Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Cran-Apple Hard Cider Recipe

I racked a hard cider last weeked and found myself with a big yeast cake that I didn’t want to wash down the sink.  There was plenty of fresh pressed apple juice still in stores so I bought three more gallons.

For a little change, I also purchased a bottle of cranberry juice.  This juice was not the cocktail stuff that has sugar added to it.  This bottle claimed to have 3 pounds of cranberries in juice form within it.

So, I have another batch of hard cider in the basement and I am sure it will be ready to drink for next Thanksgiving – or some other time in the distant future.  Sheesh!

Everything I have been reading says that hard cider needs to age for months and months and months.  The thing is, I used to read that about meads too.  I think you can turn around meads with some good yeast management.  I wonder if the time needed for hard cider to be drinkable is tied to a crappy yeast pitch rate or lack of nutrients.

I don’t know for sure but  here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 gallons of pressed apple juice – no preservatives – pasteurized is ok.

32 ounces of cranberry juice – no sugar added.

WLP775 English Cider Yeast – mighty starter

If you don’t have a mighty starter, add a 1/2 tsp of yeast energizer and 1/2 of yeast nutrient when you pitch your yeast.

Aerate well.

Notes:

Ferment in carboy at 60°F for at least two weeks.  It may take a month until all signs of fermentation subside.

Rack to secondary vessel and let it condition for a couple of months or until it clears.

To bottle and carbonate – Boil a 1/3 of a cup of corn sugar in a pint of water for 10 minutes.  Add that to your bottling bucket and rack the cider onto it.  Bottle and cap as usual.  Bottle condition for a couple o’ months – if you can – somewhere safe.

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2 Comments

  1. chris

    I drink all my cider young. Ferment,rack, secondary, bottle…6-8 weeks. Its clear sharp fizzy and delicious. By all means wait but if you use wyeast cider yeast and a good apple blend you can turn it around fast.

  2. Thanks chris – I just can’t believe that these ciders need that much time to age to be drinkable.

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