Sunday, October 17, 2010

cider-making





Back in 1999, I became dubious of hard cider.

I was studying abroad in England and had just started drinking beer, It was right after my 21st birthday (a sheer coincidence). Newcastle was the one that got me into it. Can't stomach that stuff anymore.

But anyway, the school I was at had a pub. Each day between certain hours, they'd give students 2-for-1 drinks. One of my chums said he'd get the first round. He came back with the glasses and I took a big slam.

NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING.

At all.

It was cider. Strongbow, I think.

Ever since then, I didn't like cider. Maybe it was the surprise. Maybe it was just that Strongbow is such crappy cider.

Last year though I watched The Botany of Desire and there's a whole chapter that talks about apples and how hard cider was such a key element in the lives of early Americans. The way they talk about it, cider seemed like this wild, untamed, exciting thing. (I also tried Crispen Cider around then, which also gave me some hope)

Since then, I've been crazily into the idea of making my own batch of Farmhouse Style cider. I wanted it as stripped back as possible. Dry, not too fruity.

This is the recipe I found. I modified it slightly:
5 gallons of cider (from Patterson Orchard in New Berlin, WI)
5 cups of sugar (used 4 cups organic sugar & 1 cup brown sugar)
1 package of Lalvin D-47 yeast

While brewing, we drank a bottle of 2009 Etienne Dupont Organic Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie. Fucking amazing. Bone dry. Perfect. If my cider is anything like it, I'll be more than pleased.

Give it several weeks and I'll report back.

2 comments:

Mattress said...

I recently learned that cider is supposed to sit for a year or so before drinking. Though that may depend on the yeast and sort of apples used.

berrylies said...

I've heard that too. It's drinking pretty solid now though, so I'll probably do things improperly and start drinking it right away! Hah. Maybe I'll stash a bottle or two for next year.