I just began brewing my first batch of hard cider made with "Sams Club" cider a few days before Thanksgiving using EC1118 following the "Everyday Simplest Dry Cider" by Phug.
After spending way too many hours reading the forum here It seems like EC1118 and crappy cider from the store may not give me the best results.
So Ive been on the look out for some homemade cider straight from a orchard for the last week. After a few days and many orchards either not having any because of a fire or two others who have preservatives in their cider. I finally ran across a very small orchard named Dolls Orchard thats about 45 minutes away.
No preservatives and not even pasteurized for $5/gallon. After chatting a bit with the guy he said if i needed more he would cut the price another .50/gallon if i brought my own vessel next time. This is a mixed cider with Jonathan, golden delicious and i believe winesap.
No extra sugars at all just letting the juice to the work. The OG is 1.056 with what a appears to be around a 7% ABV.
After reading CvilleKevin's thread I decided this time I will be using Nottingham Ale as my yeast and use his method of cold crashing around 1.006 and 1.012. It make a lot of sense to cold crash at a certain sweetness instead of back sweetening like I will be doing with my first back with EC1118.
Had to run by a homebrew store since I only have one primary. They didnt have plastic carboys so I had to use glass.
Has me slightly concerned because I am a bit of a bull in a china shop at times but I just have to take extra care.
My hope is this batch might be drinkable much sooner than the EC1118 batch.
Really only thing I need is some bottles. I plan on bottling these I guess it depends on if the cold crashing works or not if I pasteurize.
I will update this as I go.