Friday, September 16, 2011

Hard Cider

A mug of hard cider on the back porch
Earlier in the month we pressed our apples into cider.  The juice that ran from the press was sweet and tart, with a full, milky mouthfeel, and a subtle siltiness that I think was from the skins and seeds of the fruit.  It had a cloudy, oxidated colour and was a pleasing drink in all of its many facets.

Then the cider sat in my basement for a week.  Fermentation took hold, and for a brief few days, the cider got even better.  A yeasty aroma developed, and the resulting alcohol woke up the palate.  The drink was effervescent.

I should have bottled all my cider at this stage.  Hindsight is 20/20.

As it is, I left the cider to ferment for another two weeks before bottling.  By this time not a molecule of sugar remained.  In these later stages of fermentation some marked off-odours developed, notably sulphur (rotten egg) and acetone (nail polish remover).  Some of these odours persist in the bottled cider.

Do I still drink it?  Yes.  Only when very cold.  I also cook with it.  Cabbage sautéed in bacon or lard, then briefly braised in apple cider, for instance.

It also makes a passable mulled cider, sweetened with honey and simmered with spices like cinnamon and clove.

Can't wait for next year, when I encapsulate that cider in its sweet spot.


  1. Great learning experience for me, too!
    I just love the juice! :) V

  2. I find that it's a moving target - as it keeps fermenting in bottle even if you catch that sweet spot. But it likely does slow down the transformation. I think the answer is enjoying the heck out of it while it's in that stage. Call me, I'll help you. ;)

  3. Maybe "ephemeral" is the word we're looking for.