All Grain Yeast:
Nottingham Yeast Starter:
no Batch Size (Gallons):
5 Original Gravity:
unknown Final Gravity:
unknown Boiling Time (Minutes):
amber Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
14 at 68F Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
3 months at 65F Tasting Notes:
Nice molasses aroma and complex, slightly sweet apple flavor.
Recently, at a cider tasting event at an orchard, I brought a wide variety of ciders, some not very good and a few that people really liked. Someone pointed out, however, that one of mine was something that people kept going back to over and over again after we'd tried everything: my "blackstrap" cider. Given that it's pretty simple and is based on store-bought juice, it's an easy cider to get started with if you've never made a cider before.
So, I'm sharing the recipe. Of course, going back to my notes, I see that I wasn't as detailed as I should have been, so this is my best guess at a few of the details as best I can recall.
4 gallons "bottom shelf" apple juice*
12 oz blackstrap molasses
0.7 oz black tea (I think I used a loose leaf assam, you can use what you can get, but try to get something better than that Lipton sawdust in a bag)
2 oz vanilla extract
Danstar Nottingham yeast (not 100% sure what yeast I used)
Pour the 4 gallons of juice directly into your sanitized fermenter.
Put 1 gallon of water into a pot on your burner and bring to a boil.
Turn off the burner and add the tea and let it steep for 5 minutes.
Add the lactose, molasses and vanilla extract to the tea.
Let the tea mixture cool a little and then add it to the cider. Since the 4 gallons is already cool, you can dump the hot tea in and it will still end up fairly close to pitching temp.
When the wort/must is down near 70F, pitch the yeast, put your airlock on and ferment until it's done.
I moved mine to a keg and "bottle conditioned" in the keg and let it sit for 5 months or so until we tasted it on Sunday.
*In the grocery store or Target or wherever, the big 1 gallon jugs on the bottom shelf are usually what you're looking for. It should be 100% juice, with no preservatives (except vitamin C). It can be pasteurized (and pretty much is certainly going to have been).
It pours a nice amber color, that's much darker than "pure"' cider tends to be. The lactose gives a hint of sweetness that keeps it from being super-dry, but nowhere near as sweet as, say, a Woodchuck Amber or similar. The molasses is present in the aroma and in the finish it accompanies the apple flavor. Overall, I think this is a really nice cider (and it seems others agree with me).