Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wines I'm Making: Hard Cider Bottled (December 23, 2013)

Yesterday, December 23, I bottled the hard cider made from this year's apples. The ten gallons ended up as 48 22-ounce bottles and 19 12-ounce bottles. I dosed the fermented cider with about 26g of corn sugar for each gallon of cider in order to start the in-bottle secondary fermentation that will give it some sparkle. The recipes call for up to 33g of sugar per gallon, but I didn't have enough sugar, and the first time I made hard cider (in February this year) I used 26g per gallon and the bubbles were fine, so I didn't bother to get more sugar. Knowing that a fermentation is going on in a sealed bottle always makes me a little nervous (probably needlessly), so I've decided to leave the bottles in the upstairs bathtub while the fermentation is underway. If there are any accidents, spilled cider won't destroy the carpet or hardwood floors that way. I don't really expect problems, though.

I capped the portion fermented using White Labs English cider yeast with green caps. The portion fermented with the Mangrove Jack yeast I capped with gold caps. After about two weeks, the cider should be lightly carbonated and ready to drink, but longer aging should allow it to develop a little. We'll see how long this batch lasts. The 3-gallon batch I made earlier in the year was so good it disappeared in about three weeks.  

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