Our 2nd year making hard cider, we skipped one last year when the apple trees didn’t produce anything. Such are the whims of mother nature.
We did this one a little more “right” by transferring to a 2nd fermenter after a couple of months and by letting it age for 5 months total. It definitely helped refine the flavor and remove some of the less desirable tones.
As before we used our maple syrup to fuel the fermentation. It’s kind of a shame because the taste of maple syrup is completely lost in the process, I would love to have something mapley left. At the same time, it’s completely awesome that we are able to make hard cider with 100% local ingredients. And by local I mean right from our backyard. It may seem completely absurd to use maple syrup like this, we could sell it and buy many times its weight in refined cane sugar with the money. This isn’t what we’re after though, closing cycles as locally as possible is the end game, not making money. And so using maple syrup is the most sensical and harmonious thing we can do.
I commissioned labels from Robin, I would like to build up a portfolio of labels made from people I love to satisfy any future circumstances. This year we had deer go through apple trees during a ghost moon, and we had a press day heavy on yellow jackets.
Overall it’s really super nice that all these projects are well established these days. We are so much more relaxed going through the motions with experience under our belt. It’s still a lot of work, but at least we’re no longer worried we’re going to majorly fuck something up and ruin everything.
We’ll be sugaring soon, and we’ll have cider to drink while we boil the maple syrup we’ll use the make the cider. It’s the circle of life or something.