Accidentally Cooking

Documenting my mistakes in the garden, kitchen and pantry

Hard Cider Update

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I’ve made two batches of hard cider so far, both are long since done primary fermentation. Here’s a quick status update.

Hard Cider Batch 1

This was an extremely simple recipe: Cider, yeast and time. The “cider” we got was already clear, so the end result is likewise clear. Overall it’s interesting and tastes like apples, with the unmistakable flavors of yeast and fermentation. I actually think it has some flavors of a light, unhopped wheat beer, probably from the lager yeast  I used. It’s weak and not very alcoholic. I racked the cider into a reclaimed wine bottle for conditioning.

After conditioning it’s pretty smooth, mostly dry and very drinkable. More aging would do it some good, but I don’t have the time nor the space to let it sit around forever. Considering the extremely simple ingredient list (apple juice, yeast, nothing else) it’s good enough and plenty worth the effort. I’ve been keeping it out as a table wine, and drinking a glass or two when the mood strikes me.

Hard Cider Batch 2

This batch was significantly more complicated than the first batch. We had a gallon of a favorite local cider in our fridge that was starting to ferment on it’s own. I transferred it to my glass jug, added some brown sugar and some honey, and a little bit of yeast nutrient to keep the yeast healthy.

Coming out of primary, the resulting cider was…pungent. It had a strong flavor, yeasty and maybe even a bit sour or funky. I decided to let it sit out and start the process of turning into vinegar. The mother has been extremely slow to form on this batch, even after adding some distilled water to dilute it down. I may end up dumping it if it doesn’t progress or if mold starts to get involved.

I’ll be posting updates about my two batches of Cherry Melomel when I taste them around the end of January.

Author: Andrew Whitworth

I'm a software engineer from Philadelphia PA. Sometimes I like to go out to my garden, or step into my kitchen and make a really big mess of things.

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