Archive - Nov 10, 2009
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve provided an update on the cider making, but there isn’t a lot to update. Last Saturday, we racked off our latest batch of hard cider. This cider had slowly fermented for three weeks using an Oktoberfest yeast. It got very cloudy and produced a lot of sediment. When we racked it off, we bottled a dozen bottles to see how the first fermentation ages and to have enough room in the five gallon carboy. Like with a previous batch, we added, two cups of maple syrup to boost the sugar and add a nice little taste. It is now on its second fermentation.
This freed up the six gallon carboy for us to go get some special cider. Every year, Beardsley’s Cider Mill makes a special batch of cider for brewers. It is made of an assortment of apples, including some heirlooms, as well as some quince. This year it was 60% norther spy, 20% winesap, 10% red and golden delicious with the remaining 10% a mixture of Baldwin, golden russet, Spitzenberg, an antique apple variety and Quince. I believe they made about 600 gallons which were all sold within a couple of hours.
A group of hard cider brewers come every year for this cider and they share various hard ciders they’ve made. There were ciders flavored with raspberry, elderberry, and whiskey. There were various methods that it had been fermented and aged. Some cider was very old. Other cider was much more recent. It was a fun and lively discussion. My pear cider, or perry, was well received and the maple apple cider was also enjoyed. I picked up my six gallons and headed home.
An online cider brewing friend went over there a few hours later only to find out that he had missed his opportunity. So, he’ll be making some other hard cider this time around. I’ve also chatted with various other friends and relatives online who are experimenting with making cider and sharing their stories.
For this batch, we are using a Bavarian Wheat yeast. It has started off a little slowly, but is starting to pick up speed. I figure I’ll let it go for three or four weeks and then rack it off and start our final batch for the year.