This year I’ve harassed two people for cider apples, and apart from the absence of wassailing and being chased down the street by an angry man, it’s as typical an old fashioned cider as one can hope to get, and still have a good chance of success. This year the cider contains ONLY apple juice, with one Sodium Metabisulphate tablet (Campden Tablet), and Young’s Cider yeast.
This year the process was simplified too. Rinse the apples a bit, remove anything you wouldn’t feed to a pig, and then mince the rest in a good fruit juicer, stalks and all. The apples are red looking (see photo) and the juice that came out looked fantastic, like a Tequilla Sunrise, but unfortunately the colour hasn’t hung around to be in the actual cider. The stuff that will ferment (O.G. 1046, by the way, which is two washing-up bowls full making one gallon) is a typical yellow-green apple juice colour.
So, with campden tablet in place, I added the juice directly on top, so that it doesn’t get chance to go brown, and I’ll wait 24 hours before pitching the yeast. I think that is so that the tablets have time to react with the oxygen in the apple juice, and not mess up the sweet-toothed yeast.
Once it’s fermented I’ll put it into a demijohn, rack at regular intervals to keep the cider clear and nice tasting, and I’ll try and get it drunk around New Year. 2010’s cider was very dry after leaving it 7 months before drinking, so I’d like something a little sweeter this time, but we’ll see.
This time the whole cider making process took only about two hours, most of which was spent picking bits of apple off the floor, ceiling and out of my hair. Don’t worry I didn’t juice those bits. I do have standards.