Too late for a cider?

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KENfromMI

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Never made a cider before only beer and wine. Is it too late to have a batch ready for Halloween to go with the pumpkin ale? Do you age cider like wine? Also anyone have a good beginner recipe for me to try for my first one? Ken
 

Freezeblade

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way too early. I'd say aging cider is a MINIMUM of 6 months, or else it'll taste way too green, you don't want lightly apple flavored lighter fluid.
 

drvnkcvnt

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Just in time - for 2009. Get going.
I disagree. Get yourself filtered commercial apple juice and a real champagne yeast like EC-1118, not a slow wine yeasts known for its high nutriment requirement and sulfite production like montrachet. Watch your ferment terminate under one week and clear tree weeks later. Bottle and start drinking one week after that. It might not be the finest, but it's good stuff, that's the advantage of filtered juice, it's fast.
 

billtzk

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I wonder what cider tastes like. I've never had any. I'll have to ask at the liquor store if they sell it.
 

EvilTOJ

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There are commercial ciders available in the beer section of your grocery store. Unless you're in one of those freak states/counties that they sell beer only in liquor stores.

If you make a batch it can be ready by Halloween. Buy a gallon of apple juice in the jug, add some beer yeast, and no sugar, and it'll be a tasty 5% drink in about a month. If you're thinking of mulled cider cut it with 50% applejuice when you heat it up and it should be even better!
 

Ecnerwal

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If you opt to go for "making it quick", do yourself a favor and park six bottles until Halloween '09.

Takes notes on the stuff you drink Halloween '08. Have them in front of you when you open the same stuff in '09. Report results here Nov. 1 '09, if you would.

If trying to go quick, I'd make an unhopped malt-based starter and use an ale yeast - and not add much if any extra sugar, frozen concentrate, etc.

But I think it will still be better after another year aging.
 

Freezeblade

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I disagree. Get yourself filtered commercial apple juice and a real champagne yeast like EC-1118, not a slow wine yeasts known for its high nutriment requirement and sulfite production like montrachet. Watch your ferment terminate under one week and clear tree weeks later. Bottle and start drinking one week after that. It might not be the finest, but it's good stuff, that's the advantage of filtered juice, it's fast.
And I disagree with that. First of all, it won't even carbonate after a week in bottle, and aging is needed. The main reason for aging a cider is not so that it clears, but so that it can mellow, and let the apple flavors back in. It will be "drinkable" but will be a far cry from good, and if you're looking for something fast, grab some cheap cider from the store like Hornsby's or something. That stuff's not very good either, but would be better than one-month old cider.
 
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KENfromMI

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Do you carbonate cider just like beer? Ken
 

Ecnerwal

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Do you carbonate cider just like beer? Ken
You can do it exactly the same as beer with corn sugar.

You can do it exactly the same as beer with honey.

You can do it effectively the same, but use apple juice concentrate as the source of sugar. You could presumably carbonate beer that way, too, but given the tendency to complain about cider flavors among beer-heads, perhaps not a good plan, unless it appeals to you, in which case popular opinion be danged.
 

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