Way ahead of schedule, I bottled the New England hard cider yesterday. I made the decision based on two reasons.
- The oak flavor from the (floating) spirals was at a level that I thought was in harmony with the other flavors
- The cider had dropped clear.
I did add a little sugar (100 grams boiled in a cup of water for 10 minutes) to make it sparkling. It would be nice to open on bottle for New Year’s Eve to see how it’s doing but I think the goal for the rest of the bottles is to have them age for a few months.
Tasting what went into the bottles was pleasant. The Nottingham ale yeast does a great job with the pressed apple juice.
I am not sure if I would have liked the oak taste if I had left the spirals in for six weeks. For the record, they were in contact with the cider for 3 weeks. I don’t know – I tasted it and I felt like that where it should be.
I have two other ciders that will be ready for drinking in the spring. I think around March will have a taste testing.