Monday, July 26, 2010

Cider Series: California Common Yeast

So I decided to do a little experiment with some cider. So I have been buying the 1 gallon cider containers so that I can use them to do my experimental sour beers.
I had a friend come over and ask me what I was doing with the cider. I was trying to just drink the container but I got pretty tired of the cider after about a 1/2 gal. So he was asking me about making hard cider. And I guess it never occured to me how easy it would be to make that cider into hard cider. So I have decided that whatever yeast I have on hand I will pitch some into my 1 gallon of cider. This way I can test different yeasts and how they affect the taste of the cider.
I added 1 tsp of pectin (I like clear cider). I used a 100 ml of California Common yeast and fermented the batch for 2 weeks at 62-65. The gravity for the beer dropped to 1.000. It had only a small amount of apple flavor left but was pretty clean. I am a fan of semi sweet and my wife likes sweet cider. So what I did was I racked the cider into a 2.5 gal keg. I carbed it over a week to around 2.5 volumes (might go higher next time). And then I decided to bottle the cider but I would first add fresh sweet cider to the bottles.

(5) bottles with 2 oz of 1.055 cider - cider should have F.G. 1.009
(5) bottles with 3 oz of 1.055 cider - cider should have F.G. 1.014

I made sure that these stayed in the fridge because they will still have some yeast left in them. They will want to ferment but hopefully with fridge temps the yeast will stay dormant to keep the sweetness. I have heard that cider can improve also with a bit of lagering. So I will taste one of each cider in a couple months. About the time it is nice and hot and the cider is begging to be drank.

10/20/10 Update - They have been kept in cold storage and I really like the bottles with 2 oz of cider. The 3 oz cider is just a bit too sweet and both have enough apple flavor.

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