Monday, March 03, 2008

Hard cider in the making

Hard cider in the making
Originally uploaded by buckyreed
On Saturday I started a batch of hard cider with Ken. He helped me with my first batch of nut brown ale and was again willing to risk getting dowsed for the promise of some free beer. I bought five gallons of Henry's Organic Apple Juice and a vial of White Lab's Champagne Yeast. I boiled one of the gallons of juice along with four pounds of brown sugar and a quarter cup of honey. I added the four cool gallons of juice to the carboy, added the warm juice/sugar syrup, and finally added the yeast. I put the fermentation lock on the carboy and set it in the closet to ferment away for a few weeks. Having misplaced the $1 pint of vodka that I use for the lock I instead had to use a shot of Absolut! The boiled juice and sugar smelled so good that I wanted to taste it right then and there. Every thing I've read about making hard cider indicates that it smells terrible while it is fermenting. Beer usually smells yummy while it is fermenting, but the odors put off by cider are frequently described using the words "sulphur" and "brimstone". Can't wait! I guess it's my hillbilly ancestry that is manifesting itself in my desire to brew alcoholic concoctions at home. But at least this time I'm using real brewing gear (unlike the limoncello I make using hardware I found at Pep Boys.)


Helena said...

One of my grad students brews his own beer and actually wrote some software to make beer recipes...I think it's posted on his site...yup, here it is.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, you are your father's son. You do know that moonshining runs in your family, don't you.