Happy 2012 cider season to ALL my fellow home brewers. Now is the time to scrape together what $$ you can to get those carboys filled. Empty couches, talk to your wives (for a change), go to pawn shops.. whatever it takes!
Sadly this time we paid a 25% increase in local cider prices so it's time to seriously consider other ways of getting juice. I didn't complain or anything since it's probably just a supply issue. I have always used local juice and will continue to but it's getting a little out of hand. I hope it's related to the severe drought and will go down again soon.
At least all 3 carboys are fermenting like wild now and the Cyser is pleasently filling up the garage with apple aromas. It's a lot like aroma therapy for those of us with big mortgates, children and stressful corporate jobs.
This time we pitched EC-1118 on 5 lbs of raw honey and 5 gallons of natural unpasturized cider for our batches. In the past I have added campden tablets prior to the process but this time I'm going to add it after primary since there was a thread here where a guy compared all the different ways and determined that it adds a more sour taste when added during fermentation.
I'll be adding some peaches to one of the corny kegs to add a little sweetness. I'm not sure if anyone here has expierience with that. Do you cut up the peaches and add them to a hop bag in a corny? One of these batches is going to wisconsin for a wedding so I want to make it awesome.
That also brings to mind travel accross state lines - has anyone done that and is it legal?
I found an awesome orchard that has dozens and dozens of rare, never heard of 'em before varieties, all of which are ready at different times of the season, so they're pressing different blends throughout the season. Got 5 gal of the September stuff and it's already bottled and it is awesome. Gonna go back in early November and get the late season stuff too.
Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
Wish I could find an orchard like that.. Or at least one that would let me borrow a few bushels from the ground in exchange for "free" finished product. Here are the 3 batches that we pitched on Sunday.