01Organic Beer Recipe
We believe the world deserves organic beer, so here's how you make it.
Pure Blonde were the pioneers of great tasting low-carb beer. We were able to create a beverage that was perfect for those of us who loved working out as much as we loved beer. Now we’ve become pioneers on another brewing front, great tasting, accessible, organic beer.
That’s right, we’ve taken the thing people love, beer, and we’ve made it Certified Organic.
Not only is every drop refreshing and delicious, it’s affordable too. Which is fantastic. Unless, of course, you like spending money.
With the development of such a beer, it’d be natural to think we’d want to keep our brewing process a closely-guarded secret. But as a matter of fact, we think it’s too good not to share. Which is why we’ve decided to provide our entire beer recipe to the world. Open source it, if you will.
Yes, our competitors might steal it. Sure, folks at home might use it to try and brew their own frosty ones. That’s exactly the point. Because we believe the whole world deserves organic beer and we’re on a mission to make it happen.
So, here it is. The Pure Blonde Organic Lager recipe and process. On a billboard. Available for all to see. And for birds to poo on. Which, depending on what they’ve been eating, is probably organic too.
Let’s start with ingredients. Before you can create Pure Blonde Organic Lager, it is important to understand the raw ingredients that make up the beer.
Pure Blonde Organic Lager is first and foremost a product consisting of five main ingredients: water, barley, hops, yeast and sugar.
Water is the lifeblood of our organic lager (not the actual life-blood, that’d be gross; it’s just a metaphor). Though a subtle ingredient when it comes to flavour, water still plays a significant role in Pure Blonde Organic Lager’s overall character.
Barley is another raw ingredient. The barley used in Pure Blonde Organic Lager comes from Germany and is a two-row barley. What can we say? Germans make more than just sausages, pretzels and other delicious beer snacks. The barley is grown in pesticide free soil with no genetically modified materials so there is no ionisation and no irradiation.
Next up is hops. Hops provide beer with bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt. To make Pure Blonde Organic Lager, we use Certified Organic Pekko hops from the USA, also known as the United States of America. Hops’ flavours can vary depending on where they are grown, the type and how a brewer uses them. There are two roles for hops, namely bittering (when added early in the brew) and aroma (when added later in the brew).
Now let’s talk yeast. Never thought you’d read that did you? Or maybe you did. Which is also weird. Anyway, yeast is used to ferment the sugar from the malt to create alcohol and carbon dioxide. In the process the yeast will produce by-products that influence flavour and aroma. Depending on which yeast you use, you may notice different flavours and aromas. The yeast is used in Pure Blonde Organic Lager is technically known as Saccharomyces pastorianus. This particular yeast produces a crisp, clean and refreshing beer with subtle fruit hints of green apple.
The final raw ingredient is organic sugar. Pure Blonde Organic Lager’s sugar source comes from Brazil. We import this as a solid sugar and then turn it into a thick, concentrated liquid. When making your lager, you should use an organic liquid sugar because it enables you to create a low carb beer due to the fact the sugars are made of small chain carbohydrates which can be easily metabolised by the yeast.
Raw ingredients are great and all but unless you prepare them correctly, they’ll be useless. Meaning all the words you’ve read so far will be for nothing.
Which is why we’re now going to talk about how to prepare three important types of ingredients: malting the barley, pelletising the hops and adding brewing salts to the water.
Cryer Malt is the local business who procure our barley from abroad and then malt it. If you’re going to hit them up, ask for Tom, he’ll look after you. Shout out to Tom if you’re reading this, ya mad dog!
To start the malting process, soak the barley in water in order to germinate and stimulate the build-up of enzymes. Prior to the grain sprouting, halt the process and dry the grain. The drying process will deepen the colour and flavour profile of the grain. The output from this is malted barley. Malted barley has a rich, nut-like flavour and is high in the carbohydrate that serves as the sugar source for yeast to produce alcohol during fermentation.
We add malt because it contributes significantly to flavour, particularly the sweetness of the beer; it is a small grain that has big flavour. There’s probably a great moral in that, but we don’t have time for morals, we have beer to brew.
