Monday, July 7, 2014

C2 - Cranberry Cider #2 (Recipe and Tasting)

In early January of this year I found myself in possession of a 2 quart container of Trader Joe's Spice Apple Cider and a pot full of homemade cranberry sauce leftover from the holidays...what's a guy to do but ferment the two out in a free 1 gallon container?

To begin, I boiled the cranberry sauce (with a little bit of blueberry pie filling, since that was on hand as well) with 3 quarts of water and added to the fermenter with pectic enzyme.  After a week I poured off the rose colored liquid, ditching the thick sludge, and added back to the fermenter with just less than both quarts of cider.  The cranberry sauce was made with orange, ginger and cinnamon - all ingredients also found in the spiced cider, so it seemed like a nice match all around.  After a very vigorous fermentation that shot yeast up and out of the 1 gallon jug, the mix slowed down and seemed dormant after 3 weeks.  At 6 weeks I bottled with 3 beer carbonation tablets added to each.  At bottling the warm, uncarbonated cider, was very, very good resembling a phenolic grape based rosé with just light hints of the cranberry and apple acids and esters.

Tasted the cider today. Quick notes below.

A- pink tinged, peachy. Clear unless fully poured, at which point cranberries, yeast, and other sediment begin to show.

S- tart, berry, holiday spices, only vaguely apple-y.

T- off dry, tart, lightly spicy (cinnamon),
light cranberry, some orange peel.

M- very thin, extremely light carbonation just above still.

O- as with my other cider this is something that I find interesting but unremarkable and that others don't seem to care for, as they expect much more sweetness and apple juice flavor.  I find that it has a real multi-seasonal aspect where it could be consumed as enjoyably on a blistering summer day or a festive winter holiday and really anywhere between.  Not one I'll brew again but a worthwhile use of the random odds and ends I had on hand.

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