Hard Apple cider....ever tasted it or made it at home??????????????

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by willkatdawson, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    Our apple trees are falling over they're so full of apples and I'm thinking about making some hard cider. I've never even tasted any, but I saw some Brits making and enjoying some on a BBC show. They REALLY looked like they were enjoying it! [​IMG] Anyway I've looked up the plans, costs and supply list for making a press and all in all it seems cheap ($30.) for supplies and my husbands a builder. I'm a little confused, one site says don't add yeast the next says to add yeast but not bread yeast then the next site says they only use common bread yeast. On another site they said the apples and sugar will ferment perfectly on their own then the next site says to use a product to kill all all the natural yeast then readd the yeast they sell. [​IMG] I was hoping to get the real scoop from a trusted BYC member. All in all it seems pretty simple and my husband and I are both excited to try it, but I thought if we're going to the trouble to do it we ought to give it the best chance we can of tasting good. According to what the sites say it would be really aged and good by Christmas. Wouldn't that make a great gift?
     
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    oh here's the long and short answer................

    It depends. Confusing? Of course it is [​IMG]

    I've made hard cider by simply pressing the apples, leaving some peel and pulp in the bottom of the brew bucket (depends on what you want to use really) add enough sugar so fermentation doesn't take all the sugars away from the flavor and let it rock n roll for a couple of days uncovered. About the end of day 2 I cover lid with cheese cloth. Day 3 I put a lid on and put a fermentation lock on it. When it's done bubbling I usually rack it into wine bottles and refrigerate to stop the process. I let them age a few weeks.

    That way usually turns out pretty good... but without knowing what yeasts you are getting naturally you are also running the risk of making vinegar [​IMG]

    Another way I've gone is to purchase 4 or 5 gallons of pasterized cider, added sugar, water and lager yeast... then I fermented in a mid 60 something basement for a couple of weeks (lager yest runs slower I suppose) then racked and bottled etc. This has always turned out better..............

    Now if ya wanna get crazy, throw the bucket into the freezer, and in a few days drill about halfway down and pour all the liquid out that hasn't frozen... that my friends is applejack. something that will kick yer booty [​IMG]
     
  3. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    Does Applejack taste good? Sounds like fun!!!
     
  4. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    Quote:usually its 70 or 80 proof cider........ with a bite!!!!!
     
  5. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    My host family in Germany would load a wagon with windfalls and small apples from their orchard and haul it all to a cider mill. In return they would get a very large barrel of cider, which went in the basement for a long fizzy hold. It ended up well carbonated, yeasty and very apple-y. I don't know how they did it.

    If you have a local homebrew shop, talk to them. Those people know about fermentation, and are usually quite willing (obsessively so, sometimes) to help a newbie.

    I've heard champagne yeast is good for cider, since champagne grapes have less sugar than other varieties.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  6. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    OK the more I read it looks like either leaving the natural yeast on the skins to do the fermenting or killing that and adding champange yeast is the way to go. I might try both ways to see which tastes best. I'm surprised more folks haven't at least said they've tried hard apple cider.
     
  7. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    VERMONT
    I did my first batch of hard cider just recently. I made two 5 gallon buckets of it beginning last fall with the purchase of fresh pressed cider. There is a good brewing supply in Winooski, VT and they set me up with buckets, air valves, recipe, hygrometer....

    I elected to kill the natural yeast and in one bucket added a cider yeast and the other a champagne yeast. In both I added 5 pounds of white sugar and 3 pounds of brown sugar. I let it go all winter and forgot about it (got busy with other stuff) until a couple of weeks ago. I siphoned off my pails and got about 11 gallons total. I prefer the cider yeast over the champagn yeast batch. I plan to apple jack the champagn batch and add it to 100% fruit juice to make for a better tasting drink. This fall I will go with the plain cider brewing yeast.

    I was warned with drinking straigh apple jack you get the 'higher' alcohols, the type that can produce a nasty headache since they are not burned off as they would in finer, distilled spirits. Anyway, that's my experience so far.
     
  8. jeni51

    jeni51 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2009
    Norristown
    I always drank hard cider when I lived back in the UK. A much lighter flavour than even american beer. There is also "scrumpy" a rough cider that you could buy from farms.
     
  9. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    Birch Run I'm so glad to hear you have made some. You are the first person in all the reading I've done on the subject of cider making that has mentioned cider yeast. I hear a lot about champagne and lager yeast, but never cider yeast, until now at least. Thanks for all the info.
     
  10. jeni51

    jeni51 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2009
    Norristown
    Googled "cider" and found this website. Old Scrump's Cider house, lots of useful information.
     

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