Original Post: Yellow Cat Sweet Cider
Style: Sweet Cider
Brew Date: October 18, 2014
Tasting Date: October 23, 2014
It is Thursday and I am in the process of pasteurizing the rest of this batch as I write this. I started fermenting this on Saturday. It still amazes me how quick the turnaround on this stuff is. If you haven’t read the original post and/or done the math, the final gravity on this cider was 1.045. That may sound crazy high, but remember that the original cider was 1.055. I didn’t want to venture too far away from that and when I tasted a sample after work this afternoon, I knew it was time to bottle. Okay, on to the actual tasting notes.
This stuff looks just like the original cider, aside from some sparse bubbles. It is tan or light brown and cloudy as a mud puddle. Just right for what this stuff is supposed to be. If it gets clear, you’ve waited too long. Drink it fresh.
While I wouldn’t mind more carbonation, the bit of natural carbonation here just continues the theme of rustic, natural, no frills sweet cider.
The aroma is just about indistinguishable from the unfermented cider. There may be a faint hint of cinnamon in the background, but it is an afterthought and there is no fermentation character or alcohol detectable. Just apples.
The flavor is not a whole lot different. Kauffman’s makes a great cider and they get all the credit on this one. This recipe just gets out of the way and allows the cider to shine. Yes, there is some cinnamon, but I think without it, there would be some sense of fermentation character or hints of alcohol. The cinnamon covers that all up and fits into the Autumn in a glass theme perfectly. It is far from overpowering and comes in late, then washes away quickly.
Autumn. And Apples. And apples in Autumn. This tastes like apples that have been smashed, skin and all into a cloudy liquid. In fact, that is exactly what happened. I always think of apple cider as a Fall treat, but most hard cider does not fit that mood for me. The sweet commercial stuff tastes more Summery than anything to me. My own and other homebrewed spiced versions usually taste like colder weather drinks, often Christmasy. This does not. And that is why I make it every year. It is extremely seasonal and the extremely short preparation time lends itself to that perfectly. It doesn’t take much advanced planning to have stuff ready in time for a Halloween party. Or Thanksgiving day. Or a Saturday raking leaves.
I always think this will be too sweet, and it is very sweet, but it tastes natural and it is balanced by the tartness of the apples and slight spice of the cinnamon. It just works. If you have a good local cider, give this recipe a try.