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In danger of being primally de-railed by cider

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  • In danger of being primally de-railed by cider

    I've sucessfully resisted draught and bottled beer for some time. I also find it easy to. Say no to most commercial cider -- foul stuff that's sweeter than anyone with adult tastes can abide even if there's not a definite chemical tinge. You know the sort of thing -- pasteurized, filtered, probably flavoured, brewed with an eye to the lowest cost rather than quality, and aimed at the alcopop generation. A few years ago an Irish cider -- Magners -- was launched in the UK with a carpet-bombing advertisement campaign that told people to put ice in it. (Honestly.). I bet no-one in Ireland drinks the muck. We also have a plethora of Swedish ciders and perries that taste like soft drinks.

    As for the mass-produced stuff from Hereford or Somerset -- it's no better. Most of it has never even "seen an apple" being made from cheap apple-juice concentrate from Eastern Europe.

    You can still get "real cider" from small craft producers but it"s not so easily available.

    My current stumbling block is Addlestones Cloudy:

    Home - Addlestones Premium Cloudy Cider

    It's a mass-produced product, but at least it hasn't been filtered to death, has probably "seen an apple" and has a pleasingly sour, tart taste.

    Of course, none of this stuff is really primal and all but occasional use will derail you ...

  • #2
    My family owned an old fashioned cider mill for many years. Ours was unpasteurized, 100% apples, usually the droppings. I think it was as primal as a juice could get!
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    • #3
      I so know what you mean. A friend and I decided to brew some cider for x-mas gifts this year. The first batch was made with a champagne yeast that ate all the sugar out of it and left it tasting much like beer (and it looked like beer). While she hated the stuff, I loved it and could drink a pint a day easily (well, to be honest, we needed the fancy bottles we put it in for then next batch - ya that sounds like a good excuse)! Waiting to see how the second batch has turned out - we used an ale yeast with that one and it should leave some sweet in the cider that most people expect. Dangerous stuff to be sure


      • #4
        Oh, cider made with champagne yeast is lovely.

        I'm with you on the dangers of good cider. It's one of the more primal alcohol choices, but it's definitely easy to overindulge. A friend of mine makes a wonderful crabapple cider that is cloudy and tart and delicious but packs a ridiculous kick.

        (By the way, for the Americans, what you call "hard cider" is generally just "cider" to much of the world--at least in Canada, the non-alcoholic stuff is called apple juice, whether or not it's filtered.)
        If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive. --Audre Lorde

        Owly's Journal


        • #5
          There are a couple of cider works that have popped up in Virginia that past few years. Albemarle Ciderworks, Foggy Ridge, and Castle Hill are three whose product I've tasted. all use heirloom apples to make their cider. Albemarle's is mostly very dry and champagne-like, Foggy Ridge is a little sweeter, but still bubbly and Castle Hills makes a still cider, which I didn't care as much for. Unfortunately, I'm 6-8 hours away from them and only get down there once a year and not at all this year. I usually consol myself with Woodchuck Granny Smith because I like the dry ciders best and its the only one I can find at home. All the others are too sweet.


          • #6
            I have brewed up a mead/cider combo with champagne yeast that was 22% alc and tart and OMG nock you on your ass good. Now I dont dare make anymore or I will have to drink it. The Montreal region makes a lot of good ciders and you can get the fresh unfiltered un pasteurized stuff easy. Maybe I will make some plain cider for gifts for next year.
            Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

            Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.


            • #7
              Haha holy crap Warmbear, 22% is hardcore, even for a wine yeast! How long did it take to smooth out? With an alcohol percentage that high, that would definitely improve for years, no problem. I brew a lot of my own cider, mead, and apple wine, but my favorite commercial cider is JK's Scrumpy. I don't really like sweet ciders, and that's about the driest you can get around here.
              "Its not about how strong you are, its how well you can move with that strength."


              • #8
                Almost forgot. Got a really good cider at a local gastropub called Crispin: The Saint. It was semi dry and very good. Haven't seen it in any stores. Here's their site. Welcome to Crispin ? Super-Premium American Craft Ciders Fermented Fresh Pressed Apple Juice


                • #9
                  When I have cider I go for some of the Weston's cider, the organic one without the fizz, or Henney's. I've not had any cider for about four/five weeks though.


                  • #10
                    I had it kegged for 2 years and bottled in quart jugs for a about 6 months to a year.
                    Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

                    Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.


                    • #11
                      I love me some cider as well as hard cider. That's MY drink.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neely View Post
                        When I have cider I go for some of the Weston's cider, the organic one without the fizz, or Henney's. I've not had any cider for about four/five weeks though.
                        Oh, yeah, with you on those two. Those are both the genuine article -- and reasonably widely available. The shocking thing is that so long as you can find them you don't pay any more than you would for something like Bullmers or Magners.

                        The ultimate place for British cider-lovers is Middle Farm in Sussex. Sussex isn't a traditional cider-apple growing county, but for whatever reason there's a farm shop that's gone crazy on the stuff. They must have hundreds of different ciders from every maker in England and Wales:

                        Middle farm | cider & perry

                        They have an Aladdin's Cave of bottles. They also have dozens of barrels against the wall -- you bring a container and fill it from your preferred barrel. They also have little tasting-cups so you can decide which barrel you like best. There are said to be people who've gone in there and never come out ...

                        There's a historical mystery behind cider -- why is there no mention of it in Anglo-Saxon times? This expert claims that we just don't see it in the records because we're misunderstanding the names for drinks:


                        Since the Norman Conquest it's been known by the French name cidre -- anglicized to "cider" -- but before the Conquest it was probably known as beor. Beor was legendary for taking your legs away. Historians have assumed it was beer, derived from the word for barley bere, but that could well be a mistaken assumption.

                        Cider also used to be the drink in America in the early days. It's to be found in Kenneth Roberts' superb historical novel Northwest Passage.

                        Northwest Passage: Kenneth Roberts: 9780892725427: Books

                        Rapid expansion westward, which didn't leave time to plant apple orchards and allow them to come to maturity, and then prohibition killed it. America before prohibition seems largely to have drunk cider; afterwards it was beer, propelled by people coming in from places like Germany and Czechoslovakia with the beer-making skills. Prohibition is also the reason why some modern Americans refer to apple juice as "cider" -- quite literally you couldn't legally make and sell the real thing.