Step 8: Pitching and plugging.
you should now have a sterile demijohn filled with 1 gallon of sterile apple juice allong with a jug containing your yeast culture and nothing else.
OK adding the yeast in brewspeak is called pitching the yeast! dont know why! dont really care!
This step is easy, you simply pour the yeast yeast into the apple juice. now to ensure that there is no oxygen in the demijohn during fermentation we need to put an airlock on the top of the demijohn. Make sure its been well sterilized. Put the bung and airlock ontop and if you want, for extra measure run some vaseline around the edges to ensure no air can leak in or out.
Now as with every other step many people do things differently here. The airlock needs to be filled with a liquid. Some say water some say sodium metabisulphate some say vodka some say sterilizing solution. I chose vodka! my reasoning is this; some airlock liquid could somehow get into your cider, sterilizing solution would affect the taste and maybe even poison somebody if a bleach based sterilizer was used. if sodium metabisluphate got into the brew it could well kill off the yeast making the fermentation stop prematurely. Water and vodka would not affect the cider (or its dinker) if it got into the brew so these are both ok but vodka will kill most bacteria and one more precaution coudn't hurt!
Now the hard part is over. Its the waiting game now. Put your demijohn somewhere cool (20 degrees C or lower) and out of direct sunlight. Also somewhere where it wont be moved or vibrated as this will kick up more sediment and if your juice is as dark as mine theres a LOT of sediment to fall !!!
check in now and then to see how its doing and count how long it takes a bubble in the airlock to rise. after a couple of days my fermentation skyrocketed and it was, at the peak, getting a bubble evry 0.6 seconds! It then slowed down and theres a bubble every minute or so. Finally it pretty much stopped and after 2 weeks i moved onto the next step.