With fall and apple season upon us once again I felt it was time to put up a cider post. Last Fall I brewed a very simple hard cider. I threw the recipe together spur of the moment before heading off to Denver for a few weeks. I added some malt extract to the cider to give it some residual sweetness and some yeast nutrient to aid the yeast. I used a packet of dried champagne yeast which makes for a very clean cider, but one that is pretty low in character.
I have a new batch fermenting now, that is a bit less traditional, but should have a bit more interesting flavor and hopefully won't take so long to get good.
My 1st Cider
Batch Size (Gal): 2.00
Total Grain (Lbs): 16.75
Anticipated OG: 1.055
Anticipated SRM: 6.9
16.50 lbs. (2 gallons) Cider
0.25 lbs. Generic DME - Light
EC-118 (Champagne yeast)
Made 10/31/06 by myself
Heated a cup of juice with 1 cup DME and .5 tsp yeast nutrient.
Cider was from Whole foods, pasteurized but no preservatives. 1/2 packed of yeast added straight into fermenter.
11/18/06 transferred to two 1 gallon jugs and stuck them in the fridge. 1.010, tasted pretty good with a sour twang at the end.
11/24/06 Bottled aiming for 2.5 volumes of CO2.
1st Tasting 10/17/07
Aroma - Sweet apples soaked in white wine. There is a hint of sulfur as well, but it is just a background note like is often present in many white wines (not sure if that is the only reason I thin.
Appearance -Nearly opaque it is so cloudy because I didn't use finings or pectic enzyme. The cider is yellow-tan with a thin white head that has surprisingly good retention. Personally I don't mind a hazy beverage, but if you do some pectic enzyme is important because it breaks up the pectin (the same stuff that is responsible for the thickening jams and jelly).
Taste - Tangy with a light apple flavor. Some apple skin as well. It still tastes pretty fresh, with no oxidation or other off-flavors apparent. It strikes a good balance between sweetness, dryness and acidity. However, the flavor is very mild to the point of being bland.
Mouthfeel - Prickly carbonation and a bit thin. There is a light tannic roughness on the tongue as well.
Drinkability/Notes - Finally getting pretty good after almost a year, but it is still rather bland. As time has passed the apple flavors have come more to the front which is nice, in fact I think this is the most I have enjoyed a bottle of this one so far. It really didn't turn out badly for a batch that I threw together on a whim and fermented while out of the state.