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Time Machine

Posted 2011/08/19

Homebrew - Home Made Hard Cider

The two ciders made from concentrate turned out pretty well but I had read on the internet that people had success using store-bought apple juice. Our local organic food shop sells apple juice in nice one gallon glass jugs. I thought we could just ferment a couple of those in the carboy and as a bonus we could keep the jugs to experiment with. I still had some lager yeast from the last cider run and we fermented it in the glass carboy over an AC vent that kept it at 66F.

Of the previous 2 ciders the one that was in the primary for 17 days tasted the best so we opted to go for a few more days than that one. I put the carboy in the fridge for 24 hours before bottling but moved it to the table so it could sit for 8 hours before racking to the bottling bucket. I also washed two small mason jars worth of yeast to start another cider from.

Ingredients: 2 gallons pasteurized organic apple juice (Saflager S-23 Dry Lager Yeast)
Brew:        19 Aug 2011 
Bottle:      11 Sep 2011 (23)
Ready:       18 Dec 2011 (88)
Summary:     Primary 23 days, Condition 88 days

October the 9th I transfered 64 ounces from bottles into a growler to set aside for Christmas. At this point it had been aging for 28 days. I chilled a glass and Gemma and I agreed it was pretty good, at least as good as the last batch. Very dry, not too sweet. We decided to leave it a while longer since it will only get better and we have a ton of homebrew to drink at the moment.

I took the growler to a party and then finished it off a few days later. Apart from the normal polite comments I managed to get an opinion from one of the guys. He thought it was not tart enough for a dry cider. I have read that you can get that flavor from using apples specifically grown for cider making. Perhaps the way forward is to use mostly store bought juice and then blend it will some cider apple concentrate from the Internet. As best I could figure it tasted exactly the same as when I transfered it into the growler 60 days ago. So 88 days was overkill and 30 days of time in the bottle would have done us.

Brew

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Bottle

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Yeast Washing

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Ready

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