Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cider Update

I am racking and back-sweetening the remaining six (of seven) carboys of cider this weekend. The first one was flavored with strawberry and has already been bottled.

I started with seven buckets of cider from Lull Farm in Hollis, NH in the first week of October. They were inoculated with 3 different types of yeast which was a new twist in my home brewing journey. Three with traditional cider yeast, two with sweet mead yeast and the remaining two with rudishiemer yeast. From the beginning there were differences in the pace of the fermentation and tastes between the evolving products.

Now at the point of preparing them for bottling the differences are very obvious and quite interesting.

A couple baseline notes. I prefer my cider without carbonation and thus I allowed the fermentations to complete and used sorbate and sulfite to retard further activity. I didn't make any cider in 2008 which is why I went nuts with 35 gallons; I hope it lasts.

As expected the traditional cider yeast yielded a dry cider which will get treated in three ways, with strawberry flavored syrup, dry and medium dry.

The sweet mead batches ended up with some residual sweetness, as expected, and will be treated in two different ways, medium dry and with raspberry flavored syrup (3 gallons). These should be a hit all summer!

The rudishiemer batches expressed a nutty flavor early on and it has remained, although to a lesser degree in the finished product. There is also residual sweetness similar to the sweet mead, which is a pleasant surprise. These batches will be treated in two ways, medium dry and with cherry flavored syrup (3 gallons). The nut and cherry flavors should meld nicely.

In the end I will end up with seven different styles that should easily be differentiated. This is by far the most interesting home brew project I have taken on to date.



No comments: