Over the past few weeks, I have made about 5 gallons of cider. I will be doing a 101 history and tasting class on this and probably start it at Chieftains in February.
So far I have:
- Cider made from Old Orchard Apple Juice Concentrate
- Cider made from Louisburg Honeycrisp Cider (so sole source of apples)
- Cider made from my local orchard’s sweet cider
- Cider made from local orchard plus apricot juice
- Cider made from local orchard plus peach juice
- Cider made from Old Orchard plus pineapple juice
All of the ciders are ~6 to 7% ABV.
I have tried to backsweeten them but a few apparently still had live yeast in spite of a healthy dose of camden tablets. So I will have to cold crash, rack, and try to backsweeten again.
I have tasted all of them. You can make a surprisingly good cider from Old Orchard Concentrate. That makes it really cheap too. I calculate it at ~%0.67 per pint or ~$0.50 per 12 oz bottle. Using sweet cider from my local orchard comes in at ~$0.66 per 12 oz or ~$0.88 per pint. One of my local bars sells that same thing, a cider made from the very same local orchard’s sweet cider at $5.00 per pint.
My friend CJ recently went to his local orchard and bought apples to make a great cider. I am not sure how much he paid for his apples though. Pricing apples at my local orchard would come in at ~$1.50 per pint for “standard” apples.
So a local friend of mine apparently has apple trees. Still trying to figure out what they are. Maybe Early Crisps based on when they are ripe. So free is a great price for apple cider 🙂 That is next year’s project.