Ice Cider

Ice Cider

(2 gallons/8 L)
OG = 1.144  FG = 1.061
ABV = 10.9%

10 gallons (38 L) fresh-pressed, unpasteurized apple cider 
7.5 grams Go-Ferm
6 grams Fermaid O
6 grams Lalvin 71B yeast

Step by Step
Pour the juice into a sanitized bucket or carboy and freeze until the juice is completely frozen solid. Once frozen, move the juice to a warmer location that will result in a slow thaw. Sanitize a collection container and collect the concentrated juice, checking the gravity with a refractometer once close to 20% of the juice has thawed and been collected. When the gravity of the collected juice reaches about 1.144, stop collecting the juice (should be about 2 gallons/7.6 L in my experience). You can continue thawing juice and checking the gravity to see if you can collect enough to make a small batch of a more sessionable ice cider as well. 

Making sure to give the juice a good mixing, measure the pH and sulfite to 50 ppm accordingly. Oxygenate and add Fermaid O, shooting for a slightly lower amount than would be added to a similar gravity mead. 

Warm the must to fermentation temperature and temper the rehydrated yeast with small amounts of the must before pitching. Ferment cool at the low end of the yeast temperature range. A good rate of fermentation would be a drop of two gravity points a day. Start checking your gravity daily once you are about 10 points higher than your desired finishing gravity. 

Crash cooling to 25 °F (-4 °C) and adding sulfite should stop your fermentation. The cider should drop clear in 2–3 weeks, but if not you may need to rack 2–3 times or add a clarifying agent of your choice.

Once brilliantly clear, sulfite one more time to 50 ppm, bottle, and let age for a couple of months to help the flavor and acidity mature and mellow.

Issue: October 2019