So, back in mid-January, I decided to brew some hard cider. This is my second brewing experience (the first being Mead...which is still conditioning). I bought 5.5 gallons of fresh-pressed cider from a local orchard, bumped up the OG to 1.050 with just a little bit of local honey, threw in some crushed campden, rehydrated some Lalvin-1118, and made a small (too small, I now realize) starter. 36 hours later, I pitched the yeast. After 13 days, I racked to a carboy, and after 2 months of fermentation and dropping to a FG of 1.003 (6.1%?!), I bottled it.
Now, I was expecting the cider to be pretty good, if not good, but just after 1.5 weeks in the bottle, I popped one in the fridge to open it tonight. And much to my surprise, the cider is probably the most delicious cider I've ever had! The smell is a bit sour, but the taste certainly isn't. There's a bit of a warming alcohol taste at first, and then a good dry cider taste, finishing with the taste of fresh, sweet apples!
I'm super excited to let the cider condition a bit longer in the bottles (perhaps mellowing the slight alcohol taste?) and savor my success. The only bummer is that I only brewed 5 gallons!