The flavour of the beer changes with the use of different malt types. Malt colours can vary from 4 units to greater than 100 units. The malt used in Pure Blonde Organic Lager is a unit 4 colour. The corresponding flavours range from mild flavours of bready, grainy and malty to dark roasted, coffee, burnt malt and bitter. Pure Blonde Organic Lager is made from Certified Organic Pilsner Malt which is both light in colour and flavour.
Hops themselves are made up of a hop flower and bine. The bine is for hops as a vine is for grapes. During the harvest season hop flowers are harvested. The part you want is the lupulin gland which is in the base of the flower and responsible for the resins, aromatic oils, and acids. The Certified Organic Pekko hops are pelletised, meaning you must chop the flowers up to a fine consistency and then compress them – so they kind of look like rabbit food. But they don’t taste like it. Not that we’ve ever tasted rabbit food… OK, maybe once at university.
The final bit of raw ingredient prep is adding brewing salts. Pure Blonde Organic Lager is brewed in Melbourne where the water is ironically too pure. It lacks a lot of minerals that are necessary to help create the best pH, optimise the brewing process, as well as provide mouthfeel (that’s totally a word – it means the, um, feel you have in your mouth). As such, you need to add inorganic salts in order to give the beer the right texture and to create an acceptable pH level. Now we realise we just used the words inorganic but ‘open source’ is all about being honest and transparent. Truth is, to obtain ACO organic certification you’re allowed to add 5% of ingredients that aren’t completely organic. There’s more on this later.
If you brew this recipe anywhere other than Melbourne, you may need to adjust your level of salts.
Now that you have a good understanding of the ingredients that are used to make Pure Blonde Organic Lager, we can take a deeper dive into the actual process.
The making of organic beer can be separated into two main areas: brewing and fermentation. The full process takes approximately three to four weeks, from start to finish.
We’ll take a closer look at these in turn, starting with brewing.
Phase 1: Brewing/Wort
The objective of phase 1 (brewing) is to produce wort.
It may sound like a rather unsavoury dermatological imperfection, but wort is also a liquid that brewers create from scratch. To make it, combine four key ingredients: water, malted barley, sugar and hops. A batch of wort should take six hours to create. At the end of the process, the wort will look like beer but will be sweeter and grainy and will not have alcohol. If you are making a 50 litre keg, ideally you will create 20 litres of wort. We recommend using the following portions: 2.72kg of Organic Pilsner Malt, 20 litres of Brewhouse Water, 11g of salts, 9g of hops and 1.65kg of dry sugar.
Step 1: Milling
Mill the malted barley to break it open and reveal the floury substance inside. This enables quicker starch conversion. Use a 6-roller dry mill, which is a piece of machinery which has three sets of two rolling pins. Insert the malt and adjust the gaps to make sure it’s milled to the right particle size. The size of the particles is important. We want to break open the grains, keeping the husks of the malt intact while crushing the starchy insides. If you don’t have a 6-roller dry mill, simply sprinkle the grain on your driveway and back your car over it repeatedly. Note: this is not a proven or recommended way to mill grain. We made it up in order to add flourish to this paragraph.
Step 2: Mashing
Mix the milled malt with warm water in the mash tun. The process takes about 90 minutes at 63 degrees Celsius, then ramps up to 80 degrees Celsius (one degree per minute) and finally holds for 5 minutes at this temperature. This enables the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch into smaller sugars. Later in the fermentation stage, yeast will convert this to alcohol.
At this stage we add some more enzymes (approximately 59.84g for a 50 litre keg) as a process aid in order to convert starch to sugar as the yeast cannot metabolise large molecules. Enzymes take liquid form and are clear like water. It’s possible to make Pure Blonde Organic Lager as a low carb option because these enzymes mean that you don’t leave the long chain carbohydrates behind.
The output from this is sweet mash. At this stage the wort will look like a thin porridge. Delicious, pre-beer porridge.
