Saturday, June 5, 2021

Batch 246, Berry Cider


I keep forgetting to write down the details of the ciders I've been making, so I'm going to start recording them as a separate batch. I made this at the same time as the Panama Red from batch 244. Here's the basic recipe and process:

  1. Make a beer, save a gallon or so of wort, no hops!
  2. Put the gallon or so of wort in a fermenter
  3. Add 11 cans of frozen apple juice, thawed first
  4. Add enough water to make 4 gallons
  5. Oxygenate, then pitch yeast, I like to use an English yeast like London Ale III, Wyeast 1312, as it has a pretty neutral flavor, but I have used other ale yeasts like American Ale II, Wyeast 1272.
  6. At the end of fermentation, blend 3 lbs frozen mixed berries with enough water to make a gallon.
  7. Add the berries to the fermenter, top up with water to 5.5 gallons if necessary.
  8. Let it finish fermenting. The berries have enough sugar that fermentation will restart and go for several days.
  9. Cold crash.
  10. Siphon into a keg, being careful to get as little berry debris as possible into the keg.
  11. Add gelatin to the keg. I know some people like to add gelatin to the fermenter, but with all the berry debris, it's better to put it in the keg.
  12. Lager for a week or so.
  13. Transfer to another keg using a filter to help keep out any berry debris.
  14. Carbonate and serve.


This is really a malted cider, the apple juice by itself doesn't have enough yeast nutrient to be able to ferment the batch, but the wort does. I don't back-sweeten this. I do sometimes (if I think of it) add 2 tsp of cream of tarter to add some acidity, which helps knock down some of the residual sweetness, but it really isn't necessary. I do let it ferment completely, so the cider comes out fairly dry, which everyone seems to like -- I get a lot of comments like "It's not as sweet as I expected" and "Usually ciders are so sweet, I could drink a few of these" and then they proceed to do so!

Today's batch was pretty much like above, almost. I'd drained 1 1/2 gallons of wort out of the spent grains into a fermenter, topped up to 4 gallons, oxygenated, pitched a quart of London Ale II, Wyeast 1312. Then I walked out of the brewshed to notice that I'd left the 11 cans of apple juice sitting in the sun to thaw. Well, crap. Those were supposed to have gone in before topping up to 4 gallons. Dumped them into the fermenter. 

OG? What's that? :)




  1. 13 June 2021: Blended 3 lbs of frozen mixed berries with a little water, then added them to the fermenter.

  2. 20 June 2021: It's done fermenting, now cold crashing.


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