now for some fun

it's what it says .... an Ale Pail

I don’t know how it happened, but I’ve caught the bug. The hard cider bug. I’m going to blame it on Lance, who spoke very enthusiastically a few weeks ago about making beer and hard cider. Very enthusiastically. Offered me books. Gave me the address of the modern homebrew emporium in Cambridge. The guys at the the homebrew place were enthusiastic, too. In a geek-like way that reminded me of my favorite geeky farmers and computer scientists. I met more really friendly, cider-geeks at the hard cider workshops in Shelburne Falls last weekend. The guys at Pine Hill Farm didn’t bat an eye when I bought 15 gallons of cider. I guess that’s small potatoes compared to real hard cider makers.

My first batch just started percolating today. I pitched the yeast into four gallons of Cider Hill Farm’s cider on Sunday. I think the yeast would have gotten off to a quicker start if the furnace in the house hadn’t stopped working yesterday. Got a bit chilly. But we’re up and running today – the furnace and the yeast! Wish I knew how to make a video of the percolating. It’s fun to watch.

I guess this air lock keeps it from exploding. Hope it works.

I’ll get the second batch going tomorrow. It’s a hard cider mix from Pine Hill Farm in Colrain: 33% Baldwin, 25% Greening, 25% Redfield, 9% Jonathan and 8% Fuji. I’ve got a special English cider yeast for it.

More Cider Hill Farm cider arriving with Saturday’s CSA share. Luckily, Jenny from Picadilly has two five gallon carboys looking for a home. If all goes well, I’ll have enough cider for one heck of a party next year!

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