Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Mad Saxon's Hard Apple Cider
#1
Here is updated information on making a traditional hard apple cider. I have made some changes to the original post based on my experience with cider making for the past couple of years.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, YOU MUST USE CIDER THAT HAS NOT HAD ANY CHEMICAL PRESERVATIVES ADDED TO IT! IT WILL NOT FERMENT IF IT HAS!

ALSO, CONTRARY TO SOME PEOPLE (WHO DON'T KNOW, BUT THINK THEY DO!) YOU CAN USE PASTEURIZED CIDER, AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY CHEMICALS ADDED TO IT!

All right, enough with all the capitals. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of these points.

Place your cider in your primary fermenter.

For every gallon of cider add 1 campden tablet, crushed. Campden will kill off any wild yeast strains that are present in your cider (if it has not been pasteurized) and will sanitize the sugar you add. Gently stir in the campden with a sanitized spoon and let the cider sit for 24 hours. After the 24 hour campden rest add one half teaspoon of both pectic enzyme and yeast energizer per gallon. Now add 1 cup of regular table sugar per gallon. Stir with a sanitized spoon until the sugar is dissolved.

Following proper sanitation techniques use a diffusion stone to aerate with air pump or oxygen tank if you have one. If you don't own a diffusion stone stir your cider vigorously for a couple of minutes. Yeast like a lot of oxygen in the beginning stages of fermentation.

After aeration add your yeast. I like the results I got from Red Star Cote Des Blancs yeast, but almost any wine or beer yeast will work. 5 grams of dry yeast for every 3 - 6 gallons of cider should do the job, unless you add considerably more sugar, then you should double up the amount of yeast you add. One other consideration in deciding what yeast to use is the temperature of the area you will ferment in. Make sure the yeast you use will perform at the temperature you are putting it in.

After 2 weeks in the primary rack to the secondary. Leave in the secondary another 3 to 4 weeks, and then use your hydrometer to check the specific gravity for 2 - 3 days in a row. If your specific gravity has not changed for the 2 - 3 days you are ready to rack to a tertiary (third) fermenter. This is also the time to taste and decide if you like your cider the way it is or if you want to sweeten it. If you like it the way it is let it "bulk age" in the tertiary for 2 - 3 months, then bottle.

If your cider is too dry for your taste you will need to sweeten it. Before you add any type of sugar, honey, apple juice, etc. you need to make sure it won't start a renewed fermentation. This is done by adding one half teaspoon per gallon of potassium sorbate and stirring gently. If you don't have a "mix-stir" (a device that you attach to a drill) or similar utensil to stir your cider in the carboy you will have to transfer it to your fermenting bucket first and stir in the potassium sorbate with a sanitized spoon and then rack it to a tertiary. Let the cider sit for 24 hours after the potassium sorbate addition.

After the 24 hour potassium sorbate rest you are now ready to sweeten. Everybody's taste is different and you should add small amounts of sweetener at a time. Let the cider sit a day or so and then taste it. Keep doing this until it suits your taste.

I like using 12 oz. cans of frozen apple juice concentrate to sweeten my cider. I start with 1 can per gallon and then I taste it. If I think it needs more sweetness after that I add 1 can to the whole batch at a time until it's where I want it.

If you want to add sugar to sweeten your cider make sure to boil it for 5 - 10 minutes in just enough water for it to completely dissolve. If you want to use honey you don't need to boil it.

After you have sweetened the cider to your taste it is time to leave it alone and "bulk age" it for 2 - 3 months, then bottle.

ENJOY!
Reply
#2
Dale, did you add any citrus to your cider at the beginning or before bottling?
Reply
#3
Merle,

Sorry that I din't answer you sooner.

If by citrus you mean citric acid, no I have not added citric acid by itself. I did however add some acid blend, which contains some citric acid, in my last batch. I added it when I added the concentrated apple juice for sweetening. I think it added a little bit of tartness or "bite" to the cider. Think of a Granny Smith type of tartness.

I think I will split my next batch to see how much of a difference adding the acid makes.

I have also read where the acid acts as a preservative.
PROST!
Mad Saxon
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)