For hard cider
One gallon of sweet, un-pasteurized cider from the local orchard is now hard, bubbly, and going into my fridge to age for a week.
The cider has had a week to age and been sampled yet again. We have a winner:
The cider is surprisingly mild in flavor. The sugars in cider bring much of the palate, and their consumption makes things change significantly. There is still a touch of natural sweetness, a slight carbonation, a little tartness, and it is very refreshing. This is now my cider recipe.
Some people are put off by the unsanitary looking goop that settles out of young ciders. It is just yeast, and if you swirl it back into solution, it adds a very nice bready flavor to your drink.
A look at the state of our mead while we’re at it:
Time to make some plain-Jane mead.
Start with a 6.5 gallon carboy/bucket/whatever you have that is food grade and sterile:
Now, introduce fifteen pounds of honey. Good Honey. My wife likes clover.
Depending on the container type your honey comes in, this could be a pain, but these bottles pour right in:
Now, the fun part. Add five gallons of water, pitch some proofed yeast, and find a way to shake or stir this thing. The honey will settle out a few times until fermentation is very much underway. There are a few schools of thought, but the best two I have found are: leave it be and let nature do its thing, or stir daily. I’m in the stir daily camp, I’m making a rod to reach the bottom and stir as I forgot to earlier…
Don’t forget to label your brew:
It’s here!oneoneoneone!!! It’s really really here!!!
Oh, about the cider. It was bottled on Sunday and left to charge overnight. It was then put in the fridge and sampled on Monday. A bit alcohol-y and not too smooth, I’m leaving it to rest until this coming Sunday and will sample again.
As is usual for me, I went a bit overboard and exceeded my budget. Just don’t tell my wife…
What did I order today?
I have one household that goes through some serious wine, and another that has some now and then saving bottles for me. Starting March, should my maiden mass-batch of wine be Maple or Birch?
Oh, I have never much cared for any of the hard cider recipes I have used as they end up being too wine-y. I started a gallon last night using this method. I’ll let you know how it works out in a week.
Half-gallon glass milk jugs actually work pretty well.
My budget for hardware on this little venture is capped at $150:
All of this plus shipping would be about $152. Sound like the stuff I need/a decent price? I’m going to get the cleaning supplies, tubing, and ingredients locally.
Also, a friend may invest some cash into this project as he wants in on the fun. If he does, should I spend that money on a couple more carboys and more bottles so we can have several batches (for example: during the spring, dandelion and wild strawberry) going at once? Or something else?