The calendar has hit June and you know what that means, an update from yours truly. May was really good to us as we continued our barrage of Red Cider upon the tri state area with another batch of kegs and bottles, 30 kegs and 33 cases to be exact. I’m very proud of this improved version of our red cider and think it’s our best recipe yet. I believe the demands to make more and the heightened stress on us to get more into your hands justifies my feelings on this particular batch. We hope to keep with the consistency for your enjoyment.
As noted by some readers, I tend to go off on tangents about anything that piques my interests and feel it may yours as well. For this month, I’ll dive into keg cleaning. Keg cleaning is a vital, but pretty simple process in preparation for kegging. We have a keg cleaning machine in-house that can clean two kegs at a time with cycles lasting anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
Prepping the cleaner is pretty straightforward; you hook up your airline, as you’ll need that to blow out any leftover liquid. Your CO2 will be hooked up to pressurize kegs after cleaning. You also have two holding tanks for cleaning solution and sanitizing solution. You want to fill those two tanks up with some warm water as well as their respective solutions. Caustic is a very abrasive cleaner, heavy duty for short. For our sanitizing solution, we use a mix consisting mainly of citric acid. You get those two in their tanks and use the heating element inside to get the temps to a safe and operable temperature.
When you’ve got it to the correct temp, you are ready to clean, you simply tap the kegs up to the machine and flip them upside down onto their resting areas and simply press START.
Within the automatic cleaning, it will run 5 cycles. The first is a rinsing that runs water through the kegs and air pushes that and the old cider out the keg and into a drain. From there you get your caustic pump running to clean the insides of the kegs out and discharge it from the keg as well. Another round of water and air are thrust into the kegs to rinse out any caustic leftover. The last of the cleaning involves the sanitation of the kegs with the citric acid solution mixed with CO2. After that’s finished, CO2 is injected into the kegs for pressurization.
Onto more relevant happenings, last week, we racked off the cider that had been fermenting if you remember last month’s update. Racking, as you probably know is taking all your clarified juice from the top of the tank and moving it to another tank to get it off of its lees. Within the next week or so, we should start filtering the cider to get it closer to bottling and kegging. Stay tuned for more updates on our Instagram page.
As far as events go, we’ve got a doozy coming up. Lace em tight, our 2nd annual Rebel Seed 5K, Run The Vineyards is coming your way June 17th. Come on out, run, walk, crawl, skip, do whatever you gotta do to get across the finish line. Running not your thing, just come on out and support the runners as they finish. Tickets are $40 per person and proceeds benefit Operation Warm Heart of Dover AFB First Sergeants organization.
The day after is Father’s Day so bring pops out and grab a glass a cider and leave with a bottle or two. Specials will be run all day. You might see Cider God and Cider Father out on the patio enjoying a glass. More details on the way!
That’s about all on my mind this time around. Sort of a slow month for cider as wine has taken top priority this month. Time to start churning them out! Until next time,
-Cider God out