Hard Cider


Deep winter, and I find myself reaching into the pantry more and more.  Thanks to my efforts last fall, my freezer and my pantry are loaded. But I will admit that I took on more than I could handle last year.  I exhausted myself with the work of gardening, foraging, and putting things away. The good news is that I will probably be able to enjoy those efforts for a few years to come.

And there are a few special treats to be found as well.  I put up apple cider in two forms. Once I got my hand on fresh unpasteurized apple cider, I put it in a cool place in jars covered with cheesecloth just until it got a nice fizz going.  At that point, I bottled it and put it away to cure.  Yes, it really is that simple. The only real key is to make sure the apple cider hasn't been pasteurized because it won't culture otherwise.

The second way I prepared cider started out like the first, by putting the apple cider into jars covered with cheesecloth.  But these jars I let sit until they got quite alcoholic, or hard, before bottling.  There's a fine line to walk when making hard cider, and it is dependent solely upon taste.  At a certain point, there is a good balance of alcohol and crisp apple taste, and then, not a week later, you've got rocket fuel on your hands.  And the only way to know is to taste, taste, taste it (a fun task).

So this week, for no special reason, I cracked open both a bottle of the bubbly apple cider, and some of the hooch, and enjoyed a little tasting party.  Each sip reminded me of the cool autumn air and falling angle of the sun.  Nah, not really, that's a load of hooey, but it sure did warm up my toes on a cold February day.

I'm sharing this post with Fight Back Friday.

Comments

  1. Oh, that's so cool, Butter! I love hard cider, but have never actually tried to make any. You're my inspiration =)

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  2. You really got me with your: cool autumn air and falling angle of the sun. I was even feeling the apple cider crispiness in my tongue. :)

    Good pitch!

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  3. Heather - It's really not too different from your sourdough starter. You just let all of the beasties in the air and cider do the work.

    Mexico - Sometimes as a blogger, I feel like I need to paint a good picture, but other times, it's just doesn't come from a genuine place ;)

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  4. Hard cider is one of my favorites and I adore that you made it yourself!

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  5. Aw man Butter, I LOOOOVE hard cider. Save some for me please?

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  6. Oh, girl - your larder must be seriously amazing! Another thing I have never tasted - apple cider hooch - but since I love all things appley and many things hoochy I know I would love this.

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  7. Mental note, my girl Christy likes many things hoochy ;)

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  8. Once it gets alcoholic, if you bottle it it'll stop it from turning into apple cider vinegar?
    This is really cool!

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  9. Yep, bottling does the magic. But if that fails, it's not so bad having homemade vinegar. Win win win situation.

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  10. OH mamma! I soooo have to make some of this next fall! We still have an old fashioned apple farm and they make raw cider so I will definitely grab some! I have all the bottles and jars from making Kombucha so this will be a snap! whooo hooo but I want some of yours NOW!!! apple hoooch...hehehe...love ya! Alex

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  11. Really, it's ridiculously simple to make. And the results are so good - real apple flavor like you could never get at any store.

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