Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cider Making, a Durango Fall Tradition

Again this fall, I have taken advantage of the bountiful local apple harvest and brewed up a couple of batches of hard cider. The first is really an apple beer, with 2 galons of actual beer (barely, hops, and agua from the well at Canyonlands N.P.) mixed with juice pressed from local apples. I was short, so I augmented this with some store bought juice from concentrate. It's all good as long as there are no preservatives in it, as this will retard the yeast's activity. The second batch is pure apple juice with some spices mixed in for good measure. I used a English Ale yeast on the first batch, and the White Labs WLP720 Sweet Mead yeast (from a batch of mead that's in the fermentor) in the second. Hopefully, both of these are going to be less tart and acidic than the batches from last year. These have mellowed now, and the saison version has lost most of it's saison-ness, but they are good none-the-less. I'll post the recipe's from this years attempts once I have tasted the product in a few weeks. In celebration of their NFC North dominance this year, the second batch has been named, "(Vikes) Domination Hard Cider". Eat shit, GB!

Check out the painting below, and an accompanying description I found online. Yes indeed, cider making is truly an occasion for a proper fall celebration.

Cider Making - William Sydney Mount (1807-1868)

From W.H. Venable’s Footprints of the Pioneers of the Ohio Valley: A Centennial Sketch (1888):

The old-time apple-cutting was an occasion of unbounded mirth. . . . After
the apples were cut, and the cider boiled, the floor was cleared for a
"frolic," technically so-called, and merry were the dancers and loud the
songs with which our fathers and mothers regaled the flying hours. The
fiddler was a man of importance, and when, after midnight, he called the
"Virginia Reel," such shouting, such laughter, such clatter of hilarious
feet upon the sanded puncheon floor, startled the screech-owl out of doors,
and waked the baby from its sweet slumber in the sugar-trough.

1 comment:

J said...

A good healthy post cider-makin romp with your cousins is what made America great.... and then those "scientists" got all up in our shit about you shouldn't be doin it with your cousin and stuff - so lame