Friday, February 22, 2008

Cider 2007

Not my best effort, but here is the recipe and tasting notes for this fall's batch of hard cider.

Despite the failings of the final product, it did show the apparent limit of the alcohol tolerance of Fleishman's bread yeast, a shocking 8.3%


Appearance – Honey yellow with a slight haze. When I first tappped the mini-keg a few hours ago it put up a momentary white head, but now it appears almost still.

Smell – Big apple nose with a strong whiff of alcohol. The alcohol has a bit of a floral character, similar to that of a mead. No sign of the spices from the apple butter. A pretty good nose overall for a big cider.

Taste – Ultra dry, with a bit of tannic astringency. There is some apple there as well, but it doesn't have enough sweetness to back it up. There is some acidity and alcohol presence as well. The lack of sweetness just throws the balance off of all the other components making them seem out of balance. The bread yeast seems to have been relatively neutral again.

Mouthfeel – Very thin, with only mild carbonation. It needs more of one or the other, as it is I think its too watery.

Drinkability & Notes – I should have back sweetened with apple juice concentrate and left it still. Many people at my homebrew club seemed to enjoy this one, but it just isn't what I am looking for in a cider. On the plus side the mini-keg seemed to work very well, I'll be putting beers into it on a regular basis from now on.

Apple Cider 2007

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 2.10
Anticipated OG: 1.063
Anticipated SRM: 12.8
Anticipated IBU: 0.0

2.0 gal Cider
0.50 lbs. Muscovodo
0.44 lbs. Apple Butter

0.50 Tsp Yeast Nutrient

Generic Bread Yeast

Brewed 10/14/07 by myself

Dissolved muscovado in 1/2 cup of filtered water, added the apple butter when the mixture reached a boil. Mixed this slurry with 2 gallons of good fresh cider from a local farm stand. Added 2 grams of Fleishman's Dried highly active bread yeast and placed in a 65 degree freezer.

Mild fermentation by 18 hours, thin krausen.

10/21/07 Gravity down to 1.004 (7.8% ABV), fermentation seemed to last about 5 days.

10/28/07 Bottled with 1.25 oz of corn sugar. Gravity down to a shocking .996 (8.3% ABV)

After about 2 weeks in the bottle a lot of sediment dropped in each bottle.

After a few months in the bottles I got sick of dealing with the sediment and the lack of carbonation, so I dumped all of the bottles into a 5L mini-keg with a bit of sugar and some lager yeast. Sadly, I knocked the pressure pin into the keg and ended up having to dump the cider out to get the pin back, probably causing massing oxidation in the process.


jemphd said...

Mini kegs are convenient to fill, but you need to be prepared to drain the MK within three or so days. I have a PhilTap, and the CO2 cartridges push it out fine, but oxidative tastes are noticeable >4 days. I don't understand why, but I only use them now for parties and family gatherings.

Brahm said...

What's the rationale for the apple butter - a more concentrated apple flavour? I've got a few jars sitting around that I didn't think I had much of a use for until now.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Lord knows, I did brew this five years ago! The idea was inspired by a recipe for Apple Butter Cyser that was floating around online (probably still is). I was hoping it would add a deeper apple flavor. While the result wasn't one of my best, I think the idea has some merit.

If you try it, let me know how it goes!