Hard Cider 11/8

I’m new to this blogging thing, so I’ll kick it off with a short one.

My brother, Scott, collaborator/lead guru on this blog project, sent this link from The Paupered Chef around for making easy homemade hard cider. I’m not a brewer (yet) and figured this would be a great place to start.

Cider Setup

The short version, since I did not deviate from their plan very much, is that you take Whole Foods apple juice in a 1 gallon glass jug, add a half-packet of yeast, put a #6 airlock stopper on top, and find a cool dark place for it to hang out for a week or 2. I lucked out and found both of the yeasts (Saflager and Pasteur Champagne) that they used so my results were quite similar.

Tasting Setup

Results: the tasters were split between the lager and champagne in terms of preference, but here’s the rough breakdown. The lager was a bit flatter, but had a good bite. Most of the sweet apple flavor was gone resulting in what I’m guessing is a stronger brew. The champagne yeast, not surprisingly, gave a very bubbly cider. In this batch, there was still a good, sweet apple flavor. The consensus here was that it was a lot like carbonated apple juice.

Yes, I take notes. Yes, I'm a nerd.

A couple of notes for next time. I have a buddy that has a refractometer, so I am going to try and gauge the alcohol content next time. For those that don’t know (we looked it up at our tasting party), you have to measure specific gravity before and after to measure the alcohol. Another note: my cool, dark place was my front entryway, so the temperature fluctuated a bit from 55-65; I’m going to find somewhere that’s a bit more stable and controllable.

Alright, so the morale of the story is: MAKE CIDER! For around $12 of initial investment, you can have a 1 gal. batch brewing and have hard cider that easily competes with any commercial brew in a week.

If anyone (collaborators included) has tried this with good results or improvements, let us know in the comments.


About Paul

Math Teacher at Fountain Valley School of Colorado. General food lover.
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4 Responses to Hard Cider 11/8

  1. Eric says:

    Well done! I was also encouraged by Scott to give the WF cider experiment yet another try. But I added 2 lbs. of honey to the cider (technically making it a cyser) and used Lalvin K1-V1116 (a white wine yeast) to ferment. The honey gives the li’l buggers something extra to work with and as best I can tell I’ve got a 13.65% ABV beverage on my hands. It’s chilling in the fridge right now.

  2. Paul says:

    Eric – was that 2lbs for 5 gallons? and have you tried it yet?

  3. Eric says:

    2lbs for ONE gallon. The early samples I’ve tried have been decent. Good apple flavor and residual sweetness, though the apple aroma is gone. I dosed it last week to finish off any yeast that didn’t drop out in the fridge so I can bottle it up to save some for a bit. It’s truly an apple wine.

  4. Pingback: Things We Might Try in the Near Future 6-24-11 | Smoke Cure Pickle Brew

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