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Old 10-25-2007, 02:30 AM   #1
Oct 2007
Not always so sunny Florida
Posts: 30

So my philosophy in brewing is to each his (or her!) own, and I recognize fine brews can be made in many, many ways.

But personally, I like tradition, and have strong if sometimes irrational feelings about doing it "right," which usually has some connection to my perception of "traditional" or "old-fashioned." So I'm making my first three batches out of unfiltered cider -- admittedly pasteurized, but then, old recipes sometimes talked about boiling/heating the apples. And of course, I'm adding commercially cultured homebrewing yeast; but then, this isn't a decades-old working farmstead, and I can scarcely expect a beneficial mix of wild yeasts.

So if I were to add sugar in a future batch, it would be brown sugar, maybe molasses or most likely honey. Apple concentrate? Never -- too modern.

Now imagine my surprise when, reading up on cidermaking, I discover that colonial Americans used something called "boiled cider" -- essentially, cider reduced down to a quarter or so of the original volume, and often added to increase fermentable sugars. Sounds a lot like concentrate to me -- and like I may have to learn to be less snooty.

Now splenda on the other hand ...
Primary: 19 Gallon (Cranberry) Cyser, Home Alone Cranberry Melomel
Secondary: Tenure Forecast Cider, Riotin' Cider, Virgin Cider No. 1
Bottled: pumpkin ale!, brown ale
Drinking: red ale

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Old 10-25-2007, 03:00 AM   #2
Jul 2007
Posts: 528
Liked 19 Times on 19 Posts

New Englanders really had it down when it came to hard cider... every household had a berrel fermenting in the basement, and it was served at each meal (even to children on occasion) as the water was not fit for drinking... there are poems written about it, quotes regarding it, etc... Hell, New England Hard Cider has it's own BJCP style seperate from 'Common cider' for a reason...

I wouldn't recommend molasses, as it leaves quite a stong flavor behind... dark brown sugar isn't as bad, but still leaves the cider quite tart... I would recommend corn sugar (dextrose) or concentrate if you are going to add anything...

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Old 10-27-2007, 02:19 AM   #3
Dec 2006
Posts: 94

Honey is also good. I use 3 lbs honey with 5 gal juice to make a 10% still cider. You can also add a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for extra flavor

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