Sunday, August 7, 2011

Apple Cider / Nitroglycerine

A few months ago, I purchased 20L of apple juice from Taproot Farms with the ambition of making some hard apple cider.

Now, we have done a fair bit of home-brewing in the past, and we have even made apple cider before – but I think that I was perhaps not so well prepared for what happened with this batch.

BOOM! I may have overdone it on the carbonation.

You see we bottle-condition (a term for feeding extra sugar to the remaining few yeast cells immediately before bottling) our brews, but it appears that perhaps I shouldn't have.

After mopping up my basement two or three times, I decided that I would drink off the rest of the cider well before the aging date that I had set for late August. I anticipated a bit of foam-over when I opened the first bottle – but not like this. The compressed juice FLEW up (all of it) and splashed all over the ceiling. Another mop-up. Now I open these bottles/bombs outside, in a wide and clean bowl, and well clear the house and any municipal infrastructure.

Anyway. Now the batch is stored in our kitchen fridge. The four-degree temperature has stopped the volatility of the yeast/carbonation, but not of the much-chagrined Kathy who is missing her Taproot storage space. I am doing my best to carve through the entire batch – a duty left entirely to me, as Kathy is with child. It's not a bad bargain though, because it is delicious cider. I am only worried about the almost-certain alcoholism.

Yes, the apples that Taproot provide make for a delicious cider. They are light and crispy-sweet tasting – perfect for a hot, sunny day. I highly recommend them. Just don't try for a sparkling cider, like yours truly. Traditional ciders are not carbonated, and it appears that there is good reason for this.




  1. Hi! I found your blog while I was looking for Canadian blogs and was excited to see your endeavours into making your own cider. I have wanted to try doing the same thing for a while!

  2. Hi Gigi.

    It's not too hard if you have a some kind of closed container – a brewing carboy with an airlock, for example. Although traditional ciders from Cornwall/Devonshire, etc. did not use these – they just fermented using the airborne yeasts that found their way to the apple juice.

    I threw in a few Campden tablets (one per 4L of juice) to kill any existing microbes, then followed it up 12-24 hours later with some white wine yeast. You can also add some chemicals to aid in clearing the sediment (the pectins bind to the compound and sink) but I went for a "traditional" cloudy cider.

    Good luck!


  3. I use a carboy wsh machine (Like this one ). What do you use to clean your bottles ?


  4. Ive only washed my carboys with water.. i think its best for me to use your technique