Monday, December 5, 2011
Daddy's Hard Cider
Just over one month ago we posted a recipe for simple, easy home-brewed hard cider. After two weeks of fermentation, and another two weeks of bottle conditioning, we're now ready to report on the results!
I am amazed at how thoroughly the champagne yeast converted the apple sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol. When I took hydrometer readings to confirm that the cider was ready for bottling, I was shocked. The cider had fermented to bone-dry status. There was basically zero residual sugar left behind. The result is a cider with about 7% alcohol by volume.
Because this cider is very dry, it had a mild tartness to it from the apples. (Most commercial ciders are back-sweetened to balance out this effect.) With the benefit of just two weeks (so far) of bottle conditioning, however, the flavors have matured wonderfully. It's nicely carbonated, the tartness has dialed back, and a crisp, clean apple flavor (with subtle pear notes) has come forward.
We're enjoying the results so much that we're planning to brew another larger batch before apple season is truly over. Whether you're an experienced home brewer, or new to the process, this is a great recipe to try.
P.S. As is tradition with many home brewers, we name each batch of our brew. This time around, we gave Marin the honors of naming the batch, and she decided to call it like she sees it: "Daddy's hard cider."