Last weekend a quick trip to a local farm had me pondering hard cider. I wanted to make a cider last year but never got around to it. But I took the plunge and made my own variant of a cider based beverage. I wanted to go with a malted cider to be different and to not worry as much about trying to get a good healthy ferment of just apple juice. I was thinking the malt addition would help add some needed nitrogen sources for healthy fermentation.
Here’s my recipe and process:
3 Gallons apple cider
2lbs Extra Light DME
1lb Turbinado Sugar
1.5 gal water
S-04 English ale yeast repitched from slurry.
The cider had an OG of 1.040 on its own. I wanted to get a little higher than that, so I added the sugar and only a gallon and a half of water to the DME. My resultant OG was ~1.058.
The cider was preservative free yet pasteurized. My process was to boil the DME in the 1.5 gallons of water for 30 minutes to sterilize. I then added the 3 gallons of cider (at 55F). I continued to heat the cider slightly until it was at 165F and held it there for 20 minutes to pseudo-repasteurize the mix. I cooled it to 74F and pitched the yeast.
I am actually fermenting the cider in a water bath in the garage which is holding a steady 64F the last couple days. It’s supposed to get warmer this weekend. The water bath should only warm up slowly, so I think that should really help dry out the cider as it comes towards the end of its fermentation. As of last night there was a good 6 inch head of Krausen on the cider and it was chugging along nicely at 65F.
We’ll see how it turns out.
I have some ideas for what to do with this post ferment, but I’ll save that for future posts.