Apfelwein: German for Apple Cider
There is 5 gallons of raw,( freshly pressed) apple cider, sitting in a food grade five gallon plastic bucket, fermenting behind me as I write. I checked it with the hydrometer yesterday, it is already up to 5% alcohol content since I started.
This is my first attempt at making hard cider (freshly pressed, raw apple cider juice intentionally handled to morph into alcohol.)
Some of it I hope to bottle up for gifts, some of it I hope to make into apple cider vinegar and some of it for personal consumption.
It is almost impossible to find (or buy) raw unpasteurized apple cider. Big brother has made it illegal to sell to the public without first being pasteurized, which is all well and good, but in the process, the good stuff is killed along with any potential harmful bugs. (just like its almost impossible to buy raw milk…unless you own a cow or buy it on the black market, it is not to be had)
I had to grind and press 2 bushel of apples to get 4 and 1/2 gallons of cider. The #2 apples sell for $30 a bushel. $60 worth of fruit, 2 hours of my time. and over $1000 of equipment ( the whizbang apple grinder and a cider press.) When someone recently suggested I could sell the cider for $6 to $8 a gallon I just kept quiet. I told my wife, this stuff is conservatively worth $25 a gallon before it’s fermented.
no very little tolerance for people who try to work me over on a price of something I’m selling.
On another fermentation note…
I wanted to transfer the peach mead that I started fermenting a few weeks ago into another container this week.
Sampled some of it first.
My oh my.
Smooth and mellow.
Again, you can’t buy this stuff anywhere.
And finally, I am experimenting with a batch of what I will probably call Jailhouse hooch. Had a guy that used to work with me that did a little time in the Cook County jail. One day over coffee break he gave me skinny on how they made hooch when he was in jail. …the only change I am making is instead of using a garbage bag and hiding it under my bed, I’m using a food grade plastic pail 😉
I started a batch this morning.
1 pound of firm fresh strawberries, 3 pounds of sugar, 3/4 t of baking yeast, one gallon of cold water and a 1 gallon food safe plastic bucket. Before the fermentation process started I got a reading on the hydrometer. It registered 60./ potential alcohol content 15%.
We will see.
I am taking copious notes in case I hit one out of the park. DM