Step 3: Lautering
Pump the sweet mash from the mash tun into a lauter tun. What’s a lauter tun, you ask? Please don’t interrupt. A lauter tun is simply a vessel for separating the wort from the solids of the sweet mash.
Allow the mash to sit on a slotted base (like a colander). The barley husks aid filtering of the liquid from the mash by creating a filter bed which traps the solids. The sweet malty liquid, now called wort, must flow from the bottom of the lauter tun to the kettle. The output from this is sweet wort.
And that brings us to step 4: Boiling!
Boil the wort for one hour in the wort kettle to allow important biochemical and physical changes to take place. It’s at the start of the process that hops are added to create bitterness, aroma and flavour. Add the Certified Organic liquid sugar (called adjuncts in the brewing industry). As mentioned above, here you will be mixing 1.65kg of dry sugar with 20 litres of brewhouse water.
The boiling process achieves five key things: 1. Sterilise the wort by killing any micro organisms. 2. Enables the bitterness from the hops to come through. 3. Strips out some of the unwanted aroma compounds. 4. Denatures and removes unwanted protein solids. 5. Produces the perfect colour. 6. There is no 6, just checking to see if you’re paying attention. 7. Well done on point 6.
The output from this is boiled wort will contain some plant material from the hops.
Step 5: Wort Separation
Allow the clear, hot wort to leave the kettle and pump into a whirlpool. Make sure the liquid enters the whirlpool on an angle to create an effect like stirring tea in a cup. This will cause any solid material (called trub – made up of the plant material from the hops and the denatured proteins) to settle in the middle of the whirlpool. An outlet on the side will collect the liquid.
Remove the clear hot wort from the vessel, leaving the trub behind. If you’re feeling like a good person, which we know you are, send the trub off to be reused as feed. The output from this step is clear hot wort.
Phase 2: Cold Block Fermentation and Finishing
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the second half of the Pure Blonde Organic Lager process. But don’t go downing a glass just yet, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Also, it’s boiling hot and could hurt you. Ha ha ha! Isn’t brewing fun?
Step 1: Wort Cooling
Cool your hot wort before putting it into the fermenter. This ensures the yeast can survive. Use a wort cooler heat exchanger to do this. Cool the wort from approximately 98 degrees Celsius to 11 degrees Celsius. The output from this is cooled wort. Oxygenate the wort after it is cooled by using a pure oxygen gas stream that gets pushed into the liquid.
Step 2: Fermentation
This is where the magic happens. And by magic, we mean advanced chemistry.
To start the fermentation, add yeast during the filling of the vessel. Yeast converts the wort’s sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Fermentation also introduces complex aromas and taste to the beer.
To make Pure Blonde Organic Lager, use a bottom fermenting lager yeast. That is, a colder, slower ferment, which provides a crisp finish and lighter flavours.
There are two mini steps in Pure Blonde Organic Lager fermentation:
1. Aerobic – this means there is oxygen or air present. It’s like beer aerobics. Beer aerobics? That’s a great idea for a new business start-up. Can you just wait while we find some paper to write this down…OK, our legal team has said we’re not allowed to promote beer and aerobics-based activities, so looks like that pipe dream is over. Guess we’ll have to finish writing this recipe.
Combine yeast, wort and oxygen with the aim to increase the biomass of the yeast 2-3 times. This ensures you’ll have healthy and active yeast to complete the fermentation.
- Anaerobic – this means there is no oxygen present. Don’t worry legal team, we won’t be suggesting any beer anaerobics. To do this, set and hold the temperature at 18.5 degrees Celsius.
At the end of fermentation, the yeast will modify some of the flavour compounds it has made, this is known as the diacetyl rest. Diacetyl is a flavour compound (that tastes like butter scotch or popcorn). The yeast produces this compound it then re-absorbs it. Typically, beers ferment for about five to seven days, depending on the style. Pure Blonde Organic Lager takes seven days. To be clear, that’s one week or about a quarter of a month.
Once the sugar is all used up, the yeast goes into hibernation and sugar stores build up in the cell. It will start to stick together with other yeast cells and form thick clumps in the beer. Wait for it to settle at the bottom.
