Usage Directions: Sprinkle contents directly on up to 15 L (6 US Gal) of juice. Ferment at 18-24 degrees C (64-75 degrees F) for best results.
Storage Recommendations: Store in the fridge.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, ideal for fermenting high alcoholic Apple Cider or Fruit Cider. These are dry yeast. They can ferment fructose and have a very high alcohol tolerance (13-15%) and high-temperature tolerances (20-35 C) making them suitable for Indian conditions as compared to low-temperature European conditions. Unlike Bakers yeast, this will be slower. Hence, it allows you to get the complex phenols and flavonoids needed to make something clean and crisp.
Fruit Cider wine yeast is ideal for fermenting hard apple cider, plums, kiwi, banana, pineapple, pears, and other amazing fruits of India. Dosage 0.5-1gm per liter.
1 gm/L if you are using fresh unpasteurized fruit (apple, mango, kiwi, pears, pineapple, etc.). It can also be used to make today from sugarcane or tender coconut.
0.5gm/l is good if you have more time to ferment or using packaged fruit juices in tetra pack like our prison hooch recipe.
5gm is suitable for about 5-10 liters of must, 20gm is suitable for about 30-40 liters and 75gm is suitable for 75-150 liters.
Remember to hydrate the yeast before adding in 5% sugar solution.
If you are using pomegranate, remember to remove the peel first (it is bitter). Use at least 3kg of fruit per liter of hard cider (because of the seeds). Use the dragon blood recipe for making Jamun wine and wines from berries.
Mango skins can be used to provide tannins to white cider wine if they are organic. If the stone (large seed) is too fleshy, allow it to stay in the fermenter for 2-3 days. This helps the yeast to extract the sugar from the fibers. Banana and almost any other fruit can be converted into a lovely wine as well.
Fermented food and beverages are natural, healthy, and full of Vitamin B and other probiotic nutrients. They are good for those on a strict diet especially a ketogenic diet or digestive problems. Fermented food help restore the gut bacteria and natural fauna of the digestive system making us healthier, stronger, and with a stronger immune system.
Unlike packaged food, fermentation adds to the taste without any oil, sugar, food colors, preservatives, or chemical essence or any unhealthy additives. This makes homebrew healthier than its commercial equivalent.
During fermentation, the yeast eats away the sugar and adds to the taste. Hence reducing calorie intake and tackling hunger pangs. India is the Diabetic country of the world, and a lot of diabetics are switching over to homemade apple cider vinegar and kombucha as an alternative to soft drinks.
If you have a pre-existing condition or allergies, it is best to consult with your doctor. Fermentation often results in drastically altering the food properties. You can also read about how 8 different types of ayurvedic preparations can be made at home.
Unlike Europe or the US, India has no annual quota or limits on the quantity of alcohol (wine, beers, ciders, and undistilled beverages) you can home-brew. Instead, the Indian Excise Department has put restrictions on the quantity that can be stocked at any given point of time.
Each state has its limits on what is constituted as commercial quantity. As long as you are brewing/stocking below this threshold and don’t reside in a Dry state, you should be safe. I am yet to encounter any law/ government memo limiting the number of batches or number of home-brew parties one can throw, but checking with the local officials is always advisable before you start taking this hobby seriously. Permissible limit to stock as per some state laws are:
Karnataka: 18.5 liters of beer or 9 liters of wine.
Tamil Nadu: 12 bottles of beer 650ml or 12 bottles of wine 750ml (It is governed by Tamil Nadu Alcohol (Possession for Personal Consumption) Rules, 1996)
No state in India has legalized home distillery or home alcohol distillation kit. Possession, operating, or dealing with distillation equipment without a license is illegal. However, you can obtain exceptions for medical purposes, herbal extracts, perfumes, and Ayurveda medicines. If you are planning to get a distillation license, then buy a stainless steel distillation kit. Modifying pressure cookers to make crude makeshift stills can land you in trouble.
Watery/ Thin: It lacks the body and mouth feel. In wine, it is a result of not using enough fruits. In beers, it is a result of using too little malt or too many enzymes. Adding a bit of specialty malt like caramel/ crystal malts will rectify it. The mashing temperatures can also be altered to produce more sugars that are unfermentable.
