This post is a little off the normal beaten track for my blog. I have been so super busy of late on a project that I havent really had any time for technical personal projects.
I have however had time to do a little home-brewing so I thought I would share a little tip I had picked up. A little white back a friend lent me his kit for homebrewing. Its so simple all you have to do is fill a two litre bottle with juice and sugar, add a little yeast and cap it off with a simple valve-cap. Leave it for a few weeks and you have a 'tastey' strong beverage.
The problem however is knowing how long to leave it. The instructions say 2-3weeks but that is heavily dependant on a number of factors such as the ambient temperature of the room. At first what I was doing was putting the juice, yeast and sugar in at the same time then giving it a good shake so all the sugar was disolved.
I have discovered a better way of doing things however. If you put the sugar in the bottom then put the yeast on top then gently pour in the juice over it then you get a rough indicator of when the fermentation process has completed. As the yeast grows and respirates it burns its way down through the sugar slowly converting the sucrose to alcohol. What this results in is a slowly shifting yeast layer as it works it way down. When the layer hits the bottom, no more sugar left and the brew is ready for drinking :)