Sunday, March 22, 2009

first hard apple cider, part 4

This morning I racked the ciders into new gallon jugs, for the sake of clarity, and we had a taste. Another week or two and I'll bottle them. Here they are after racking, looking quite different than they did on March 11.

Number 1: Gravity is about 1.002 but it's not a good reading because of persistent bubbles. It might really be at 1.000. Flavor is tart and dry. Maybe a hint of yeastiness. There's nothing unpleasant about it. I didn't do a great job of keeping some of the sediment out when racking, so it's a little murkier than the others.

Number 2: Gravity is right around 1.000. Flavor is tart and dry, hint of yeast. We both like it a little better than #1 but it is very, very similar.

Number 3: Gravity seems to be below 1.000 but it's not a great reading. Good enough that I do think it's less than 1, though, which would put this at well over 9% ABV! The others will be around 7%. Flavor is rounder, less tart, less dry, but not sweet. There is more detectable sweetness but it doesn't feel well-integrated into the whole. The flavor of the brown sugar is clear. If that flavor persists into the final product then it's not a winner for me. This one is still fermenting slightly, judging by the small amount of bubbling in the airlock.

We both like 2 best. If it mellows for a while and is carbonated I think I'd like it tremendously. I'll have to keep some of it as a still cider, though, for comparison. I'd never had a still cider before now and I  liked it fine that way, although I suspect that I'll prefer it sparkling.

They have really clarified nicely.

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