SWIMBO’s Cider

I have to admit something a little embarrassing – my lovely wife does not like beer.  I’m not sure how we make our relationship work, but it can be a trial at times.  I get excited about a new batch of beer, give her a sip, only to be informed that she doesn’t like this batch either…

…Luckily, she does like wine and cider.  We’ve brewed a bunch of wine, but seeing as its prime apple season we’re now doing a batch of cider, largely following the instructions in this BrewingTV video:

We are fortunate that our orchard UV-sanitizes their cider, so we don’t need to sulphate it to kill off wild yeast.  We’re not looking to mess with things much, so we merely added 0.5kg of dextrose to up the low-ish gravity of our cider from 1.042 to 1.053 – leading to a remarkably simple recipe and process, which can be found below the fold…

A happy sight.  L to R: Watery Tart, Pino Grigio, SWIMBO
Cider, Gnarly Roots (on cart), 42 (on card), Krampus Ale
(Kegged), plus some empty kegs and a barley crusher.
  1. Mix 5 gallons of fresh pressed cider with 2 tsp yeast nutrient (2X the recommended amount for wine), the dextrose, and 1.5 tsp pectic enzyme.  The enzyme will help clear the cider by coagulating the pectin.  NOTE: pectic enzyme is the opposite of the pectin added to jam.  Do not add jam-making pectin!
  2. Wait 4 hours for the pectin to begin working, then add a packet of Nottingham yeast, attach the blowoff tube, and let ferment for a week.
  3. Transfer to a new carboy, and age for ~4 weeks.
  4. Transfer to a keg, along with the recommended amount of potassium sorbate.  This will prevent additional fermentation, allowing us to backsweeten.
  5. Backsweeten to taste with frozen apple concentrate.
That’s it!  At the time of this post we have just begun fermentation, but I will follow up with updates as the cider progresses.

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