Hard Cider

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2008/04/15 22:23:52 (permalink)

Hard Cider

I'm gonna try this.

1 pkg. Munton's Ale Yeast (YS545 from this site: http://www.homebrewery.com/beer/beer-yeast-dry.shtml)
1 gal. Apple Juice (pasteurized, with no sulf*tes, etc.... cheap juice works fine, plastic bottles are MUCH less dangerous than glass, so I recommend plastic)
2 cups sugar + 1 tblsp.
1 tblsp. honey
1 large balloon

OK, take the apple juice and pour one pint into a glass... drink it (it's good for you).
Pour off another pint and place this glass aside. Add two cups of sugar to the juice
remaining in the bottle. Cap tightly and shake vigorously until sugar dissolves...
The juice level should be about so (some "headspace" is important)

Warm the apple juice you set aside earlier until it's in the lower 80s Fahrenheit (roughly)... a little too
cool is better than a little too warm, so play it safe. To this juice add the extra tablespoon
of sugar and the honey. Stir until dissolved.

To this warmed juice add one "knife end" of yeast powder...

Ooh... check out that action shot!

Stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. Now at this point you have a choice to make.
You can leave this warmed juice out until it begins to fizz or foam... this is called "proofing".
This ensures that the yeast you have is alive and well and that you aren't wasting your time.
On the other hand, if your yeast is fresh and you're not particularly worried, you can just
go ahead and add this "yeast slurry" to the main vessel now... it may take several hours for
the yeast to "proof", so it's your call.

If you decide to skip proofing, go ahead and add the yeast slurry to the jug. If you decide
to proof, then add the slurry to the jug once the yeast begins to fizz or foam.
Cap the jug and shake vigorously for a minute or so. Remove cap and place jug in a dark
corner (rinse cap and place in a drawer or someplace safe.)
Place balloon over mouth of jug and pierce tip of balloon with a needle.

Within 24 hours you should begin to see or hear tiny bubbles breaking the surface (if you have
a difficult time seeing the bubbles, try placing a flashlight on the far side of the jug, pointing back
toward you). At this point, it's all a matter of taste... if you let the cider ferment until it
stops naturally then you're going to have the ass-stomping gun cleaner that was present
at Pedernales... if you decide to stop the fermentation early then place the cider in a freezer
for a day or two, then move jug to refrigerator and keep there, capped loosely.

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