When the yeast has finished fermenting, chill the tank down to 4 degrees Celsius. Most yeast will settle to the bottom of the fermenter, meaning it can be separated from the beer easily. The output from this is yeasty, unfiltered beer.
Collect the created carbon dioxide to use later in the process. This will give the beer its bubbly goodness.
Step 3: Storage/Maturation
Once the yeast has settled to the bottom, remove this portion. Remember, yeast in Pure Blonde Organic Lager is never re-used because the yeast is very stressed from fermentation. And stress has absolutely no place near our beer.
Moving on, it’s time to put the beer through a centrifuge to remove any remaining yeast that hasn’t settled at the bottom of the tank. Store the unfiltered beer at cold temperatures (minus 1.5 degrees Celsius) to let any solids separate out before filtration. Store for a minimum three days, but no longer than 28 days, to ensure it’s always kept fresh. Storage and maturation allow for the full development of flavours and will provide the beer with a perfectly smooth finish. The output from this is matured yeasty, unfiltered beer.
Step 4: Filtration
Considering Pure Blonde Organic Lager is low carb, the liquid you have now can feel quite watery and light. Add malt extract so the liquid feels fuller. Malt extract is like a concentrated wort that adds colour and mouthfeel. The malt extract is sourced from Pure Malt in the UK. There are two forms of malt extract, the first is a concentrated hot water extract of roasted barley and the other is a dealcoholised concentrated malt beer. For a 50 litre keg, we add 35g of malt extract with 30 litres of water. At this stage we also add in light-stabilised hops to ensure the beer's head and bitterness are perfect. Add in 2.5g for a 50 litre keg.
Once the beer has had sufficient storage time, use candle filtration (the most romantic of all filtration techniques) to remove any unwanted proteins and yeast. After filtering, dilute the beer to 4% ABV using de-aerated water. De-aerated water is water with no oxygen – we recommend sparging the water with carbon dioxide and then using a vacuum to strip the oxygen out.
The oxygen accelerates the staling process in beer so we want to add as little oxygen as possible.
Put the beer into a ‘bright’ beer tank ready for packaging. The output from this will be bright beer. Bright beer is beer that no longer has yeast in suspension. Clear, lively and fresh, it is beer as the brewers drink it – straight from the proverbial udders.
Step 5: Pasteurisation and Packaging
Transfer the beer into a bottle and seal tightly. Be sure to handle the glass carefully to avoid breaking.
In order to achieve microbiological stability (i.e. shelf life), you must kill any remaining yeast and other micro-organisms by pasteurising the beer, we use a method called tunnel pasteurisation.
Chill the bottle down to your favourite serving temperature. Don’t pretend you don’t have one.
OK, you’re almost done but there’s one more very important thing we need to talk about before your Pure Blonde Organic Lager is ready; gaining organic certification to be able to make organic claims.
Pure Blonde Organic Lager is certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO).
Gaining organic certification with ACO requires five key areas to be met:
- Significance and regulatory compliance. Your standard of labelling must meet ACO regulations. The ACO certification number must be verified and clearly demonstrated. No alterations may occur without consultation with and approval from the ACO body.
- Supplier assurance and compliance. Specific sourcing requirements for organic certified ingredients must be approved by ACO.
- Separation and segregation. The ingredients used in the brewing process of organic beer must be kept in separate storage areas, approved by ACO. Organic materials must be clearly labelled ‘ORGANIC’. The tools used to handle these materials must also be clearly labelled and only used for handling organic materials.
- Scheduling and planning. In our brewery, organic products are brewed on the first Monday of every month to avoid any chance of contaminating organic with non-organic materials.
- Sanitation and cleaning. All vessels and lines must be flushed before using organic ingredients. The brewing facility cleaning plans must be validated and approved by ACO in order for the produce to meet organic standards.
To be certified organic with ACO, 95% of the weight of your product (not including water) needs to be from organic sources.
Now you might say “well, at least the remaining 5% of my ingredients can come from anywhere else,” but you’d be saying something wrong, and quite frankly, not really in line with the vibe of what we’re trying to do here.
