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1 Cider & Hard Cider on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:42 pm

Kestrana

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Cider

Ingredients

  • 36 medium-sized apples*
    • 12 plain apples (i.e., Red Delicious)
    • 24 tart apples (i.e., Granny Smith)
    or
    • 12 wine apples (i.e. McIntosh)
    • 24 sweet apples (i.e. Cortland)
  • 4 3" cinnamon sticks
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 9 allspice berries
  • 1 c dark brown sweetening
  • 1.5 tsp bread yeast

Directions

  1. Cut and press the apples to produce one gallon of juice. Save pulp for making apple sauce, apple butter, etc.
  2. Place juice in 6qt. pot and add cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Heat slowly until hot, but not boiling.
  3. Add sweetening and stir until dissolved.
  4. Keep hot, but not boiling, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Serve hot with a slice of lemon or shot of cinnamon schnapps (i.e. Goldschlager or smaller amount of Hot 100). Or serve chilled.

* You can also use 1 gallon pre-made apple juice. Recommended: Langers' apple juice - pure apple juice with no preservatives or high-fructose cornsyrups (HFCs).

Hard Cider

This is sometimes called "Poor Man's Cider" because it can be made cheaply and simply.
  1. Make one gallon of cider as directed above.
  2. Divide cider into two containers, placing slightly less than half the cider in one container (1/2 - 1 cup less than half). Keep larger portion chilled.
  3. Add yeast to smaller half of cider and cover, but do not seal. Place out of direct sunlight and allow to sit undisturbed.
  4. After 5-7 days, strain cider three times through fine sieve (or paper towels) to remove yeast sediment. Put in clean container and store, chilled.


Serve mixed 50-50 with non-alcoholic cider.

Notes from Kes:
I used Langers' apple juice for my first batch of hard cider, which I actually just racked (strained) today. I want to try making it with my own, homemade juice, but I don't currently have a juicer or press. Apples are especially in season this time of year (winter), so if you want to try making your own juice, now's the time.

It's got a very high alcohol content, somewhere in the 12-16% alcohol by volume range (based on smell and taste-testing, comparing against wines I've had). This means 3-5oz. of it has as much alcohol as a can or bottle of your basic cheap beer (Bud, Miller, etc.).

One alternative to making it so strong and then mixing it back in 50-50 with unfermented cider would be to allow it to ferment for less time, say 3-4 days instead of 5-7 days. I may try that for my next batch.

It's also exceedingly sweet, almost sickeningly so (for me, anyway). Even if I didn't make it as strong, I would probably still want to mix it with unfermented cider to counter the sweet taste.

After trying a few combinations of homemade apple juice (haven't cider-ized it yet), I've found the Red Delicious + Granny Smith to be the tastiest combination.

Please drink in moderation and responsibly.
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