Making Nuts! Cider

Nuts! Cider Recipe: A cider aged on walnuts.
Nuts! Cider Recipe: A cider aged on walnuts.

This recipe started several years ago when I learned how astringent walnuts are. Go put a raw, unsalted walnut in your mouth and slowly chew it. Chew it for a good 30 seconds if you can. Have some water handy in case you choke. That experience led me to realize that walnuts could be an excellent adjunct for adding tannins. However, my attention drifted to yeast once I also started getting good results using apple peels to improve the polyphenols in my ciders. The idea immediately returned one afternoon picking apples when the orchard owner noted his walnut tree. Of course, I had to pick some walnuts to use in a batch of cider. I actually picked both green nuts and ripe nuts over the coarse of the fall period. I just froze them until I was ready to use them. When I used them, I included everything. For the unripe nuts, that included the soft outer shell along with the hard inner shell and nut meat. For the ripe nuts, I included just the hard inner shell and the nut meat. For this recipe, I’d recommend unshelled or shelled walnuts but if you have a tree near you and can get fresh nuts, don’t be afraid to include everything. I cracked them open with a small hammer and dropped them in the cider for a secondary fermentation/aging stage. If you use shelled or even standard unshelled nuts that are ripe, you can easily harvest the nuts post aging for use in salads or as a topping for desserts. Unripe nuts are a little too bitter. I think you will find ripe cider soaked walnuts to be quite tasty.

Nuts! Cider
Nuts! Cider

I used Pichia kluyveri, which is one of my non-Saccharomyces yeast strains. The Pichia kluyveri yeasts create great fruity aromas and the walnuts add both tannins and additional nutty flavors. It’s actually a great combo. If you want to try Pichia kluyveri, you can check out the Cider Yeast Shop or get it from a culture center in your country. It pairs well with a beet arugula salad topped with cider soaked walnuts, some apples, and a little goat cheese. Checkout the recipe for Nuts! Cider on my hard cider recipe page or get inspired from other cider recipes. Here are some direct links.

Here are the latest hard cider recipes from Prickly Apple Cider.

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