For the remaining 5%, you still need to ensure that five key conditions are being met including: 1) no commercial organic alternative available; 2) no ingredients are genetically modified; 3) ingredients come from natural sources; 4) ingredients have not been fumigated or irradiated; and 5) no synthetic fertilisers have been used.
And we’re done! Now it’s time to pour the delicious Pure Blonde Organic Lager into your mouth. You don’t need instructions for that too, do you?
That completes the Pure Blonde Organic Lager process. All 3,536 words of it. We’ve tried to be completely open and honest, giving you as much information and advice as possible. We may have even crossed the line into ‘too much information’. But who’s counting?
We now entrust Pure Blonde Organic Lager to you. Use this recipe well, dear friend. Add to it, tinker with it, invite our competitors to have a crack. It’s all about spreading the organic beer love. Because the world deserves organic beer. Together, we can make it happen.
And that’s how you make Pure Blonde Organic Lager. But if you’re thirsty right now, grab one from your local bottle shop.
02Organic Cider Recipe
We believe the world deserves organic cider, so here's how you make it.
Pure Blonde is the pioneer of great tasting low-carb beers and ciders. We were able to create beverages that were perfect for those of us who loved working out as much as we loved a beer. Now, we’ve become pioneers on another brewing front; great tasting, accessable Certified Organic beer.
Then we figured why stop at beer? What about cider? Let’s go wildly organic – that’s pretty wild. Anyway, point being we’ve made our cider Certified Organic too.
Now we understand this is quite hard to believe. Especially when it’s written in tiny words that look oddly like terms and conditions, but these tiny miniscule words are actually the beginnings of an open source recipe for our Certified Organic cider. Meaning we’re releasing it to the entire world. So, you can make it yourself – back shed style – with a heap of mates.
Now it’s not just back shed enthusiasts that can access our recipe, our competitors can as well. And no doubt will. In fact, you might be one of our competitors reading this right now. If you are then hey, how’s it going? We’d like to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to your R&D team. We hope they enjoy learning about how to make, in our opinion, the best Certified Organic cider because we want them to help us bring organic cider to the world. See we believe the world deserves it and we’re on a mission to bring it. Right here, right now. Ready?
Beginning with the ingredients, there are three main ingredients in Pure Blonde Organic Cider being apple concentrate, sugar and yeast.
The first ingredient used is apple concentrate – which just means apple juice that has had some of the water boiled out of it, as well as its self-doubt, second-guesses and general insecurities. Our supplier sources apples from New Zealand – so they’re seasonally picked from mid February, then made into concentrate and stored in cold stores. If you’re making this in Australia and you’re after Aussie apples though, it’s best to pick them between March and April.
Pure Blonde don’t buy whole apples, instead we buy apple concentrate from Bostock, manufactured by Profruit New Zealand. And when these guys say they’re pro fruit, they mean it. It’s then delivered to us in what looks like – if we’re being honest, which is what open source is all about – a giant goon bag.
We use the concentrate of these apples, to ensure year-round consistency of flavour. So as long as they have recognised organic certification and the right level of acidity and sugar, they can be any shape, colour or blend . We don’t discriminate – Pure Blonde is pro diversity.
To produce the apple concentrate, the whole apples are milled. Milling is when the apples are chopped up. There are many old names for milling, one of these being scratting. Scrattingiddily doo – yep, we just scatted the word scratting. We went there. Anyway, scratting refers to the grinding of apples into a juicy, sweet mash.
The next step of the apple concentrate preparation is ‘pressing’. This is separating out so that just the juice is captured, leaving behind any solid materials such as the skin. The final step is to concentrate the juice by removing some of the water. Now to formally be called an apple cider there must be a debutante ball held for the cider and the queen must knight it. Jokes. To formally be called an apple cider all it needs is at least 75% of the juice used to have come from apples.
Next up is sugar – another raw ingredient used in cider. Pure Blonde Organic Cider’s sugar source is in Brazil. Although the apples already contain some sugar, we add a little extra to our cider to help with the consistency of sugar levels.
