Wulf's Webden

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Cider 1+2

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Both my demijohns of cider finished fermenting this week, so I decided to combine them at the bottling stage. Both had dropped to a specific gravity of about 0.993 from about 1.050, which suggests an ABV of around 7.6% and I got 11 500ml bottles from the process.

I’d describe them as being on the unsophisticated side. They are definitely cider but there isn’t a huge amount of apple flavour left, perhaps as a result of bringing the initial ABV up with added sugar. I did think about topping them up with a bit more sugar to see if I could get some in bottle carbonation but decided not to risk it – the yeast is aggressive and I don’t want to create “bottle bombs”. I think this would work well served very cold and / or with a measure of unfermented apple juice.

It won’t be long before I take the fruit off the tree at the end of the garden, which will call for another batch as well as dehydration, fruit pies and other uses. I might try increasing the initial gravity not by adding sugar or so much of it but by reducing the volume of the liquid. I can do that both by reducing the amount of water I cook the apples in (I really only need enough to stop them burning on the bottom of the pan) and perhaps also by evaporating some of the excess water once the juice has been extracted.

Traditional cider would be made just from juice squeezed from the apples without cooking but a basic press runs to about £50. Mind you, if I put a nominal price of £2.50 on my artisan cider, I’d only need to turn out 20 bottles to cover the price, which I could probably do in one season with the apples I have easy access to… and I expect I’d easily find more people who would either like the makings of cider or just freshly pressed juice.

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