Hooch is a crude American term for any unfinished, freshly fermented wine or alcoholic beverage. It has a negative connotation because the product is often homemade with primitive fermentation techniques and hence equivalent to Desi Daru (देसी दारू) As per excise department, it is also categorized under the same category.
Toddy is the Indian term for Indian country/village wines which are not made from a traditional recipe i.e. not following a European grape wine recipe or a British/American apple cider recipe. This Indian traditional alcoholic beverage has a variety of medical, religious, psychological, and even psychedelic effects. Like the Native American Indian culture, Toddy making is acceptable (or overlooked by authorities) as part of a traditional religious and cultural practices. We tried to map a few on this map of India.
Wine, on the other hand, is a more refined sophisticated beverage that can be bottled and stored. Hooch and Toddy need to be consumed within a day or two or it will become too sour and dry for consumption. They typically take 4-8 weeks to make compared to 2-3 days for toddy. Most wines are aged for 6 months to two years before it is ready for serving while country beer/hooch/toddy is served fresh.
Some people confuse Toddy with Feni (Cashew Fruit Alcohol), Mahua (Mahua Flower/cake Alcohol) and Handia (Rice Alcohol). The sugar and starch source for all these 4 traditional Indian Beverages are different. Today fermentation techniques are made more sophisticated. As a result more and more people are consuming them in beer or wine form rather than distilled spirit. Rice Wine is also hazy white, so it is often sold as Toddy. However distilled spirits from these fruits and flowers are closer to Indian Mezcal or Tequila.
YES, it is completely legal to make wine and hard apple cider at home in India for personal use except in states where it is banned like Bihar, Gujarat, Lakshadweep, Manipur, and Nagaland. Just remember the following 4 golden rules:
Do not sell alcohol or engage in commercial activity without license permits and tax approvals.
Do not try to distill into brandy, vodka, whiskey, rum, gin, etc.
Keep your batch size small (below state-specific restrictions on how much alcohol you can ferment or store under your roof).
Also, don’t try to ship alcohol or cross state boundaries.
No law states in India that you cannot brew beer or make wine at home but this is only for personal use and not for commercial purposes. For a detailed list of regulations refer here.
Yes, they need lots of yeast nutrients (0.5-1gm per liter compared to 0.25gm per liter in case of homebrew beer). The reason is that honey and apple/fruit juice don’t have enough proteins and nitrogen. With a low YAN (simply put nitrogen that yeast can use) the fermentation tends to get stuck and is prone to infection. To compensate that we use 2-4 times more yeast nutrient. This helps establish a healthy yeast colony, prevent infection, stuck fermentation and off-flavors
While beer brewers add just 8gm of sugar per liter of beer, sparkling wines, cider, and champagne need 16 to 25gm of sugar to create that loud distinct pop sound when you uncork a fully pressurized bottle.
Note: Be careful to use only stainless steel kegs or extra thick glass bottles. Normal glass bottles and water bottles are not meant to withstand this pressure and tend to burst.
Campden a.k.a. potassium metabisulfite is an antioxidant/ preservative, commonly called “sulfites”. Most commercial wine labels will have listed it as one of its ingredients. It inhibits the bacteria activity but does not impact the yeast so much.
Potassium sorbate on the other hand is a preservative designed specifically to inhibit yeast reproduction. It’s used in white wine, cider, and mead which we want to be sweetened. Sorbate will prevent the yeast from fermenting off these residual sugars and prevent the wine from becoming dry and too alcoholic.
Typically bottled home brew beer has a shelf life of 6 months. However, most home-brew beer is consumed within a week to a month of bottling or kegging. However, some people regularly store homebrew beer for up to 6 months successfully. Beyond this, the beer is still safe for consumption, just that it will not taste fresh. However, a couple of factors need to be taken into account to determine the shelf life.
Storage temperature: Beer is like wine, higher the temperature the faster is the degradation in flavors.
UV light: Even a couple of hours in direct sunlight can ruin a perfectly fresh beer
Packaging: Microbrewery Growlers don’t last 2 days because the beer was oxidized during filling. If you see packaging in proper crown sealed glass bottles or stainless steel kegs, 6-12 months life is easy
Oxidation: Once you open the bottle, drink within an hour.
Apple Cider can be turn out bitter because of a variety of reasons. Here are some to help you out:
Low Residual sugar. Sweetness is the best mask for bitterness (for example coffee and chocolate). Try using some wine stabilizer and back-sweeten your cider.
