Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hard Cider Take Two

You may recall my batch of hard cider, well I used a cider that had potassium sorbate (ie yeast inhibitor) in it and it seems to not be fermenting the best because of it. I should have know, I had read numerous sources saying it will not ferment but I also read a source saying it will. So the contarian in me decided to give it a go. It has been almost two weeks since I have started it and it has yet to move the airlock. I did some exploratory surgery last week and added some more sugar. Well I was stirring the sugar in, the cider smelled great and had loads of C02 bubbles so the stuff is work, I just think it is going to take a while. I got some advise from Red to pitch some aggressive champagne yeast so I am going to give that a try during the secondary fermentation.

With the viability of the first batch coming into question I decided to try a second batch. This time I source unpasteurized Cider with no preservatives in it from Hergott's Cider Mill in Waterloo, ON. Waterloo is the birth place of the Blackberry phone by the way. The Hergott's settled their farm in the early 1800's and have been pressing cider since 1929. After finding them this year we were told they are retiring this year so the possibility of finding unpasteurized cider next year are pretty slim. They are hopeful someone will buy the operation and continue the business though.

Now that we have had our history lesson here is the new batch. For this batch I did not heat the cider at all, I just used it right out of the jug. 7.6l(2 gal) of the cider went into my sterilized 23l(6 gal) carboy with a little brown sugar syrup and coopers brewing yeast that was dehydrated in pure apple juice. I then placed the bung & airlock on and filled the airlock with vodka.

The next morning the airlock was bubbling and a foam layer had formed on top. Success!

Now I have a total of 15l(4 gal) brewing so if both batches make it to bottling I will have 20 wine bottles of the stuff. I really don't drink a lot so I am guessing this is 2-3 years worth. I have heard cider ages really well in the bottle so I may end up with a few vintage bottles.... :-)

*I have quite a few posts in draft and in my head. I am hoping to post daily until everything has been covered so please keep checking in. Post to come are composting leaves, late garlic planting, flowers in the yard and a garden update to name a few. I also did a good amount of canning this year that I never posted about. I am going to group things together so keep an eye out for posts on Jams, Pickles & Relishes and Salsa. I am also currently making sauerkraut and will be doing a post on that. Few, I am tired already!


  1. Woohoo! I can't wait.

    Hey, can you eat kohlrabi raw?

  2. time to invest in a cider mill???

  3. extra hard cider? I'd surely be glad to take some off your hands!

  4. I just realized how stupid of a question that was. You made slaw. Slaw is raw.
    Idiot, Ribbit.

  5. I'm with Prue, I think you should invest !
    That brew's looking mighty fine, Dan.

  6. That second batch of cider looks like it wants to get busy! It will be interesting to compare the two batches to see what the low and slow fermentation produces compared to the fast and furious fermentation.

    Performing the taste tests will be difficult but I think you could likely find a few volunteers. :D

  7. I hope it turns out wonderfully. Like I told you, that recipe really sounds like a winner, despite the hiccups.

  8. Cool idea man!

    If you want to know more about fermentation, wine/beer making, or perhaps making mead, (a honey based wine-type beverage) you should contact me or look at my blog, the Pretentious Pint!

    Here's the link!

    I am planning on making mead soon!

    I think your hard cider recipe sounds good, I'm a little concerned about not boiling the cider, but as always time will tell.