One apple picking season, I found myself with a good amount of Granny Smith apples for making hard cider but no specific hard cider recipe in mind. Granny Smith is an apple variety that most people associate with pies but you can make a great hard cider from them as well. They don’t have tannins worth noting, but they have a good amount of acid and a reasonable level of sugar. I measured the total acid around 13.25 g/l with a pH of 3.35. The specific gravity was 1.057.
Knowing I’d have a pretty tart juice and base for my hard cider, I wondered how I could use that to my benefit. My choice was to make a hard cider recipe with freshly pressed organic raspberry juice. However, I decided to do this after the primary fermentation. I thought I’d also experiment with my filter system by filtering the hard cider immediately after combining the raspberry juice.
My goal was to see if my sterile filter pad would remove enough yeast to prevent the sugar in the raspberry juice from fermenting after bottling. To further reduce the likelihood of these sugars fermenting, I also immediately force-carbonated the cider. Remember, I don’t use sulfites in my craft hard ciders.
The result was a hard cider with a hint of redness in color but more importantly, this great raspberry aroma and just a touch of sweetness to cut the acid from the Granny Smith apples.
It turned out exactly like I’d hoped it would. Now, I make this every season. It doesn’t require a lot of raspberry juice to give this cider a nice aroma and just a touch of sweetness. You do need to filter this cider and monitor it but I store the bottles in a closet and watch them to see if fermentation starts again. So far my filtering has worked.
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