Monday, October 17, 2011

Easy Apple Cider

This recipe does vary from my first recipe that I posted. It is not a lot different, but it is very simple, and delicious. I've made many apple ciders over the last year, and this one is really fool-proof, so give it a whirl.

1 gallon fresh-pressed apple cider
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp tannins
champagne yeast

That's all! You can mix it all together in your sanitized fermenter (with juice at room temp) and let it go! That's all you need to do! It tastes just wonderful. Remember: the better the quality of your juice, the better the cider will come out, but also remember that it's pretty hard to mess up hard cider. If you use good yeast and good juice, you'll get a consistently good cider!


Pectic Enzyme: I use this stuff every time. It breaks down the pectin in your apple cider/wine that makes it hazy. Without using it, your cider will probably take a very long time to clear. You also run the risk that it will never clear. Cider with a pectin haze tastes just as good, it's just not quite as pretty. Use it at a rate of 1 tsp. per gallon, and let it sit in your cider overnight before adding any other ingredients.

Yeast: Although pasteur champagne is not actually a champagne yeast, it makes a wonderful, nutty cider. Another amazing cider yeast is CĂ´tes des Blancs, which gives a nice fruity flavor and aroma to your cider.

Tannins: To maximize the potential of your tannins, follow the following link for an easy method for getting tannins into your cider: Tannin Tip.

Oaking chips: Oak barrels can add an amazing, complex character to your apple cider, unfortunately they cost a small fortune. An affordable alternative is oaking chips, these are toasted French or American oak that can be bought in small quantities very cheaply (about one dollar per ounce usually). An ounce or three-quarters of an ounce are easily enough to oak one gallon of cider, and three ounces, given enough time (seven months give or take a few) will be enough to oak about five gallons.

At present I am fermenting ten gallons of apple cider. Half of it i will Oak for eight months, and half of it I will bottle and we will enjoy throughout this winter and next spring or even next summer depending on how long it lasts. I know that nine months or a year is a long time to wait for your cider or wine or mead, which is why I try to make a big enough batch that I can sample a bottle every few months, AND have some left once it has "come of age". This is also a great way to come to realize just how much your wine changes between bottling and its first birthday. It is really a lot of fun. So, quick, before autumn is over, get out there and make some apple cider!

Related Recipes: meddyglyn, light mead, medium mead, sweet mead, pear cider

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