How do you distill cider?
Distillation of cider. The cider which is destined to become calvados goes through a complete and exclusively natural fermentation, either in oak barrels or in vats. It ferments until 5 to 6 percent. Our Calvados AOC Pays d’Auge is obtained through a process of double distillation of cider in a traditional copper still called “alambic à repasse” (which translates as a “double distillation still”).
Our still is heated by an innovative and unique process in Normandy: woodchips, Woodchips produced on the Estate serves as, The cider is heated once for the first distillation. The alcohol vapours rise and condense into the coolant which produces the “petite eau” that contains between 30 and 35% by volume of alcohol.
The second heating is to distil this “petite eau”. The heads and tails are left out to only keep the heart of the distillation called “bonne chauffe”. This “eau-de-vie” thus obtained contains between 70 to 72% by volume of alcohol. Our AOC Calvados is produced by a single continuous distillation in a column still using this unique process of whoodchips.
This colourless apple “eau-de-vie” with a fruity and floral flavour and with a high alcoholic strength needs to mature during a minimum of two years in oak barrels to be offered for sale with a 40% by volume of alcohol. Did you know ? 1 litre of Calvados that contains 70% vol alcohol means 13 litres of cider at 5%vol or 18 kilograms of apples.
: Distillation of cider.
Can apple cider make alcohol?
Apple cider and hard ciderWhat’s the difference? Hard ciders, dry ciders, apple ciders, apple cider vinegarThe word cider is sometimes thrown with little real explanation. Apple cider is great with breakfast and hard cider is great as an after-work drink.
- But what are the differences between these alcoholic ciders and the breakfast-friendly ones? Simply put, the difference between apple cider and hard cider is the alcohol content (or the lack thereof).
- Apple cider is apple juice that has not been filtered and still contains all the apple pieces, pulp, and sediment.
It is the raw, purer version of apple juice. To make an alcoholic cider, yeast is added which converts the sugar into alcohol. Simple right? Hard cider is the adult version of apple cider. Although apples and pears are the most common fruit to use, ciders can also be made from strawberries, peaches, plums, etc.
Can you use apple cider to make alcohol?
Choosing Apples for Hard Cider – When you’re making a country wine out of just about any type of fruit, it’s customary to add things to balance out the flavor. Things like tannins to balance out sweet fruits, or acid to brighten others. True hard cider doesn’t have added tannins and acid and relies on the apples to provide the right balance of aromatics, tannins, and acid.
- You can make hard cider from any type of untreated apple juice or cider.
- It’ll all ferment and it’ll all contain alcohol, and likely taste pretty decent if you don’t let it get too dry.
- That said, a truly exceptional hard cider relies on a good choice of apples.
- Ideally, you’d have access to an old cider apple orchard which contains some mouth-puckering tannin-rich apples and some really tart acidic apples.
You’d pair those with highly aromatic dessert apples, and blend the juice for the perfect hard cider mix. The book Sweet and Hard Cider: Making It, Using It and Enjoying It has really detailed information on cider making, and it’s hands down the best book on cider making I’ve found to date.
30 to 60% Neutral Base Apples ~ Baldwin, Ben Davis, Red Delicious, Cortland, Rome Beauty, Winesap, etc.10 to 20% Tart Apples ~ Jonathan, Cox Orange Pippin, Northern Spy, Wealthy, Granny Smith, etc.10 to 20% Aromatic Apples ~ Golden Russet, McIntosh, Roxbury Russet, Winter Banana, etc.5 to 20% Astringent Apples ~ Crab Apples, wild apples or old-time cider apples chosen for their tannin content.
Often, old school orchards that press their own cider will have a “carboy day” where you can bring a fermentation vessel and they’ll fill it with a good mixture for homemade hard cider. One of our local orchards here in Vermont ( Shelburn Orchards ) does it at the very end of the season in late October.
- Similarly, Poverty Lane Orchard in New Hampshire, which produces some of the best commercial hard cider in the country, will fill carboys with a good hard cider mix if you make arrangements ahead of time.
- Check with your local cider mill, likely they’re already working with other hard cider makers and you just have to ask.
Or you can just scrabble together as many wild apples as you can find (most of which are high in acid and tannin) and then mix it with some storebought base apples, and press your own hard cider blend Grinding homegrown apples before pressing them into cider.
