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Making Alcohol Organically with Apples

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Image source: flickr.comu

The resources required to produce and transport liquor results in an extensive 6.30 pounds of carbon dioxide per 750-milliliter bottle.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t enjoy a warm spirit in the drinking vessel of your choosing on occasion. But there are ways in which you can make your own, organic brew instead. And, with the passing of the autumn equinox, what better choice than hard apple cider? Beyond cutting the carbon footprint of your liquor consumption, you’ll be informed of your drink’s origins and find the cost of concocting your cider-y brew to be favorably scant by measure of traditional vices.

For starters, you’ll want to make the optimal choice when selecting the key ingredient; that being apples, of course. If you wish to make hard cider, you’ll need apples that are sweet rather than tart. Good candidates for this would be Fuji, Gala, and red delicious. Johnathan and Jazz apples are flavorful options as well, though they tend to me more tart and may produce results less potent than sweeter varieties. Just be sure to avoid Granny Smith and the like.

How organic, or local,  you wish the cider to be is up to you. You can, of course, acquire your apples from the grocery store, or you could visit a local farmer’s market. If able, you could pick them straight from the orchard or grow your own.

For a single batch of cider, you’ll need roughly 1/3 a bushel of apples. When making cider, you’ll want to use only the apple parts that you would eat as is. With that in mind, clean, core, and quart your apples.

Once cut, place the apples in a food processor or blender and grind until they reach the consistency of applesauce. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth and, if you wish, a fine-mesh strainer or sieve into a bowl. If needed, you can release additional juice by pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon.

Now, you can transfer the remaining juice to a jar, jug, or other seal-able container and keep stored in the refrigerator. If you wish for your cider to remain “soft”, you can stop at this step. Otherwise, follow on to learn how to turn the sweet, seasonal beverage into an instigator of inebriation.

 

cider

Image source: flickr.com

Using the above directions, make enough cider for 5 batches. Next, get either cider or dry wine yeast for fermentation. Organic cider, due to its lack of additives, will ferment naturally on its own. However, using yeast gives you control over the fermenting process and ensures reliable results. To begin the brewing process, fill a large pot with your cider and allow to simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes. This step is optional, but will kill any bacteria already present in the cider. If you choose to heat the cider first, be sure to never let it boil. For elevated alcohol content, and perhaps a boost in flavor, add 2 pounds of brown sugar or honey during while the cider is simmering.

Pour the cider into a sanitized fermentation bucket and allow to sit for two days. Within this time, you should see the airlock begin to bubble up. This will dissipate after a fortnight, upon which the cider shall sit for another week or so. It should be said, like wine, the flavor of hard cider improves as it grows sophisticated in age. But, lest you cannot kept your anticipation dormant, you may bottle your brew at this point, and enjoy sipping your sweet potion beneath the waxing successor of the Harvest Moon.

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