Monday, August 8, 2016

Quick Cider

So I had 3 gallons of Musselman's Cider lefter over from an order in February. I've been meaning to do another batch of cider but I needed 3 more gallons. The only cider I was able to source locally had potassium sorbate this time of year so I've been putting it off. Finally I decided to use apple juice from concentrate. I figured I could ferment the juice and two gallons of cider then back sweeten with one of the ciders and everything would be okay and I wasn't wrong.

Since the cider had already been around for months most the fruit pectin had settled out. With the large portion of cider coming from crystal clear juice at the rest coming from cider already aged in container I was able to skip a couple steps and fast-forward this cider. Basically I took a hydrometer reading after mixing the 3 gallons of juice and two gallons of cider and ended up with the expected 1.050. Then I added some yeast nutrient and US-05 Cal-Ale yeast then left it to ferment.

4 days later I checked and we had reached terminal gravity 0.999, not too shabby for a yeast meant to ferment wort and not must.

I tasted the cider at this time and it was quite drinkable the way it sat. I've always back-sweetened my hard cider to get some apple taste and some body into the final product but this version wasn't as bone dry as I get when using the English Cider Yeast and I think I would have happy drinking it as it was.

 I left it for another 3 days then started extracting my cider concentrate.






The first time I made this cider I over sweetened it by added 1 gallon's worth of cider concentrate and an entire bottle of wine conditioner. It was drinkable but too sweet. This time around I ended up with the same cider concentrate but only 1/3 bottle of wine conditioner with a much better result in my opinion.

Tasting Notes



Appearance - Hazy but not cloudy. I think this will clear up with some cold crashing in the keg. Nice orange cider color.

Aroma - Smells like apple cider, duh!!

Mouthfeel - Light-Medium Light body and mouth feel. Crisp finish.

Taste - Pretty damn good for being 50% apple juice from concentrate. I think mixing with the cider avoided any noticable strange flavors. I did think it was a bit astringent at first but I haven't been able to pick that up again. This is a very nice cider. If it saved me any money I would always make them this way but the juice actually cost me more than buying the cider in bulk.

Future Changes - None, I think I've worked out the back-sweetening and my wife likes it which is all that really matters.