The Quest for a Quick Cider

Of all the things one can brew I think that cider is one of those under rated brews. These drafts are sweet, robust, and can pack quite the alcoholic punch, which in this brewers book is a bonus. Anytime I can find a fresh tasty drink with that special kick, it excites me.

The major problem that I’ve run into with my cider exploits, is that it takes so long to brew. After placing all of that delicious wart into the fermenter I just can’t wait for it to be ready. Usually that wait is 6 months or so, and that is a long time to be thirsty. This type of wait is understandable as I tend to use champagne yeasts to brew, and that definitely adds to the time frame. So what to do?

What about ale yeast? Well, this could solve my problem in one way, but trying to ferment all of the honey, and cider will still take a while. Not to mention that the ale yeast won’t typically get the 12% or so I like from my cider. Luckily, inspiration hit me at the pub while drinking a “Snakebite”.

If you’ve ever frequented an “Irish” pub, many of them will offer you a mixed brew beverage called a “Snakebite”. This concoction consists of equal parts Harp and Strongbow cider. Quite the tasty beverage if I might say. It is light, refreshing and hardy. But why mix? Why not just cut out the middle man and make Malt Cider!

With this revelation I have to think, “What is a Malt Cider?” Do I just make my cider recipe with ale yeast and some malt? How much malt? What type of boil time? Should there be honey, no honey, spices, brown sugar, and the like? How can I up the ABV?

All of these questions and ideas, get me excited. I’ve not seen a recipe for Malt Cider before and really look forward to trying my hand at this brewing creation. What I know is it will become alcohol. What I don’t know is if it will be good. Guess I’ll have to try it out and see.

–Next time: Recipe ideas–

  • Ideas – Substitute an equal weight of Maltose or pure malt extract for the honey.
    Boil it exactly like you would a beer wort, but instead of the finishing hops, drop in a spice sachet, like cinnamon sticks and a few cloves.

    Also, I'm pretty sure the brew store I found recently can provide lager yeast that will handle a 12-14% alcohol brew.

  • Ideas – Substitute an equal weight of Maltose or pure malt extract for the honey.
    Boil it exactly like you would a beer wort, but instead of the finishing hops, drop in a spice sachet, like cinnamon sticks and a few cloves.

    Also, I'm pretty sure the brew store I found recently can provide lager yeast that will handle a 12-14% alcohol brew.