Disclaimer: despite this, Pure Blonde Organic Cider still has 60% less sugar and 50% less carbs than regular cider.
Now let’s talk yeast. Never thought you’d read that did you? Or maybe you did. Which is also weird. Anyway, yeast is used to ferment the sugar from the apple concentrate and additional liquid sugar to create alcohol and carbon dioxide. In the process, the yeast will produce by-products that influence flavour and aroma. Depending on which yeast you use, you may notice different flavours and aromas. The yeast used in Pure Blonde Organic Cider is Lalvin C, technically known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast comes from a supplier named Lallemand – with a silent ‘e’. Hayden – not with a silent ‘e’ – is our Lallemand rep. He’s an absolute champ. He reps that yeast good.
Lalvin C is a strain selected from the Pasteur Institute in Paris where it was first developed for wine making. Yes, it’s French. Don’t judge us, it’s also really great.
Different yeasts are used to produce different flavours. Lalvin C is a white wine yeast. This is just the yeast; we’re definitely making cider not white wine or champagne. The white wine yeast is just used to make the apple cider, but it’s not white wine apple cider. It’s definitely just apple cider – well not just – it’s ACO certified organic, but organic apple cider, not organic white wine... Wait a minute, now we’re a bit confused. What are we making?
<Short break for momentary existential crisis.>
And we’re back! Where were we? Oh yes, white wine yeast which is used in Pure Blonde Organic Cider.
Although those are the three main ingredients, there are also a number of other ingredients used in Pure Blonde Organic Cider.
The water used in Pure Blonde Organic Cider is just normal mains water from the tap. So, you’ve already got one of the ingredients ready to go. Unlike with our beer, we don’t add brewing salts to the water because the salt profile of water doesn’t impact ciders like it impacts beer. Apart from deaerating the water added post-fermentation, which just means taking the oxygen out, we don’t need to prep it any further.
Although apple concentrate is one of the main ingredients in Pure Blonde Organic Cider, there is still a need to add in non-organic apple flavours. Now we realise we just used the word non-organic, but ‘open source’ is all about being honest and transparent. Truth is, to obtain ACO organic certification you’re allowed to add 5% of ingredients that aren’t completely organic. But more on that later. When the manufacturer creates the apple concentrate, some of the water is boiled off and consequently a lot of the aroma is lost. Therefore, these flavours need to be added back in because apple tasting-ish isn’t good enough for us. We want your taste buds to bathe in our apple aroma.
We add two types of apple flavours to our product, each with their own aroma and flavour. The team at Pure Blonde make one of the major flavours, ‘Apple Spinning Cone Flavour’, at our very own Cascade Brewery. The way we create the Apple Spinning Cone Flavour is by evaporating off the flavours from apple juice. The vapour is then captured and condensed back into a liquid which is then added to the cider formula. This adds a sweet apple arouma to the lqiquid. The second apple flavour is called ‘Apple Top Note Flavour’ which provides a ripe apple flavour. It really should be called Apple Top Notch, ’cause it’s really great. This flavour is created at Symrise NSW, a flavouring specialist.
Carbon dioxide is used for carbonation during the process (to make the Cider fizzy). The yeast creates carbon dioxide which we then capture and dose back into the liquid later on. This is a lot easier than trying to keep the carbon dioxide in the liquid during the entire process. We also have to buy small amounts of CO2 to supplement what we collect.
Malic Acid (non-organic) – yep we just used the word ‘non-organic’ again, we’re not denying it, just bracketing it – is added into Pure Blonde Organic Cider to achieve the acidity or tartness that we want.
Diammonium phosphate is used as a nitrogen source for the yeast which it requires to grow. Apples don’t contain enough nitrogen, so we need to add this into the cider. We also use Fermboost which is another a yeast food; it supples vitamins and minerals that the yeast requires for both growth and fermentation.
Potassium metabisulphite is a preservative that’s used in wine and cider making for the best tasting cider. This is used to prevent oxidation and to keep our cider fresh. We realise they’re a lot of big words being thrown out here but bear with us – or just Google it.
