******** MOSTLY IGNORE THE ABOVE INFO ********
I made this recipe based as a variation of Graham's English Cider
. After making his recipe (although quite tasty), I felt it wasn't traditional enough for my discerning English palette. The big difference in my recipe is that I use actual malic acid and tannins to achieve the desired effect. I want to stress the fact that this cider should be drinkable in 3-4 months
, which is shorter than Graham's cider aging time due to a few factors. First, and foremost, I believe the WLP775 cider yeast is a BIG factor in the aging time. Using a non-cider yeast may get you a slightly different, and interesting end result, but sticking with the yeast that has been selected specifically for the task at hand will never be a bad idea. The other change that I feel is important in reducing the aging time is the malic acid vs the lime juice. I've not looked into what happens to citric acid during fermentation, but the malic acid is a know substance that has been involved in cider fermentation for hundreds of years, and the fermentation of malic acid to malolactic acid by small amounts of lactobacilli is actually an important step in traditional cider making.
5 gal Apple Juice (I use Costco Brand Apple Juice
3 oz Malic Acid (first tried 3.75oz, I then dialed it back on the next batch as I think it was a touch too acidic)
Powdered Tannins to taste (start at 1/4 tsp per gal up to 1/2 tsp per gal)**
WLP775 - gives a great apple flavour, needs only 3-4 months ageing
The result is a great, medium dry cider (finished at 1.004) with a nice tartness and decent body. I think using malic acid and the WLP775 yeast is key to this being successful.
**I haven't dialed in the tannin ratio yet, and can't find my notes on what I used. My belief is that I used 1/4 tsp per gallon on the last batch. I will be converting the inaccurate teaspoon measurement with weight when I make the next batch (soon).