Cider de Matrimonio

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.

The Ferment

  * 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.

The Backsweetening

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.

Father, Husband, Brewer, Professor

Middle aged guy trying to keep it all together and figure out how to best navigate the world as it is. Technology geek, practitioner of fermentation sciences, researcher, biologist.

Related