Cider Brewing: the Charge

My little hard cider homebrewing experiment is going well. After 10 days, it’s time to seal-off the cider. This will cause the fermentation to build-up and effectively carbonate the beer (though its well on its way already). The brew should have about a 3% alcohol content. Frankly, its neat to see the brew coming along. The yeast has steadily consumed the sugars, and you can smell the faint whiff of alcohol off the cider and the yeasty goodness. After a couple days of charging, its into the fridge for cooling–which will kill/stop the yeast from consuming the rest of the brew. I figure by the middle of next week it’ll be ready for consumption. If it goes well, I’ll immediately launch into a Thanksgiving brew. I’ve picked up some light peach cider from a Jersey farm–gonna turn that into hard cider too.

Good evidence of fermentation


Hard peach cider for the next brew

Again, this was a dead simple project that was inspired by the recent launch of the Hudson Valley Cider Route.

Hudson Valley Cider Route

God I love Autumn. I love the crispness of the air, the feel of a warm wool sweater, dragging my feet through the fallen leaves…a cup of hard cider. During my recent trip to Paris I had a Bolee D’Amorique, a bowl of hard cider from Breton. That’s why I was excited to see Tuthilltown Spirits promoting the Hudson Valley Cider Route on their Facebook page recently. I was already planning on going apple picking this weekend and visiting a distillery, so the timing is perfect. The Apple Project recognizes and celebrates NY Hudson Valley orchards and he ciders they produce. The website features cider makers (sweet and hard) a map, and tips on where to procure it fresh in Beacon, Hudson and Red Hook.

In fact, its officially “Cider Week!” Cider Week is a week-long celebration of hard cider, and over 70 restaurants and bars in NY and the Hudson Valley are serving it up at tastings, classes and special events. You can get more more information here. Seems like the closest participating restaurants, Diner,  Marlow & Sons are all over in Williamsburg, Ft. Defiance is serving too in Red Hook, so I’ll check it out and let you know.

Interested in making your own hard apple cider, free from preservatives? Check out this instruction from Green Deane of Eat the Weeds. It only takes a week to make a 3% alcohol content cider. Read the article and watch the video to see how incredibly simple it is.



The Apple Project is an initiative of Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming, a not-for-profit farm and organization dedicated to helping NE NY farmers. They have done some pretty incredible work out of their Cold Spring offices, including creating TedXManhattan’s “Changing the Way We Eat” symposium in Feb 2011. The next symposium is in Jan 2012.