Hard Cider

I made my first batch of alcohol, also known as hard cider! I did it without all the modern equipment and stuff, so it was a simple process and it worked! Thanks to a guy online by the name of Genius who encouraged me.

Here is what I did:

In a 2 gallon glass jar with a loose glass lid, add 1 gallon Treetop Fresh Pressed Honeycrisp Apple Juice.

Heat 1/2 gallon bottled water to dissolve 6 cups sugar, then add to juice.

Add 1/2 packet yeast to 1 cup warm water plus 1 Tablespoon sugar.  When proofed, add to juice.

Cover loosely, and stir lightly every other day.  Keep under 70°F, I kept mine between 60 and 70°F.  Leave for 3 to 5 weeks until it stops bubbling.

Siphon into jar two through 4 layers of muslin, leaving residue in jar one.  At this point you can add more dissolved sugar.  I do not have a test meter yet, so I did a taste test.  I think it has plenty of alcohol and did not add more sugar.  Leave in jar two for 2 more weeks.  Carefully bottle leaving residue behind.  The cider will clear.  After a few days, test bottles for continued fermentation and relieve pressure.

I have just decanted to jar two.  I did taste the hard cider and it is pleasantly mild with an alcohol bite.  I am growing apple trees and one day will blend sweet, sharp, and bitter apples for a complex flavor.  But for now I am proving to myself that I can make alcohol.  When my food forest comes online I will be ready.

I have several alcohol recipes I want to try, one is Elderflower Wine, and the other is Prickly Pear Mead.  Yum.

The Green D’Anjou Pears I bought for experiment two are not quite as ripe as I would have them.  I will give them a day or two before I start a pear concoction.  Recipes and suggestions are welcome.

As for the inch or so of liquid and residue I left in the bottom of jar one, I added a tablespoon of pure cane sugar to check for yeast activity.  It bubbled quickly so I still have yeast.  I wonder if you can keep it alive like a sourdough starter and make more hooch?

Tomorrow I will use some of this residual hard cider to bake bread.  It should taste good, I will let you know. Could it become a new sourdough starter if I feed it flour and sugar, or instant potato flakes?  I will find out, comments welcome.

I am pleased to find out that in winemaking, like breadmaking, like compost making… the little guys do all the heavy lifting.

Now that I have tried the process, I feel confident that I can keep studying and practicing and improve my product.  I have always wanted to make wine, which is odd for a non drinker!  My son is documenting our family history and found a string of French vintners back there.  Must be in my DNA… does that mean I will have a drinkable wine one day?  That would be sweet.  Or dry.



About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
This entry was posted in Circular Economy, food forest, fruit trees, permaculture, Prepper, wine/cider and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hard Cider

  1. The Cookin' Mom says:

    If you’re going to make wine you have to use an air lock or you will end up with a vinegar. Look up balloon wine on YouTube or Google it.

    • Thank you for your contribution to my winemaking project. I do have the top covered with a glass lid, it allows gas to escape every now and again. After 3 weeks it is alcohol not vinegar. How long does it take to shift to vinegar? Would it ruin or be good apple cider vinegar.

      I expect to buy airlocks and other paraphernalia but am seeing that others make wine regularly without them. Wine was made for millenia without such things.

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