Friday, February 6, 2009

Hard Cider

Wanted to make a hard cider, in preparation for trying to make some Apple Jack. Started with this recipe:

6 gallons 100% Cider (from Le Targ├ęt - Archer Farms)
White Labs Liquid Starter - English Cider Yeast
1 Lemon
0.5 gallons of water with 6 cups of white sugar diluted

with variations stolen from other recipes, or just because they seemed like a good idea at the time, ending up with:

4lbs. Granny Smith apples, cored and pureed (with enough water to get the puree going.)
1 gallon apple cider
2 cups white sugar
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 lb. honey (from the Daulton ranch)
juice of 1 lime

brought to a boil (to sterilize) and maintained for 3 minutes, then cooled to ~100 F in a water bath. Added to sterilized fermenter with ~3 1/4 gallons apple cider (for ~4 1/4 gallons total plus the apple mixture - basically its all that fit in the fermenter while leaving a bit of head space.) Added 1 packet of champagne yeast at ~74 F and stored in the cellar (which is fairly cool atm - ~48 F.) Initial S.G. 1.060.
anti ob
Drier than a dry thing in a dry place with its dry shoes on. I actually kinda like it; everyone else I've tried it on has screwed up their face in a funny way and said "Ewergh!" It is fairly strong, so that bit worked at least.
11/09/2009, 07:29:33 AM

worldpeace and a speedboat
but what did it TASTE like?
11/08/2009, 06:52:44 PM

anti ob
1.060 - 1.000 = 0.060
* 105 = 6.3% abw
* 1.25 = 7.9% abv

VERY roughly doubling the alcohol by volume each time - which rather ludicrously assumes that my freezing scheme is perfectly efficient and throws away no alcohol - would put it at about 15% for the first cut, and 30% for the second. If there's a cheap tester at the brew shop, I may pick one up to test the actual product.
04/04/2009, 02:16:02 AM

still 1.060 after 6 days; added a second packet of yeast after 2.
anti ob | Homepage | 02.12.09 - 5:12 pm | #

Guy at the brew shop says the cellar is way to cold for anything except lagers (which I was worried about, which is why I've been recording temperatures more with these batches) so I've brought it upstairs where it should sit at about 65 F. Odd that the last porter seems to have fermented ok at those temps.
anti ob | Homepage | 02.12.09 - 5:26 pm | #

Racked at 1.000 SG on Feb 19.
anti ob | Homepage | 02.21.09 - 4:46 pm | #

So by the time I'd finished making the cider and aging it a bit, it wasn't cold enough here to freeze outdoors. Last weekend I ran it through the freezer in batches. I'd freeze a gallon of the stuff solid, let it melt til it was about half liquid, then upend it over a funnel with a tea towel in it. Any ice which poured out of the freezing vessel into the funnel I'd pull the liquid out of with a combination of a clean tea towel and one of those salad spinner centrifuge things. The first pass cut the volume roughly in half - down to about 2 3/4 gallons - and I pulled 3 liters of this out to keep and re-froze the remainder to roughly half it again.
anti ob | 04.04.09 - 5:05 am | #