Excess Tannin: Adding too much oak chips, fruit skins, and other sources of natural tannin can introduce astringency, woody feel, or bitterness in your wine/cider. The best way to reduce is by using a fining agent. Isinglass, Bentonite, and Gelatin can help you control excess tannin.
Aging: Time mellows down all harsh flavors in cider/wine. Try aging your cider/white wine by 1-6 months and red wine by 1-3 years. With time the complex biochemical reactions will make your beverage more flavorful and amazing.
Problem with the fruit: Although you can make cider/wine from any fruit, some fruits are not that flavorful. When you take the sweetness out (by converting it to alcohol/vinegar), the residual flavors start emerging. Try to experiment with a different harvest or fruit type. Mixing two or three different fruit also helps.
Fruit wine is full of aromas and flavors from the natural fruit it is made of. They are often infused with spices (especially cinnamon, ginger, star anise) which add to the complex boutique flavors that we recognize with a good cider. They taste very similar to a dry white wine but can be back sweetened to taste. If you carbonate your cider, it will taste and feel like champagne.
Unlike cider vinegar, your alcoholic hard cider should not taste sour or burn your nostrils (acetic acid). They are also not supposed to taste bitter.
Fermentation takes away sugar leaving the goodness of fruit behind. Yeast also adds to Vitamin B-12 and other probiotics which are otherwise very difficult for vegetarians to source. Hence fruit cider is more healthy for the gut and overall well being of its consumer.
If you are conscious about weight loss, then ferment your apple cider dry (without residual sugar). Use a hydrometer and ensure the specific gravity reading is 1.000 or lower. This sugar management will help you if you are diabetic risk or on a keto diet or looking to lose weight.
Remember we added no colors, preservatives, artificial flavors, or chemicals in your homemade cider. Try using organic fruits with the skin to extract the maximum benefit of nature and improve your health.
There are plenty of fruits that can be poisonous and dangerous to our health if eaten improperly. Certain fruit peels are difficult to consume and at times are also inedible and poisonous. For example, peels of avocados, honeydews, melons, lychee, pineapple and the likes are considered as inedible. Talking about being poisonous, mostly it’s not the peels rather other aspects like seeds of the fruit, ripe or raw fruit, etc. that one needs to worry about. For instance, seeds of apples, apricots, cherries contain amygdalin, which after coming in contact with acids in human digestive system becomes cyanide. Similarly, cashew fruit, almonds, etc. should never be eaten in their raw form.
Mangrove Jack’s craft brewer’s yeast sold at arishtam.com is in the dry form. Dry yeast is easy to store, transport, and carry. The wet yeast on the other hand needs to be chilled at all times and has a shelf life of a few weeks (as compared to almost 2 years for dry yeast). As a result for a hobby brewer and even microbrewery dry yeast is much more convenient and easy to use.
Although most manufacturers recommend that you use the yeast directly, but rehydrating the yeast is always advisable for the following reasons:
When hydrated, the yeast forms spores and goes into inactive state. By hydrating it in a sugar/wort plus nutrient solution, you give it adequate time and jumpstart to become fully active again.
Yeast often dies when expired, mishandled, exposed to humidity or high temperaures during transportation or storage. If you pinch it directly in the wort, it will take 24-48 hours before you can detect yeast inactivity. By hydrating the yeast, you are always 100% sure the yeast is active.
Hydrated yeast have a jumpstart over any other contaminents or microbial infection. When the wort is cooled, it sometimes picks up infection from the fermenter or air. If the dry brewer’s yeast is hydrated (good yeast count) they are able to fend off infection by the mere fact that they are more in number and faster in activity.
Take 5-10X of sterlized water (boil the wort or water) (50ml)
If you are using water then add some priming sugar or table sugar to make a 5% solution (2.5gm or 1/2 teaspoon). DME or wort can be also used instead of sugar.
(optional) add nutrients 1/4gm per 50ml.
Boil and cool it to body temperature.
Once the solution has cooled to 25-35 degrees celsius then add your yeast (5gm)
Wait for 30 minutes to foaming to start and then add it to your beer wort or wine must.
If the foaming has not happened. Then wait for another 30 minutes. If not then the yeast is probably inactive and it might be best to use a backup sachet.