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Making Hard Cider

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. – Psalm 104:14-15

With Aaron’s help, I made a video about the making of a batch of hard cider.  It can be found on YouTube.  I’ve added some notes on the cider making process below that wouldn’t fit in the video.

After adding the yeast, I realized that I’d forgotten to add the pectic enzymes.  This helps the pectin in the cider to settle and makes for a very clear batch of cider.  Without it, this batch of cider is a little cloudier than previous batches of cider I’ve made.  However, the cranberry juice I added makes it so it really isn’t noticeable, and since there is no taste difference, I don’t miss it in this batch at all.

I really like the addition of the cranberry juice.  It adds a brightness to the cider that I really enjoy.

Sanitizing is done every time the various containers and tools are brought out.  I didn’t show all of it in the video, but make sure to sanitize something before you use it.  Every time.

It seems I didn’t add enough potassium sorbate after all.  If you look on the counter at that point in the video, you can see the potassium sorbate I spilled everywhere.  I did add more after I spilled, but I seem to still have undershot.  After sitting for a few weeks, some of the bottles are very carbonated.  One was to the point that just opening it made cider shoot all over the table and me.

Make sure to look up the amount you should be adding if you make cider with real fermentable sugars.  To avoid this problem altogether, xylitol is usually used because it will not ferment.  However, xylitol does not agree with me in anything over very very small amounts, so I’m trying to avoid using it at this point.

The clip at the end of the video is entirely Aaron’s fault.  :)