Apple Cider Update

| 10/22/2014 8:46:00 AM

Acorn and ThistleFor whatever reason, I’m having one of those spells where I can’t seem to settle on something to write about. It’s not for lack of ideas; I have a lot of things percolating around in my head. I hate to admit it, but I think I just need a break for a few days. Alex and I are heading out of town in the near future, going up and over the mountains to a friend’s tiny cabin in north-central Washington. There’s no power, running water, cell phones or Internet service … we will be 100-percent unplugged for a few days. I really can’t wait.

Apples Press 

So, to tide you over until I return refreshed and re-energized, I thought I’d give you a quick update on the hard cider. We’re almost ready for bottling – I’ll be doing that before the end of the month. About two weeks ago, I racked off the cider and rebottled it into 1-gallon jugs with airlocks for their secondary ferment/resting period. We did see a little additional fermentation in the jugs, which was expected – some of the yeast that had settled out of suspension was stirred back up in the process and was able to use up the last of the residual sugars in the brew.

Being curious, I had to taste a sample before locking everything up for its little nap. I didn’t expect much at all; I’d read that hard cider at this stage is dry and harsh. Well, somehow, ours isn’t. It certainly isn’t sweet, but it wasn’t unpleasantly dry or bitter at all. It was still distinctly apple, with a little bit of a yeasty taste that reminded me of a really light beer.


I will be back-sweetening the cider a little bit, before we bottle, but I am really impressed with the flavor thus far. We’ll probably use sucralose as our sweetener, because that’s not digestible by yeast and won’t over carbonate the bottles like honey or sugar would do. Although we will be adding a small amount of sugar in solution across the batch, as I do like my cider with some carbonation, as opposed to a flat or “still” cider.

11/24/2014 3:28:22 PM

We are outside of Calgary and like you we had an abundance of apples this year. I too had leftover applesauce from last year so we were giving our apples away by the 5 gallon pails full to our neighbours with horses. I usually chop the apples up and freeze them in baggies as a winter treat for the chickens but there were just so many this year. (I also freeze the peelings from the applesauce as a chicken treat) Apple cider seems like it would be a fun experiment. Do you know how to test for alcohol content of your finished product?

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