A while ago I watched a Good Eats program that was based on home brewing. It peaked my interest and has been something I have been thinking of doing every since. Recently I read a post @ Chiot's Run about making hard cider and decided this would be a great jumping off point.
I am using a recipe from Mother Earth News, which is a magazine I subscribe to by they way, great source of information. It calls for 5 gallons of cider but I adapted the recipe for 2 gallons. Here are a series of photos I have taken of the process thus far:
Here is my starter to get the yeast going. For the starter I used a bottle of pure apple juice with no preservatives in it. I simply poured off some of the juice for expansion room, added the yeast, shook it up and then added an airlock. I then let it ferment over night for use the next day. This photo was taken the next day after the airlock was removed. The yeast was certainly alive.
Here is one of the pots of cider heating. I decided to take the safest recipe approach and simmered the cider for 45 minutes to kill off any wild yeast/bacteria. During the heating I made sure the pot never fully boiled as this will set pectin's in the cider.
Lastly here is the Pièce de résistanc, the fermenter. I decided to cheap out and use a food grade pale. In retrospect I wish I went with a glass carboy so I could see what is going on it there. It is fitted with a bung & two piece airlock which allows C02 out without allowing germ laden air in. The airlock is filled with Vodka.
From what I have read it will take about 2 weeks to ferment and turn alcoholic. At this point you do a second fermentation for 1 weeks to further clarify and age the cider. It is then ready to drink or it can be bottle aged like wine. I will keep you all posted on the progress of my project, I hope it turns out well.
Once the hard cider is done I am going to try a Pale Ale recipe that was given to me by Red-Icculus.com. If you have not stopped by his page before you should, lots of good articles on beer, hydroponics & food. I am also planning on a trying a Vanilla Bourbon Porter at some point this winter. I am a bit obsessive compulsive about things by the way, if you have not noticed.... :-)
23 hours ago