Sunday, November 3, 2013

Easy Sparkling Holiday Spiced Hard Cider

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Behold the beauty of home brew! May I present 5 gallons of Sparkling Holiday Spiced Cider! Coming to a holiday party in your near future! Expect 10% - 15% abv of Dry Apple Champagne yeast carbonated love.  What we don't finish on Thanksgiving will get celebrated with through Christmas and even New Years.  This is the magic of making 5 gallons.  "If you brew it, they will come and drink it."
It should come out dry with a slight sweetness, tart with a hint of holiday spices and small bubbles from natural carbonation.   Make some for yourself it's really easy!  Here is my recipe! 
5 gallons of room temperature Martinelli's Gold Medal Organic Apple Juice
1 – 5 oz package of Mulling Spices (or make your own: Cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, star anise, peppercorn, cardamom, dried apples, orange rind and raisins)
10 cups of white cane sugar


Clean your carboy well and fill with hot water and ad the sanitizer and set it aside.  Make sure to have a bucket or sink full of warm clean water and sanitizer and soak your airlock, spoon, funnel, fine mesh strainer to clean extra well.  Empty the clean sanitized water from the carboy, rinse once more with clean water.  Rinse until there are no suds left coming out.

In a large pot add one gallon of the apple juice to the pot and add all of the mulling spices.  Bring to a boil, and then turn down pot to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes covered.  Turn off heat and add 2 cups of sugar per gallon, 10 cups total. Stir until it is all dissolved well.

Using the funnel, add the 4 gallons of room temperature apple juice into the clean glass carboy, then using the strainer inside the funnel, pour the boiling hot 1 gallon of spiced sugary hot apple juice to the carboy.  This should end up being around 90 degrees F.  Add the packet of dried champagne yeast.  Place the sanitized cork on top with the air lock. 

Place carboy on a towel in a corner for 3 weeks.  I sometimes wrap a towel around it to keep it cozy. Within one day you will see the yeast actively eating all of the sugar in the carboy and will hear bubbles start to sound from the airlock.  This means it’s happy and alive!  Give it a big hug because it is going to love you back.

Because of the natural carbonation from the Champagne yeast, there is no need for a priming sugar to be added at racking.  Sanitize a long plastic tube and siphon the hard cider (Leave the thick sediment in the carboy at the bottom) into sanitized bottles or a 5 gallon soda keg.   You should render at least 4 ½ gallons of yummy holiday cheer. This is so easy and wonderful to share.  It tastes better when you make it yourself and with love. ENJOY!

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