Making Hard Cider

Basically this all began with the lure of hard cider. Having tasted a few varieties from the store and liking the appley, sweet and buzz producing juice I started to look into what it would take to produce it. I had an orchard somewhat…six or seven apple trees of all varieties. In fact I have no idea what varieties I have. I would like to find out and if anyone looking at this site can identify the apples that would be great.

So there are two camps in the cider community…three camps I guess if you add the people who really don’t care that much about being in a camp.

In one camp are the apple wine/cider makers who use the techniques and ingredients of wine making to produce the alcohol in the cider. Namely, kill the yeast with camden tablets and then pitch a strain of yeast, ferment, strain.

In the other camp you have traditional cider makers that rely on only the natural ingredients that come with a picked apple. So you have the apple with the natural yeast for fermentation, crush it, get the juice and let it sit until it ferments on it own.

Then you have probably most of us who will try both methods and probably enjoy them both equally.

October 26th 2008

I poured 4 gallons into a sterilized* glass carboy and took a specific gravity and PH reading. The specific gravity was 1.052 and the PH was 4.0 which is right where we want them.

I added nothing, this was just the plain juice we had pressed. I then put an airlock on the carboy and put it away until the spring…pretty easy :).

*(5 tea sodium bisulphite in a cup of water and then filled the carboy with water. Then drain and let dry)

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