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Apple and Pear Cider Recipe
Apple and pear cider is one of my personal favourites and I usually make this recipe in twenty litre batches by multiplying this recipe by five. Many commercial ciders contain up to 10 percent pear juice and the resulting cider is very morish. The taste of pears compliments an apple cider well. This cider recipe will produce a beautiful crisp mid strength cider that is easy to drink and enjoy.
Start your preparations by cleaning and sterilising your fermenter, its lid or cork and the airlock. Any other items that come into contact with the cider ingredients should be clean and sterile too, including knives, cutting boards, peelers, blender drum and blades (if used). Rinse these items with tap water thoroughly after sterilisation.
Wash, peel and core the apples and pears before cutting them into segments. Gently wash the segments and let them drain briefly. At this point you are presented with two choices, either cut the segments into 1/4 inch cubes or place them in a blender with a little bit of the apple juice and blend them into a pulp. Blending is my personal choice with this recipe however if a blender is unavailable or you just couldnt be bothered washing it afterwards cutting the fruit into cubes will be almost as good.
Add both the apple and pear juice to the sterile fermenter and if you are using lactose to sweeten your cider mix it with 1/2 cup of water and add it too. Add the fresh fruit and crushed campden tablet or Sodium Metabisulfite and allow mixture to sit open for at least 24 hours.
Pitch the yeast and seal the fermenter adding the appropriate amount of boiled water to the airlock. The airlock should start to bubble in a few hours to a few days depending on conditions and the yeast that you are using, indicating that fermentation has commenced.
Once fermentation has slowed down and the airlock bubbles perhaps once per minute rack the cider by siphoning it into another sterile fermenter taking care not to stir up the yeast on the bottom of the original fermenter. Racking removes unwanted sediment and should be performed at one or two intervals until the cider is fairly clear. If you have blended the fresh fruits the cider may still contain fine particles of fruit. If you are using an artificial sweetener it should be added at the first racking, sweeten to taste focusing on the sweetness of the cider rather than its taste which will not develop until the cider has been aged.
Once you are satisfied with the level of sediment in your home made cider sterilise the bottles, their caps and your siphon. Siphon the cider into the bottles once again taking care not to stir up the sediment (if any) at the bottom of the fermenter. If you wish to carbonate your cider fill the bottles the prime the cider with one teaspoon (5 grams) per 750ml(1.5 pints) before capping.
Store the sealed bottles of cider in a dark place at room temperature for at least 3 months and allow it to age. Aging cider is much like aging wine or beer where the flavour improves over time due to chemical changes in the cider. You will find a cider is much better at six months than at three. Some ciders may need up to a year for the flavour to fully develop.
If you are using freshly made juice that is not pasteurised or sterilized you should treat it with one campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice and allow it to stand for at least 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast regardless of what the recipe states.
Follow the instructions on How to Make Cider for a step by step guide to brewing this cider.
For further information regarding sweeteners please read Cider Sweetener page of the Cider Ingredients section.
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