I've been making cider now for about 6 months and I can get pretty close to what I want but just not quite.
I am aiming for as close to Somerset Scrumpy as I can get. The problem seems to be I'm letting the cider go too dry. Is this possible? My end product usually is lacking a noticeable apple taste. Not really tart, or much of anything, except alcohol.
My standard recipe is as follows:
Single Fortified Cider with Lemon Juice and French Oak chip adjunct.
6 gallons of Santa Cruz Sweet Apple Cider.
100 % Organic.
5 gallons treatment of French Oak toasted chips
6 cans of Apple Concentrate
3 teaspoons of ground grape skins
3 teaspoons of Real Lemon lemon juice
3 teaspoons of Yeast Energizer
2 packets of ( 5g) of LALVIN EC-1118 Yeast
Most of my stuff works out to around 9% by volume.
In the case of this last batch, the above recipe. It has worked out to 8% by volume after 72 hours. The taste is really very good. Nice tart apple flavours, but alas none of the sulphuric/old banana notes from the Somerset Ciders I've had.
I usually let my cider work out for 2 weeks than bottle condition it with corn sugar to make it sparkling, but the end product is somewhat tasteless.
Not having another 6 gallon carboy about for secondary, how should I proceed if I want to keep these flavours I have now? Will it work out flavourless again or can I bottle it sometime ( without the sugar addition) and store it in a cool room to avoid exploding PET bottles?
What's your take on this...