I didn’t always press my own apples to make cider. Like many people, I started making cider using store bought juice. I also think I made some good cider from store bought juice and you can as well. For this recipe, I thought I would go back to my roots and give you a simple cider recipe that uses store bought juices. Yes, you can press your own fruit but I recommend picking up some organic juices to create this “Easy” Cherry Cider recipe.
The challenge with store bought juice is often finding a way to create a balanced hard cider with it. Because of this challenge, I initially made quite a number of adjunct ciders. Adjunct ciders are those made with other fruits, spices, herbs, vegetables, or anything that would augment the flavor of your cider, like oak. The possibilities are truly endless and if you live somewhere that doesn’t have cider apples available for blending, adjuncts make a great alternative. They allow you to balance what will generally be a one dimensional acidic cider with other flavors and tasting elements. One of my favorite early adjuncts was cherry. To be more specific, it was tart cherry. I tried both sweet and tart cherry juice but always found the tart to add that cherry flavor I was seeking in my hard cider.
For this hard cider, I recommend my old favorite SafAle SA-04 yeast, which is an English Ale strain. It tends to produce a low sulfur, clean cider that highlights the fruit. It always scored high when doing yeast trials. It’s fermentation temperature is 59-68F (17-20C) but, it used to be advertised to be as high as 72F (22C), which is where I always fermenter it. I find that most store bought juice is around 1.050-1.055 specific gravity with a pH around 3.2-3.5. You can use pectic enzyme, but I’m making this an “easy” recipe and that means keeping it very simple. Here are quick links to my “Easy” Cherry Cider recipe as well as the recipe section where you can find inspiration for a variety of hard ciders recipes. Enjoy!
Here are the latest hard cider recipes from Prickly Apple Cider.
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