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.

- Pete

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."


Kalinda said...

That's pretty funny about the name. Somehow I missed the "we're making cider" post. I wish we had the space to try home brewing. Homemade hard cider sounds delicious.

peterbronski said...

Hi Kalinda... You should definitely try home brewing! And, it can take up a lot less space than you think, especially with hard cider. You could use a 1 gallon glass jar of fresh cider, pitch the appropriate amount of yeast, put on an airlock, and let it go to work. When it's finished fermenting, you'll have flat hard cider that can be mixed with seltzer or Sprite to make it sparkling. =)

Cheers, Pete