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Old 12-30-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

I have an old recipe for brandied peaches that I bet you would like!
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:23 PM   #2
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

The family of a friend from a few years ago ran a small-town soda business - returnable bottles and all. He said his grandfather started it during Prohibition so he could use the machinery to bottle hard cider after hours. They were still making a batch every year when we were still in contact, and certain year's batches tasted like champagne. . . . .

In another direction, I used to mix up juice to drink while I was working at sites out on the road. One can of frozen grapefruit juice (3 quarts) made in a gallon jug and topped off with a quart of bottled cranberry juice would give me the sugar boost I needed to stay alert through a long day. If I didn't finish the jug on day 1, and left it in the truck for 2 or 3 days . . . . . . .
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

Since 1994, I've been brewing wine, beer, ciders, and meads as time and $ allow. If you've any questions, feel free to hit me with them.

PS - One bit of advice, now that you've bottled your first batch - look into 5 gal 'corny' keg systems. You only sterilize and fill once ...
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

I've been brewing ales on & off (mostly off) for nearly 20 years. Back in 1982 I took a stab at winemaking from wild Himalaya blackberries I picked in my neighborhood (an invasive species by the way). It wasn't very good, to be most kind to myself.

I started beer brewing in the early '90s with a basic kit I ordered through the mail. I didn't realize at the time that there were local home brewing shops. This was when the microbrewing industry was just picking up steam (later called "craft brewing" because there was no longer anything "micro" about it--witness the Anhauser Busch stake in Red Hook).

After I started getting better at it (about 10 years ago) and utilizing the local shops and getting advice from the proprietors, I entered a few brews in a local competition. Much to my surprise, I won first place in the American Light Lager category, even though my submission was 1--an ale not a lager, 2--made from an Australian malt extract (Coopers), and 3--not my best batch, in my opinion.

Later I sprung for the equipment to sparge wort from actual malted grain, rather than using malt extract. What a difference that made. This enabled me to make ale that was superior to most store bought beers. But is sure was time consuming and not really much less expensive, when using quality ingredients.

But SWMBO (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) doesn't drink, and there are some issues with certain relatives' substance abuse, that put the KIBOSH on home brewing, at least for now. But I really don't miss it that much. (I never did like getting "buzzed" anyway, preferring to keep my wits (and my balance) about me.) I found that I only drank about 10% of what I brewed myself, with the rest shared or given out as gifts.

By the way, I bet none of you knows who we can thank for the legalization of home brewing (both beer and wine). It was none other than President Jimmy Carter. This is the one (and only) thing I'm thankful to him for. (But I sometimes wonder if it wasn't really Billy Carter pulling the strings behind the scenes on this one. Anyone remember "Billy Beer?")
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
... By the way, I bet none of you knows who we can thank for the legalization of home brewing (both beer and wine)...
My grandfather on my Dad's side "brewed his own". Didn't worry about being legal. Sold it too. He used to have this really fast car....
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

SOO, if I wanted to start making hard apple cider, as a newbie, what would get me started?
Any how-to writeups?
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

Quote:
Originally Posted by bender477
Yea its stout , about 20 oz of the stuff will get me belligerent and i start ranting about bus conversions and other things of interest ;)
Sounds like something I need !!
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisco
SOO, if I wanted to start making hard apple cider, as a newbie, what would get me started?
Any how-to writeups?
The local brewing store has a brewing startup kit that includes:
Quote:
6.5 gallon bucket w/ lid, airlock, bottling bucket with spigot, siphon hose, racking tube, bottle filler, double lever capper, bottle caps, "True Brew" handbook, bottle brush, hydrometer, sanitizer.
You wouldn't need the book or the hydrometer, but you'd need the rest and about 2 1/2 cases of empty, crown capable 12 oz beer bottles (Or two cases if you can get old 'pounder's' - 16 oz.).

Then you'd need yeast. For hard cider, a simple champagne yeast will work well, though I've used Nottingham & London Ale yeasts to make some good stuff. If you're in a place where you can get unpasteurized cider, then you can often just let the natural yeasts that were on the apples do the work of fermenting, but that can leave a bunch to chance.

My cider has been simple. 5 gal of cider, some raisins and stick cinnamon for spice (I'll dig up an official recipe when I get home), boil it all for about 30-60 minutes, cool it to about 80 degrees F, and add in your yeast (or a little of the raw cider if you've natural yeast).

As the yeast goes to eat the sugar, it'll foam up in your bucket (primary fermenter), and after 3-4 days at ~65 degrees, it'll be ready to go into the glass (secondary fermenter) for another 5 days or so, and you'll probably need to top up a bit with water so that the liquid comes up to within 4 or so inches of the top of the glass. When you see the bubbles in the airlock stop, then you can get to bottling.

If you want sparkling cider, you can add about 2 cups of corn sugar to the batch (heat it in a couple of cups of water to make sure it dissolves) before you bottle.

You'll end up with cider that''s about 5-6% alcohol, that will be ready to drink in about 2 weeks. It'll probably get it's best flavor in a month or two, and will start to lose it's flavor in about 10 months.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:10 PM   #9
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

Where can you typically find unpasteurized cider?
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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Re: Home made hard apple cider

We used to be able to get it at our local farmer's market, but New York changed the health codes so it all has to be pasteurized or UV light sterilized before sale ...
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