Living in Upstate New York means great apples! Great apples means great hard cider! It’s been a few years since I’ve done a hard cider, so I figured it was about time. Friday I made a special trip out to Abbott Farms in nearby Baldwinsville, New York. I picked up five one gallon jugs of UV pasteurized cider for a total bill of about $25, not too bad.
With the cider in hand, I decided to start the process today. I crushed up five campden tablets (one tablet per gallon of cider) and sealed up my bucket. The campden tablets are for killing all the wild yeast and bacteria that exist in the cider. UV pasteurization is a process of killing some of the dangerous bacteria, without the full pasteurization that is necessary for a lot of commercial products. This is the “good stuff” because when they do the full pasteurization process, there are sugars and such added to the product to restore some of the lost sweetness.
From here, I will wait 48hrs and pitch a yeast to the cider. Simple. In my limited experience, there are always some yeasts and bacteria leftover even after the addition of the campden tablets so expect a full and aggressive fermentation. That is why I use a bucket on these and not the bottle.
There are other options on how to treat the cider, one is to heat it over 180f but be sure not to boil the cider, it’s bad.
More to come, but my fall brewing is in full effect.