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Sunday, November 15, 2009

I want to make Cider

This is another one of those projects that I never get done. I like apple cider. Most of the time I am really disapointed when I try any. I've had good cider only a few times in my life. One year we made cider at our old house. I put a fruit jar of apple juice in the refridgerator and sampled it over the course of a few months. It was very good up till the time it spoiled.
I've been looking it up on the internet and most of the info is about making high alchohol content cider. I'm more concerned with the taste and drinking it without worrying about e-coli.
I'm thinking about buying a cheap beer making kit on ebay. There are some with a six gallon bucket with a tap and a lid and an airlock. I think you can control fermentation with the type of yeast you use, and if you add any sugar. The question is how did I make the really good cider I made before?
From what I've read the yeast used makes a huge difference.
It seems as though you could use the natural yeast strains to begin your fermentation process. The alchohol will kill off the yeast and stop the process. Then there is a secondary fermentation process which gives you the higher alchohol content.
Otherwise you can use Campden tablets to stop the natural yeast and then add your own yeast. An ale yeast will give a low alchohol content and a Champagne yeast will give you up to 14% content.
A low alchohol content should preserve the cider and give it a good taste but you wouldn't have to tell your temperace relatives that they are drinking booze. Not that many people sit down with quart of cinder at Christmas and get drunk off their holiday arses.
I think that I could do this in a couple ways. I have to figure out how I will actually get it done. I have read of people making boozy cider from apple juice you buy in the store. I think I could get the good taste by pressing the small hard apples I find in the fence rows. I don't know the different types of apples but I know what trees I got the other batch of cider from. So I think if I balanced the acidity of apple juice or those big juicy dessert apples you can find surplus this time of year with the fence row apples I could get enough apples with the least effort.
I read it takes about 15lbs of apples to make a gallon of cider. Thus a bushel box will only give you 2 gallons. But, since I want six gallons of cider I'll have to use 3 bushels of apples. I think I could easly get two bushels of fence row apples.
If I use the mail order five gallon bucket kit it should be quite clean. After the first fermentation process I can drain the juice into a five gallon glass carboy that I can also buy at a booze making store. I think I can stop the fermentation process there or I could add brown sugar or honey and more yeast and make the cider that makes you buzz. I think I will read more on this.
I most likely I will never get this done...
People are sick at  my house again. What a winter this is turning out to be. We can never totally get well. With all the talk of influenza a person is afraid to just do the usual and ignore it.
I'm taking vitamin D. One of the older ladies at church says this will cure my lack of sunlight induced depression issues.

I do have some questions for anyone who remembers how cider used to be made.
1. They say the e-coli won't survive past four weeks and by that time you should have a low alchohol content. So can you keep your apple juice cool to keep the fermentation rate down and check the booze content. Then when the yeast uses up all the sugar it will stop fermenting?
2. If you get rid of the oxygen and the primary fermentation process has stopped can you bottle it without bottle bombs?
3. What did people used to do? There is no way you can keep apple juice without it fermenting. But people in the old days were no all drunks..

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