As mentioned, I made some cider this weekend! Mikey doesn’t believe in cider so I had the aid of my friend who shall be referred to as the Cider Minion. Although I’ve done brews on my own before, having a second pair of hands is always helpful, and Cider Minion was no exception.
I had originally wanted to do a proper batch of the Apple and Rhubarb Cider I made awhile ago. The original brew was a bit haphazard so I didn’t do a recipe write up of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any rhubarb, but I did have some left over hops from a porter we made, so I decided to make a hopped cider.
Judging from the Apple and Rhubarb Cider, this stuff was going to be strong; I was aiming for at least 10% alcohol. I wanted to make this cider stronger than the previous version because I thought a little alcohol burn would add to the taste and feel of the beverage. So I’ve decided to call this cider Gauss’ Law based on a really bad pun that I’m not going to go into. Puns are awesome by the way.
- 7 kg of Golden Delicious Apples
- 1 cup dextrose
- 4 grams Fuggles hops (bittering)
- 2 grams Fuggles hops (aroma)
- SN9 wine yeast
This was for a (what was supposed to be) a four litre batch.
Bring half a litre of water up to a boil and start steeping the bittering hops for 30 minutes. At the 25 minute mark, add the aroma hops.
My juicer isn’t the most efficient machine in the world, so a better juicer or an apple press would probably require fewer apples, but I managed to get 3.5 litres of apple juice out of the apples, which is what I was after. This 3.5 litres needs to be added to a separate pot from the hops and brought to a boil for about 15 minutes. This will kill any bugs in the juice.
Once the hops are done, strain them into the juice. Also add the dextrose (this can really be done at any time).
I was surprised this time around. Previously I’ve gotten a pretty decent hot break out of boiling apple juice. This wasn’t the case, even though I’ve used Golden Delicious apples before. Oh well…
Once your juice has boiled for at least 15 minutes, put a lid on the pot and let it sit in a sink full of cold water for at least 20 minutes, changing the water regularly.
Throw all of this into a 5 litre fermenter and pitch the yeast and it’s done!
Unfortunately this process only left me with about 3.5 litres all up, even though I started with half a litre of water for steeping the hops and 3.5 litres of apple juice. I guess I underestimated how much I would lose to evaporation in the boil, or I under measured things.
The OSG I got was right on 1.070, which wasn’t quite as high as I was hoping for. The OSG on the Apple and Rhubard Cider (which didn’t have added dextrose) was 1.064, I was probably a little conservative with the dextrose. The previous cider managed to get a FSG below 1, but I don’t quite expect that with this one because the hops are adding to the specific gravity (although only slightly). My prediction is an alcohol content of about 9.5% after bottling. It’s not quite what I wanted.
Anyway, that’s going to take at least two weeks in the carboy, then bottling, then tasting. We’ll see how it turns out!