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Need a good recipe and some advice on making it from someone whoose been around the block.
 

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I make mine dry and simple. 5 gallons of cider, 5 camden tablets, wait 24 hours and pitch champagne yeast. If I want to up the alcohol a bit I add some honey before the camden tablets. Then, after a secondary fermentation, 1/3 cup priming sugar in 2 cups boiling water, bottle, and give it at least 2 weeks preferably 4 and you're ready to go.
 

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mountainhippie said:
I make mine dry and simple. 5 gallons of cider, 5 camden tablets, wait 24 hours and pitch champagne yeast. If I want to up the alcohol a bit I add some honey before the camden tablets. Then, after a secondary fermentation, 1/3 cup priming sugar in 2 cups boiling water, bottle, and give it at least 2 weeks preferably 4 and you're ready to go.
Have you Ever made it Naturally?

Get a gallon of Apple Cider and just let it go from the natural Yeasts in it?


BIG PROBLEM Now adays....Almost EVERY place that Presses Apples into Cider put some form of Perservitive into it...with those perservitives, the Cider does not go Hard!

When My Uncle was still alive (He had a Cider Press) We used to go each year and get 5-10 gallons of Cider from him...Mom and Dad would take 2 jugs and just sit them on the back porch and let them go a month or 2 with the caps just loosened a little to let the gases escape...some Good Stuff!

I rememeber both Mom and Dad telling us that their parents used to take cider and put it in wooden kegs and let it go hard in there and also had clay crocks that they made apple cider vinager in (Some how they kept a Mother in the clay crock from year to year to make the hard cider into apple cider vinager)...Mom and Dad used to tell Stories about taking Pumpkin Stalks and cutting them to form a Straw and sneaking into the Milk Houses where the wooden kegs were kept and drinking the hard cider with the pumpkin straws and getting pretty tipsy, then trying to sleep it off in the hay loft....and ofcourse, getting a tanning for getting into the adults hard cider!

I've been wanting to make some for a few years now, Problem is, Every Dang place I look, it has some form of perservitive in it!
My Buddy who owns the Farm I hunt on has a guy who has cider made each year, myself and a few older guys wanted cider last year to make hard cider...this guy had a place upstate press the apples for him...he told them he wanted Half of the cider perserved and the other have with NOTHING in it... the place would NOT do it, they told him they were not legally allowed to press the cider and not put something into it to perserve it!

Sure would be nice to find a place like my Uncle had!
 

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My landlords have an orchard, so I have the opportunity to get unpasteurized, untreated cider from them. I have made it by letting it to its own devices, but it can be a crap shoot. Get the wrong yeast in there, and you wind up with vinegar.

Now, the other thing you can do, which is illegal mind you, is once you have your hard cider you stick it outside during the winter, so the freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw separates out a lot of the water in the form of ice. Then you drain out what's not ice and that's "apple jack".
 

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mountainhippie said:
My landlords have an orchard, so I have the opportunity to get unpasteurized, untreated cider from them. I have made it by letting it to its own devices, but it can be a crap shoot. Get the wrong yeast in there, and you wind up with vinegar.

Now, the other thing you can do, which is illegal mind you, is once you have your hard cider you stick it outside during the winter, so the freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw separates out a lot of the water in the form of ice. Then you drain out what's not ice and that's "apple jack".
Don't understand How that is Illegal, your not using a Still!

I know a few who make "Apple Jack" that way...they let it freeze and then use a hot coal poker and poke a hole thru the ice till they hit the liquid and slowly pour that out into a container, 1 of the old guys at the Supply Store I shop at tells me about how me makes it that way and how his family did it that way for many years....I've talked to a few other Older Guys and they Still do it that way...they just hold onto the hard cider and set it outside when the temps get below freezing!
 

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yeah, you're not using a still, but technically any method of "concentrating" the alcohol, including freezing, is illegal.
 

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Farmers making cider usually use drops. I forget the name of the disease, but deer and other animals urinating by the apple trees gets on the apples on the ground (drops), and spreads some kind of virus or bacteria which is pretty bad. Thus they generally pastuerize the cider. If you make cider from apples off the tree (picked apples) you will be a lot safer and you can make it hard without any issues.

A hard cider hangover is rough BTW.
 

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Many local farmers make cider around here, and none pasteurize it as far as I know, even thought they usually list that they do...Pasteurized cider is not hard to recognize...The process definitely robs some of the good , tart,taste...Usually when I get sick from cider, it's because I drink a quart or two at one time (a bad habit that I just don't stop).. Sorry, but back to the topic of "HARD" cider...I'd like to make some myself!
 
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