I have two friends who decided to tie the knot this October, both of which enjoy good beer. One is actually a homebrewer himself. I’d been thinking about what kind of fermented goodness I should provide to the ceremony and thought that an October event would be perfect for a good cider. I was just listening to a seminar from the 2013 American Homebrewer’s Association meeting about bourbon oak and sour cherry ciders so I thought I would give it a go.
I do enjoy a good cider, particularly the drier ones (not like the ones you get in the store). The first one I did was an Apfelwein from a guru who goes by the name of EdWort. The family and community loved the taste, dry, strong, very bubbly.
There are two components that influence the taste of your cider; the starting juice and the yeast used and the nutrients. Ok, there are three components that influence the taste of your cider; starting juice, yeast, nutrients, and backsweetening. OK… You get the idea. Making cider is a lot different than brewing but can make a beverage just as wonderful and fall is the season for great apple tastes. Here is what I used for this one.
* 4.0 gal fresh apple juice, filtered. * 0.5 gal regular old cloudy brownish apple 'cider' * 1/2 t Wyeast Yeast Nutrient (the secret formula, you really can't find out what they put into this, I'll order the raw components for next time). * 1 t Urea+ DAP mix. * 1 vial WLP500 Trappist Ale yeast.
I aerated the juice by shaking (didn’t break out the air stone) and pitched at room temperature on 21 August. I’m fermenting at latent room temperature for our house in mid-Virginia (~70ish) and let it go until fermentation is finished and the yeast has fallen out and cleared.
Cider dries out pretty well. I decided to not back sweeten this one and just kegged it up as is. I think the Baker’s really liked it. Had a great time at the wedding. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Baker.