I like an occasional cider, but southern California isn’t exactly the land of apples. We do citrus and avocados quite well, but the flavorful apples that form the core of a good cider just don’t exist here. As a result, I’ve never brewed any ciders. A bit of reading and some chance conversations, though, got me thinking about giving it a try. Plus, it’s a nice time of year for the stuff!
This recipe is dead simple: apple juice and yeast. I may add 10 mL of 88% lactic acid at the end (per suggestions from Brülosophy), and may even backsweeten a touch (we’ll see). This is a first batch, so it’s entirely new territory.
After looking through the options at the local grocery store, I settled on a blend from North Coast. I liked the hazy look (which presumably means a slightly more complex flavor as opposed to the typical hyper-filtered juice), and it didn’t have any preservatives in it.
Dead Simple Hard Cider
- 3 gallons North Coast apple juice (pasteurized, no preservatives)
- 1 package Safale US-05 ale yeast
- 3 gallons into the fermenter, ~2.5 gallons in the keg
- 1.042 s.g., 1.000 f.g., 6.8% abv
- I dumped the 3 gallons of juice into a sanitized fermenter and pitched the yeast.
- I started this batch on 27 December 2017. I am fermenting at 66°; starting gravity was 1.042.
- I kegged this batch on 7 January 2018. Final gravity was 1.001, meaning I am sitting at around 5.4% abv.