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This Year's First Batch of Hard Cider: Straight-up MacIntosh and MacIntosh with Sour Cherry

11:05 AM

It's apple time in Apple Country again.   So, we made our first trip of the season to our favorite Cider Mill. Our mill has actually partnered with a Hard Cider company, and we got to do a tasting of their latest combinations.  One of the combos was black cherry cider.  I loved it... and then I remembered that I had a TON of sour cherries left over in the freezer from earlier in the season.   I decided to make my own!   
These recipes are super-easy and don't call for any kind of finishing sugar.  They are dry, and tart, and delicious. My version of hard cider is very unlike a lot of the commercial stuff that's out there these days... which, in my opinion, tastes very much like my daughters' apple juice with carbonation and some alcohol in it. 

4 gallons of fresh pressed MacIntosh Apple cider. 

2, 1 gallon batches of MacIntosh Sour Cherry cider.  

Like I said.  These are so, SO easy to do.  All you need is cider, any fruit you want to enhance it with, cider yeast, carboys and airlocks.

Bring the cider to room temperature by letting it sit out on the counter for a few hours.  Dump it into a carboy.  Add any extra fruit you may want to add (each of these cherry gallons has about 1 cup of frozen (thawed) sour cherries in it).  Pitch 1 package of yeast per carboy.  Seal with an airlock and let ferment for 7-10 days at room temp.  Then remove any leftover fruit and bottle the cider in beer bottles or swingtop bottles.  Store at a cool temperature (I keep ours in the basement) for about 2 weeks and the result will be dry, carbonated apple-y goodness.  The longer you let it sit in the bottles, the dryer it will become.


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