Making cider is similar to making wine. In short, crushed fruit, juice or concentrate is converted to alcohol through a fermentation process.
Now here’s the long version:
Step 1: Yeast Propagation
Yeast propagation takes place over a 48-hour period. Get ready, this next bit is a lot. In these 48 hours we take the dry yeast, rehydrate by putting it in water then propagate it in cider must (must is an important base for our cider, we’ll explain this a little later) with additional yeast food and a continuous oxygen supply which causes it to multiply rather than ferment – if you need to breathe right about now it’s because you’re reading this out aloud, which is a little odd, but each to their own – before pitching (or put simply, ‘pouring’, if you are doing this at home) it into the cider.
If you’re making a 50L keg of Pure Blonde Organic Cider, you will need to make up a propagation of 1.42L. Now it’s numbers time so get your measuring cup – or keg – ready.
Add the following ingredients together to make up the yeast propagator:0.21L of Certified Organic liquid sugar, 0.20L of Certified Organic apple concentrate, 0.0020kg of malic acid, 0.0011kg of diammonium phosphate, 0.00017kg of potassium metabisulphite, 0.0023kg of Lalvin C yeast and 1L of water. We also add in an extra 0.00043kg of yeast food called Fermboost which provides micronutrients for the yeast.
Step 2: Must Preparation
Must is the non-alcoholic fruit juice base for our cider. Once it is fermented in step 3, the cider becomes alcoholic. It is similar to ‘wort’ in the beer making process.To make the must, mix the following ingredients together: 9.10L water, 1.9L of Certified Organic liquid sugar, 1.79L Certified Organic apple concentrate, 0.018kg malic acid, 0.0038kg yeast food and 0.010kg diammonium phosphate. The potassium metabisulphite comes in the form of a powder, we add about 0.0024kg, which we mix into a slurry before adding it to the mixture. The must is mixed by dosing the ingredients into a large pipe which water runs through.
We then flash pasteurise the must to ensure micro stability.
To do this we pump the must through the heat exchanger and firstly heat it up using steam, then place it in holding tubes to keep it hot for before subsequently cooling it down. The purpose of this process is to kill any micro-organisms that may have come in with the raw materials.
Step 3: Fermentation
This is where the magic happens. And by magic, we mean advanced chemistry.
To start fermenting you need to combine the must and the yeast grown in the yeast propagator during the filling of the vessel. Oxygen is also added to increase the biomass of yeast by 2-3 times to ensure you have healthy and active yeast to complete the fermentation process. The yeast converts the sugars present in the must into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas, introducing complex aromas and taste to the cider.
There are two mini steps in Pure Blonde Organic Cider fermentation:
1. Aerobic – this means there is oxygen or air present to help our yeast grow, ensuring we have enough yeast for fermentation – it doesn’t mean there are aerobic moves involved in brewing our organic cider, so stress less.
2. Anaerobic – this means there is no oxygen present – we set and hold the temperature of the brew at 20 degrees Celsius so the yeast can stop growing and start to ferment.
The specially selected yeast then converts the sweet must to alcoholic cider. Once you have finished the fermentation, you’ll be left with an unfiltered cider – just like this recipe. It’s important to note that cider ferments at a higher alcohol level than beer (15%) and is then diluted down, so no taste testing just yet, no time for that now! Stay focused. We’re almost done.
While your cider is fermenting there are many things you can do. You could take up knitting, golf, master the art of meditation, pay some attention to your significant other who you’ve been neglecting because you’re so focused on brewing the perfect organic cider. We’re not going to tell you what to do. We’re experts in cider, not life. So why don’t you tell us instead? Submit a question to: opensourceorganic.com.au/pages/ask-us-a-question explaining what you’d do while you wait for your Pure Blonde Organic Cider to ferment. The best responses will win a free case of cider! Bet you’re glad you’ve read this far? Click here for T&Cs. NT excluded.
