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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kickin' Hard Cider (Kickham)

I generally don't write about my experiments. I have a couple that were just too darned pretty not to snap a picture of. I keep a separate log of recipes, general thoughts, and tasting notes.

After a not-so-great cider last year, this one was worth writing about for my own prosperity. I just did a small batch of this one. To be honest, Mr, K did the heavy lifting on this.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This cloudy-gold cider had a very thin layer of bubbles showing light carbonation. It smelled like tart apples. The cinnamon scent came through.

Taste: This was nice and dry like a nice white wine. It was tart and a little musky. It was very light. I thought this was a great success! Especially after the one last year was a bit of a flop. The French Saison yeast and mix of apple really added the complexity that the 2011 attempt was lacking.

Yeast: Wyeast 3711 French Saison
Apples: Jonagold- 5 apples and a peck | Gala - 5 apples | Mutzu - 6 apples
Additions:  One Whole Cinnamon Stick | 1/2 c Brown Sugar (during fermentation)

General Notes 
  • We got apple recommendations from the Michigan farmer who sold us the apples.
  • This took less than a month from primary to bottling. We only fermented 2 gallons (primary in a bucket because that's what we had).
  • The temperature was a bit erratic, but we were able to keep it warm enough for the yeast to keep doing its thing.
  • Mr. K juiced it up whole rather than pressing. It was way easier and still made for a thick base. Since they were very clean and freshly juiced, we did not heat it up to sterilize. I didn't mind the thought of a little funk with the saison yeast anyway!
  • Added 1/2c of brown sugar (diluted in 1c H2O) in the secondary to keep the yeast going.

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