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Nerds With Beer: Griffin Brothers Hard Cider (Home Brew)

by on Nov.02, 2007, under Nerds With Beer, Reviews

Written by Zanny, syndicated Nerds With Beer Writer

Disclaimer – Kat the Malicious is not very happy that Clay the Corrupter and I happen to like cider a little more so then beer.

So some of us here at Nerds With Beer decided to experiment making beer and cider. We got a “Beer Kit” from a website called mrbeer.com.

The traditional brewer’s kit consists of:

Mr Beer(1) Brew Keg, Lid & Tap (8.5quarts)

(1) Standard Brew Pack (Beer Mixers, Booster, Sanitizer, Yeast, Instructions)

(12) Reusable Plastic Caps (For bottles I don’t have)

(1) Brewing with Mr.Beer® – Book

(1) Easy to Follow Instructions

We also purchased Glass 16oz swing top bottles, and “Archer’s Orchard Hard Cider” (condensed apple juice, yeast, and sanitizer)

We decided to make the cider the first time around. Now this isn’t a particularly hard process, just long. You take this can of, what looked to me to be light colored molasses, “Concentrated Apple Juice” and boil it with some water and some sugar (we added grenadine for good measure), then add a gallon of water to this nifty plastic barrel they provide, pour the hot stuff in, add more water, add some yeast and let it sit for about 5 minutes to get the yeast awake and alive. Then “Stir Vigorously” (shake da shit outa it), and let it ferment in a cool dark place for 5 days (68-78 degrees F). Then you bottle the stuff!!! You have 2 options: still cider, or carbonated cider. Well some people have places they can go to get carbonated or sometimes even own the right equipment. For other this requires more sugar. You add about a half a teaspoon of sugar to each (16oz) bottle, and let it sit in the same temperature for about 5 weeks. This new batch of sugar reacts rather slowly with particles of yeast still living in your brew and ferments a little more, producing gasses that, when sealed, can’t go anywhere, CARBONATION!! This past Saturday we had our first of (hopefully) many cider/bear tasting parties.

So here’s what I thought…..

Due to the non swing top, not so nicely sealed first 2 bottles we opened, (tasted like shit) I was a little worried about the flavor at first. I took the first sip very slowly, (hoping to not have that tonic flavor again) and I was very pleasantly surprised. It actually tasted ok. Upon the look on my face several people grabbed for my glass and tasted it, all with the same surprised look of pleasure on their faces. After a few more sips I began to realize…This stuff actually tastes like cider…Yay Us!!

Empty

So we broke out more bottles and passed them around to our friends. This was a success!!

It has a nice sparkling golden color, some of the bottles are a little cloudy and some are pretty nice and clear. I believe, in the future, we will bring it to an almost freezing temperature before serving. I believe this to have been part of the problem. (6 were in the freezer for a bit, the rest just the fridge)

It has a strange, light, smell. It smells like watered down beer, in that, it doesn’t have a whole lot of aroma. When poured into a glass you can catch a faint smell of apple, that’s kinda nice.

It has a rather light, but distinguishable apple flavor, a little too carbonated for me, some not so much, but that’s not a big deal really. It tastes like cider! Mellow, alcoholic, apply goodness. Its better then some ciders I have tasted but not the best.

Our goal now is to experiment making new flavors of beers and ciders. On top of drinking other peoples creations, obviously.

As long as we keep with it we will have a new home brew most likely every 3 months. (Time may vary a little)

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