Step 4: Filtration and Storage
Once we have fermented the cider, we don’t cool it down like we do for beer as we want to keep the yeast evenly distributed throughout the liquid. This is due to the type of filtration we use, ‘cross flow membrane filtration’ – try saying that ten times in a row as quickly as you can! If we were to cool it down the yeast would settle to the bottom, which would cause filtration problems. The cross flow membrane filtration process however, makes Pure Blonde Organic Cider a clear liquid with no yeast left in it. At this stage though, the liquid is still at 15% alcohol, so it won’t taste like the Pure Blonde Organic Cider you know and love just yet. It’s the storage and makeup that then enables the flavours to balance out in order to achieve the final flavour profile.
Step 5: Makeup
This step is all about reconnecting with an estranged lover or friend. We encourage you to see past your issues and bond over a chilled beverage. Or not, some people just move apart, it’s a process that’s as organic as our cider, so instead, get your blending on. The yeast has now used all the flavours and sugar and turned it into alcohol, so we need to blend in fresh new ingredients including 0.50L of Certified Organic apple concentrate, 0.69L of Certified Organic liquid sugar, 0.022kg of malic acid, 0.15L of Apple Spinning Cone Flavour, 0.10L of Apple Top Note Flavour and 0.00090kg of potassium metabisulphite. We then dilute it down to 4.2% alcohol by adding 34.30L of water and carbonate it using C02 (make it fizzy).
By now your cider should have a pale straw like colour. It should smell like fresh apples on a clear winter’s day with essence of tartness, lightly full bodied with a clean and crisp finish! And we’re thirsty. Almost cider time!
Step 6: Packaging
Now it’s time to package it up. Finished goods come off the packaging line and are palletised before going into the warehouse for dispatch.
In your case, you can buy cider bottles online
You’re almost done but there’s one more very important thing we need to finally talk about before your Pure Blonde Organic Cider is ready: gaining organic certification.
Pure Blonde Organic Cider is certified by Australian Certified Organic (ACO).
Gaining organic certification with ACO requires five key areas to be met:
1. Significance and regulatory compliance. Your standard of labelling must meet ACO regulations. The ACO certification number must be verified and clearly demonstrated. No alterations may occur without consultation with and approval from the ACO body.
2. Supplier assurance and compliance. Specific sourcing requirements for organic certified ingredients must be approved by the ACO.
3. Separation and segregation. The ingredients used in the brewing process of organic cider must be kept in separate storage areas, approved by the ACO. Organic materials must be clearly labelled ‘ORGANIC’. The tools used to handle these materials must also be clearly labelled and only used for handling organic materials.
4. Scheduling and planning. In our brewery, organic products are brewed on the first Monday of every month to avoid any chance of contaminating organic with non-organic materials.
5. Sanitation and cleaning. All vessels and lines must be flushed before using organic ingredients. The brewing facility cleaning plans must be validated and approved by the ACO in order for the product to meet organic standards.
To be Certified Organic by the ACO, 95% of the weight of your product (not including water) needs to be from Certified Organic sources.
Now you might say “well, at least the remaining 5% of my ingredients can come from anywhere else,” but you’d be saying something wrong, and quite frankly, not really in line with the vibe of what we’re trying to do here.
For the remaining 5%, you still need to ensure that five key conditions are being met including: 1) no commercial organic alternative is available; 2) no ingredients are genetically modified; 3) ingredients come from natural sources; 4) ingredients have not been fumigated or irradiated; and 5) no synthetic fertilisers have been used.
And we’re done! Now it’s time to pour the delicious Pure Blonde Organic Cider into your mouth hole. You don’t need instructions for that too, do you?
That completes the Pure Blonde Organic Cider process. All 3037 words of it. And every word written with complete ‘open sourceness’. Right down to the season our apples are picked, then even further down to our jokes.
We now entrust Pure Blonde Organic Cider to you. Use this recipe well, dear friend. Add to it, tinker with it, invite our competitors to have a crack. If you are our competitor, get brewing as it’s all about spreading the organic cider love. Because the world deserves organic cider and together, we can make it happen.
And that’s how you make Pure Blonde Organic Cider. But if you’re thirsty right now, grab one from your local bottle shop.