Well, yesterday I bottled a new batch of brew for me…only it wasn’t beer! It was my first attempt at hard cider. Well, with a twist.
Let me back this up a bit. I read an article in Brew Your Own Magazine about making fruit drinks. I got pretty intrigued by hard cider via apple juice. Only, I had to change things up a bit. I decided to hop it up a bit. I added some UK Pilgrim hops right from the get go, as well as 5 cinnamon sticks. Throw in some yeast nutrient, a little yeast, and let it fly. 7 days in, the fermentation was almost complete, so I tossed in some UK Sovereign hops to add some aroma. Let it sit for another week and bottled. Here are the stats for this hard cider brew:
Some things I learned:
- I got a great fermentation! This may be the lowest FG I have had in any of my brews. If I actually kept notes from the beginning, I would be able to tell.
- Adding the hops will give the hard cider some character. I should figure out the best ones to use in the future, not just what do I have here.
- I decided to use carbonation drops for this batch. I needed some more, so the trip to the local home brew shop was costly, as I came home with some extra dry malt extract for a future SMASH beer.
- Next time I need to rack it from the carboy (primary fermenter) to another vessel BEFORE the bottling bucket. Let’s say there was a bit of hop sediment in there with two ounces of hops in just under 3 gallons of hard cider.
- I need to use muslin bags for my hops, it would have helped in the clarity of the brew.
I can’t wait to see what it tastes like….