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January 30, 2010

Make your own spiked cider

a glass of delicious-looking apple cider may be in your near futureIn last week's City Paper, Michelle Gienow wrote about her (successful) attempt at brewing homemade hard cider.

Her piece is a great read, and makes me want to try it for myself -- except the part where I'd have to press my own. I'd rather just buy a jug from Weber's Farm.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

It turns out that fermenting your own hard cider is in the same category as home-brewing beer--unlike distillation (the making of actual moonshine), brewing is legal without a license so long as you don't sell your product. ...

It's also insanely easy: Basically, I poured a gallon of home-pressed cider into a ceramic crock, sprinkled some yeast on top, covered it and set it off to one side of the basement. Two weeks later, I had hard cider.

It seemed like a minor miracle: Though I don't think it would win any taste tests, my homemade hard cider was dry and crisp and very drinkable--plus it packed an undeniable alcoholic wallop. And it won't even make you go blind! 

I'm all about drinking delicious-sounding hard cider without going blind. I'll bet you are, too. I think I just might have to make some.

Great piece, Michelle!

(Baltimore Sun photo by Jerry Jackson)


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:24 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Comments

If you're going to Webber's, make the extra trip north to the Thirsty Brewer. He'll have everything else you would need, aside from the juice.

Speaking of Webber's, Steve Webber was trying to make hard cider, but I never head anything else about it. It's been about 2 years. I wonder if that ever got off the ground.

http://www.thirstybrewer.com/

It was a great article, but certain details were omitted, probably for space. As a guy who's brewed beer for a long time, a couple of pointers if you're thinking of making cider.

1) sterilize everything that will touch the cider.

2) if you can, get some wine or champagne yeast from a homebrew store. You can use the dried baker's yeast, but it might not always turn out tasty.

3. Once fermentation is done (after it stops bubbling), you have your still hard cider. If you want it carbonated, you can add a small amount of bottling sugar and put it in a Grolsch beer container or cap it with a homebrewers capper tool. (Do not use a screwtop soda bottle, it can explode). If your cider was unpasteurized/fresh pressed, you will need not additional sugars as there is plenty of active ingredients already there.

Have fun in Argentina, Sam!

I almost forgot: if you do this with bakers yeast, expect 12% ABV. Huzzah!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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