Hard Cider

life_in_maine_hard_cider_2014This weekend we bottled our hard cider. We made seven and a half gallons or twenty-eight liters, which we store in half-gallon jugs. That should last the year.

We start in the fall with sweet cider pressed at the hight of apple season. We are able to get the juice without any preservatives. We simply add sugar or honey for primary fermentation and then use uncoated raisins for the secondary fermentation. Depending on the flowers the bees feed from, the honey can impart a subtle fragrant flavor. Most raisins are coated with oil to prevent them from sticking together, but the oil will contaminate the cider—uncoated raisins are tricky to find. We make a single batch in a nine-gallon container, but we have also used one-gallon glass jugs.