Just a quick update on my hard cider. It finished really tart and dry. In years past when I made hard cider with Nick, we would heat a small amount of the cider before fermentation and add our adjuncts. When we did that, we liked the beer, but it was not exactly what we were looking for. After some research, I decided to change things up this time.
The other school of thought when it comes to cider is to ferment and then flavor your cider to taste. This time I decided to try that method.
To figure out the amount that I wanted to add to the cider to have the flavor I was looking for, I grabbed 8oz (80 x 8oz = 5 gallons) and added amounts of brown sugar for sweetness, cinnamon, nutmeg and crushed coriander for some flavor. With the amounts that I figured out on my 8oz sample, I multiplied by 80 to scale my flavor to 5 gallons, simple enough.
In the end, this is what I added to an otherwise VERY tart cider:
- 3.5 cups of brown sugar
- 3 tbs of cinnamon
- 2 tsp of nutmeg and coriander
With the brown sugar, I took about 36oz out of the bucket and heated it to about 135f (both to dissolve the sugar and sanitize) and added that back to the bucket. With the spices, I added them to about 4oz of vodka to add some more zest and sanitize.
I leaned on the side of more tart than sweet as I have a bit of a sweet tooth and tend to over-do the sugars. The flavor was great, but you never know until you get some carbonation on it. We’ll see, but I think I took some bite off of the tart as well as giving it some depth.
Now I just have to wait for it to clear up and carbonate.
On another note, I kegged my harvest ale. I tasted it and it is going to be awesome! In the future I might want to give it some more malt backbone, but the current profile really accentuates the fresh hope.