First Cider Bottling

IMG_7078Today we bottled our very first home-made hard cider. We had juiced the apples in late October. Following 3 weeks of initial ferment we racked and aged the cider for another 3 weeks. During that time it clarified really nicely to a wonderful dark golden transparency. At this stage there is still a bit too much yeast and tannin flavor, but it should mellow nicely in the bottle – if we can wait that long.

We actually have 2 brews with very different taste:

  • IMG_7083gleaned apples on champagne yeast: this cider has a nice apple flavor and is extremely dry
  • harvested apples on montrachet yeast: these were considerably sweeter than the other batch; the flavor is brighter, fruitier, and sweeter – very promising

Bottling was quick and easy, since we’d splurged on a bunch of flip-top bottles, eliminating the need to crimp on caps. Our auto-siphon and bottling wand also proved to be a wise investment. There was very little spillage and we were able to keep everything nice and sanitary.

IMG_7089Now the cider will undergo its final fermentation in the bottle to create the desired carbonation. In about 2 weeks we should be able to sample the first bottle of the finished product.

We had a lot of fun with this project. It’s too bad the apple season is over. I’m sure we’ll make a bigger batch of cider next year. Meanwhile, we’ll keep ourselves entertained learning how to brew beer … stay tuned.

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