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Posted By BucksCoBernie,
Sep 2, 2010 at 6:58 PM
No problem - I sampled a bottle of each variety and #3 (the one fortified with honey but without extra spices) was my favorite. Be warned though, it was 16%! If you're used to beer or commercial hard cider (like Woodchuck) it will be quite a surprise, especially if you're a cheap date like me. It was really tasty though.
I belong to a great wine and beer makers forum that can give you answers to most any brewing and vintners questions. Come on over. It has great people and is very active. Just like being here.
Real, true cider is fermented and has alcohol. The distinction came about during prohibition. I've also heard that juice refers to pasturized stuff.
I think the cider definition varies. Cider is traditionally what comes off the press and contains natural yeasts floating around in the air and on the apple. Once its pasteurized its apple juice. There are all sorts of rules in most states which limit the sale of real unpasteurized cider to direct sales at the farms as some folks with compromised immune systems can get sick from the natural bacteria in it.
Its hard to beat the cider that comes off the press. When its first pressed, the cider has a very pink color and the air is full of aromatics from the grinder. Within seconds it turns brown and I swear it tastes different. My friend has a press and when the jucie has been squeezed out of the apple pulp, the remaining pulp forms a dense square. I refer to them as "sheep cookies" as he has sheep and they love eating them. I think they love eating them even more after they have sat for a couple of warm days and have slightly fermented.
Unfortunately my friend now only make cider to give away due to the potential for laibility in selling it and this year a late frost bascally wiped out his apple crop.
Had our first taste of production tonight. 2 hours for 7 gallons from gathering the apples to hosing everything down. Kinda regret all the apples I tilled under in the garden the past few years.
2 hrs for 7 gallons isnt bad at all. I cheated today and bought 6 gallons of unpasteurized cider from a local farm. pitching the yeast tomorrow morning before i head into work.
Do you add any spices or sugar? Im going all natural, just straight cider and champagne yeast. I'll probably put about a tsp of sugar at bottling for the fizz. I plan on starting a 2nd batch in about 2 weeks and I might add some cinnamon and clove to it.
The carboy is going to be sparkling wine. Campden tabs, pectin enzyme, yeast energizer, grape tannin, acid blend and sugar went in it tonight. Yeast tomorrow. The growlers will get consumed as is in the near future.
Here in Maine a few years back they tried to make it so that everyone had to pasteurize the cider . . . fortunately there are some exemptions . . . although many places -- including orchards -- now pasteurize out of fear of a lawsuit . . . happily the local orchard does not . . . it's the only cider I buy . . . pasterurizing really does change the taste and in my mind it may look like cider, but it tastes more like juice.
BucksCoBernie - go back to page two and check out the recipes I posted. Personally, I prefer no spice, but the addition of honey was excellent.
My wife highly recommends the compden tabs to kill off all the natural yeast or you will likely have a mess on your hands.
Guy here who makes cider says the same thing.
Here is the yeast doing its thing
Another six and a half gallons off the production line this morning. Its kind of cool how different it looks after 12 days of the yeast working on it.
Here's my 6 gallons.
Solar how long do you let yours sit for before its ready to drink? I've been reading 2-3 months...2 months would be thanksgiving, 3 months christmas....rather drink sooner than later haha
2-3 months is probably about right, the yeast isn't always predictable. We'll suck the junk off the bottom every few weeks. Half will get stabilizer when its done and go into normal bottles. The other half will get a little more yeast and sugar when it is put in champagne bottles. We are not in too much of a hurry as we still have a couple cases of elderberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and apple from past production.
Have you tried yours yet Bernie? We did the suck the junk off the bottom thing this week. While we had the top off anyway, I couldn't help myself. Already very good, should be awesome when its done.