There wil be a good deal of future posts on this subject, but this will be a good intro for those who are green to the world of hard cidermaking.
The following is the incredibly complicated procedure (ahem) of making a passable alcoholic beverage from a pile of apples:
- Press your apples into juice
- Put the juice in a container with a lid
- Add some yeast
- Place an airlock in an opening in the lid
In all seriousness this is all there is to it. This will make a hard cider. Now, there is a world of difference between a beverage that you can drink and a beverage that you want to drink. Tome upon tome have been written about the many nuances involved here, and an entire world awaits anyone who wants to really get into it. It can be every bit as complex as good winemaking, and every bit as exciting, but you can still just putter a bit and make yourself proud. ..or get some cheap hooch.
The book that got me started is still the classic in America- “Sweet and Hard Cider” by Annie Proulx (yes, the same one of ‘Shipping News’ fame) and Lew Nichols, a wife and husband team at the time. Ben Watson’s “Cider, Hard and Sweet” is prettier to look at and equally informative. That Is just the beginning in terms of literary jaunts in the brew, particularly if you look across the Atlantic to the cradles of cidering including Merry old England, and Merrier old France.
more to follow…
These devices tell us how much sugar exists in our subject. By measuring this amount before fermentation, and then measuring again when fermenting is complete we can gauge how much alcohol exists in the finished product. The before ferment reading will also give us enough for a good guess on what the outcome will be.