Archive for the ‘Cider brewing’ Category

Wooden crate from Ikea parts

19 May

I went to the Ikea “As-Is” department in search of boards to turn into a crate for storing my terrifying (and growing) collection of cider bottles. I don’t know what I’d expected to find, but when I saw this bundle of nearly two dozen bed slats, I came up with a design for an open-sided structure that would be strong and lightweight. You could adapt the design for many kinds of scrap wood or for different sizes of boxes.

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Painting bottles for brewing, decorating, or just holding liquid

13 May

Bottles with Roman numeralsWarm temperatures can ruin beer, and sunlight is suspected to add not only heat but even faster spoilage — that’s why you should store bottles of homebrew beer or cider in a dark place. Dark bottles also reduce your brew’s exposure to light, which is why the best beers come in brown bottles or opaque kegs. I decided to paint my clear bottles so they’d better protect my cider and so they’d have a more distinctive look. You could also do this on any color of bottle for a decorative effect.

It’s an easy process to paint your bottles in solid colors and get sharp results — the final appearance resembles a dipped coating like wax. Adding shapes or text adds a lot of time to the process, but it may be worth it from time to time.

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Cider Recipe and Easy Brewing Instructions – Shane Classic

07 May

This is a great way to start brewing hard cider at home. It’s based on my father’s original recipe, and according to his increasingly-unstable demands, the grandchildren (and apparently the rest of us, too) will be referring to him as Shane. His hillbilly cider method was the basis for my first cider recipe, so he’s earned a little homage in the Shane Classic, my simplest and most traditional-tasting cider. Follow these directions and you’ll have drinkable cider in four to five weeks. Read the rest of this entry »


Cider Ingredients

07 May

Depending on your cider recipe, you may be using three ingredients or you may have a dozen — you can get great results both ways. There are a lot of juices, flavorings, and additives that you might want to include in a batch of cider, but it helps to know how much to use. I’m going to focus on ingredients from two sources: grocery stores and brewing stores (you can order online if you don’t have one nearby). After you’ve tried a simple batch, use your knowledge of ingredients to experiment with your own recipes for subsequent brews.

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Cider Brewing Equipment

07 May

Brewing your own hard cider is easy, but it does require a bit of specialized equipment to do it well. You need certain beer-making supplies, readily found at homebrew shops (online or otherwise). I’ll walk you through the essentials. Read the rest of this entry »