an idea of what you need to be looking for. However, I emphatically encourage you, to acquire all your equipment from your local homebrewing supply store, if you have one. Love your local economy and it will love you back. The second note is that you will only need the items listed in italics if you want to tackle the extra level of difficulty.
- The glass jar from your gallon of fruit juice
- Some bleach for sanitizing your equipment
- A rubber bung and airlock
- A good bath towel
- A bottling wand
- A siphon
- Vinyl tubing
- Additional containers for the final product
- A gallon of clarified, no sugar added, fruit juice of your choice (Apple is a good choice for your first attempt)
- Champagne Yeast (I recommend Lalvin’s EC-1118 for your first attempt)
Once you’ve assembled at least the non-italicized items above, it is time to dig in and make the magic happen.
BEGINNER MODE INSTRUCTIONS
- Place your bung and airlock in a mixture of 1/2 Tablespoon of bleach to 1 Gallon of Water and soak for 10-20 minutes.
- While waiting, follow the directions on your yeast to begin reactivating. If you’re using the recommended yeast, soak it in 2 ounces of lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
- Once sufficient sanitation time has passed for your bung and airlock, remove it from the sanitation solution and rinse it thoroughly to ensure no bleach is left behind.
- Fit the airlock to the bung.
- Add a small amount of water to the airlock to create the seal.
- Run hot water over the base of the bung to ensure the rubber is pliable, as it will be a tight fit in the apple juice jar.
- Open your apple juice.
- Pour in the yeast.
- Fit the bung and airlock.
- Transfer your future brew to its storage location. Swirl it a bit during the transfer to ensure the yeast is mixed in well with the apple juice and can thus feast all the better.
- Fit your towel around the jar, just in case overly active yeast causes your brew to escape captivity.
- Wait roughly a week for plenty of fermentation time. If you’re not proceeding to the bonus level, remove the airlock, replace the cap for the bottle, and toss that bad boy into the fridge to cool to drinking temperature.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BONUS XP
- Begin by repeating the sanitation instructions above with the siphon, tubing, bottling wand, and the bottle(s) you’re transferring into.
- If you’re racking for additional fermentation time, also sanitize your additional bung and airlock.
- Once sufficient sanitation time has passed, rinse everything thoroughly as above.
- Connect the siphon and bottling wand together using your vinyl tubing.
- Break the seal on your current fermentation.
- Insert your siphon into your brew, but not so far that it touches the sediments at the bottom, and pump until you have a flow.
- Insert your bottling wand into your containers, and press it against the bottom to begin filling the bottles.
- If you are racking for additional fermentation time, fit your bung and airlock as above. If you’re bottling, seal the ez-tops and deposit the bottles in your nearest chill chest.
When it comes to serving, serve it cold, and preferably surrounded by good company. As a final heads up, when you’re home brewing, you’re going to have at least some amount of yeast at the bottom of your containers. This will lessen if you rack your mixture once or twice, but there will always be at least some. If you’re not a fan of yeasty sediments, pour carefully when you’re getting near the bottom of your bottles.
Get out there, Spread the Love, and Make some Chip!