How do you ferment apple cider into alcohol?
Dry Apple Cider – Makes 1 gallon Target Original Gravity Range = 1.055–1.060 (you’ll use the hydrometer below to check these) Target Final Gravity Range = 1.000–1.005 Target ABV = 7 percent Ingredients: 1 gallon apple cider, preferably unpasteurized 1 Campden tablet 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient 1 teaspoon acid blend 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme 1/4 teaspoon tannin 1 1/2 tablespoons (1/2 tube) liquid cider yeast 3 tablespoons / 1 ounce corn sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water and cooled, for bottling 1 cup / 1 ounce Splenda or other nonfermentable sugar, optional for sweetening Equipment: 2-gallon fermentation bucket with lid Hydrometer Air lock Measuring cups and spoons 1-pint canning jar Long-handled spoon 1-gallon jug Stopper Racking cane and tip Siphon hose Hose clamp Bottle filler 10 (12-ounce) beer bottles or 5 (22-ounce) beer bottles Bottle caps Bottle capper Sanitize a 2-gallon bucket, its lid, the air lock, and a spoon for stirring.
- All homebrewing stores carry instant sanitizers that just need to be diluted in water.
- Some good ones are One-Step and StarSan.) Pour the apple cider into the 2-gallon fermentation bucket.
- Take a hydrometer reading to determine the original gravity.
- Crush the Campden tablet and stir it into the cider.
Snap on the lid and attach the air lock. Wait 24 hours for the Campden to sterilize the cider. (If using pasteurized cider, you can skip this step.) After the cider is sterilized, prepare the yeast starter. Sanitize a measuring cup, a 1-pint canning jar, and a stirring spoon.
Scoop out 1 cup of cider and pour it into the canning jar. Pour the yeast over top and cover the jar with a piece of plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Give the jar a good shake and let it stand for 1 to 3 hours. It will become foamy, and you will see tiny bubbles popping on the surface of the liquid.
Once you see some sign of activity, the starter can be used. Pour the starter into the cider along with the yeast nutrient, acid blend, pectic enzyme, and tannin. Stir vigorously to distribute the yeast and aerate the cider. Snap the lid back on and reattach the air lock. Let the cider ferment undisturbed for at least 3 days or up to 7 days, until fermentation has slowed and the sediment created during brewing has had a chance to settle. At this point, the cider is ready to be transferred off the sediment and into a smaller 1-gallon jug for the longer secondary fermentation.
Sanitize a 1-gallon jug, its stopper, the racking cane, its tip, the siphon hose, and the hose clamp. To siphon the cider into the jug, place the bucket of cider on the counter and position the empty jug on a chair at least 1 1/2 feet below. Attach the hose to the smaller “hook” of the racking cane. Slip the hose clamp over the unattached end of the hose.
Run tap water through this end of the hose until it streams fluidly out the other end of the racking cane. Quickly clamp the hose shut, trapping the water inside. Attach the tip to the racking cane and place this inside the container with your homebrew.
Lower the open end of the hose into the empty container and release the clamp. This will start a siphon, pulling the cider through the hose and into the jug. Siphon all of the cider into the jug. Tilt the bucket toward the end to siphon all of the liquid. Stop when you see the liquid in the hose becoming cloudy with sediment.
Seal the jug with its stopper and insert the air lock. Let it sit somewhere cool and dark for another 2 weeks. To bottle the cider, sanitize a stockpot, a hydrometer, ten 12-ounce beer bottles or five 22-ounce beer bottles, their caps, the siphon hose, the racking cane, its cap, a measuring cup, and the bottle filler.
- Siphon 1/2 cup of cider to the hydrometer, and use this sample to determine final gravity.
- Drink the cider or pour it back into the jug once used.
- Pour the corn sugar solution into the stockpot.
- Siphon the cider into the stockpot to mix with the corn sugar solution, splashing as little as possible.
- Scoop a little cider with the measuring cup and give it a taste.
Add Splenda (or other nonfermentable sugar) if a sweeter cider is desired. Attach the bottle filler to the open end of the siphon hose and siphon the cider into bottles. Cap and label. Let the bottles sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight for at least 1 month or store for up to a year.