Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hawaiian Burger

No need to go to the islands to get your pineapple-on-a-burger fix. The crispy bacon strips and Savory Bacon Seasoning from The Sausage Maker brings the saltiness while the pineapple delivers the sweet in a tasty combo you will crave again and again.



INGREDIENTS
1 beef patty
1 brioche bun, split
1 tbsp Savory Bacon Seasoning from The Sausage Maker
2 slices pineapple
2 slices bacon
Green leaf lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook bacon slices in a medium saucepan with 1 tsp. water. 
  2. Once done, remove bacon from pan, drain and set aside. 
  3. Add pineapple slices to the same pan with the bacon grease. 
  4. Cook pineapple for 5 minutes on each side on medium/low heat.
  5. Remove from pineapple from heat and set aside. 
  6. Pat patty with seasoning on both sides. 
  7. Cook in a pan on the stovetop or grill to desired doneness. 
  8. Stack the burger with lettuce, beef, pineapple, and bacon. 
  9. Add your favorite sauce and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Italian Meatball Subs

Add the right amount of seasoning to turkey meatballs to make a perfect sub sandwich at home. All you need to do is combine turkey, garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning from The Sausage Maker, and salt to make flavorful meatballs packed with protein. Add any leftovers to pasta or eat on their own dipped in marinara sauce.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb ground turkey
3 sandwich-sized whole wheat baguettes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 jar marinara sauce
Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl add ground turkey, garlic, seasoning, and salt. With clean hands, mix ingredients together well. Form the mixture into balls with your hands and set aside. 
  3. In a large skillet or saucepan heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your pan. Add meatballs to the pan and cook each side for a few minutes until browned and no longer pink inside. Once done, remove from heat. Slice the baguettes open and layer marinara sauce, meatballs, more marinara, and cheeses.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 


Thursday, March 8, 2018

How-To Steps for Smoking a Fresh Ham



CHECKLIST FOR MAKING SMOKED HAM:
  Fresh Ham
  Ingredients for Brine
  Meat Pump
  Smoker


This is a condensed version of our online DIY Ham Tutorial in which the steps we took to fully prepare, cure and smoke two Hams are in greater detail. We hope the simplicity of this brine cured ham recipe will inspire you to try making your own this year.



BUYING THE  HAM
Go to your trusted meat market, hog farm or grocer’s deli and ask for “boneless fresh Ham” (you may need to pre-order and pick up when ready). We bought two, each weighing in at a little over 10 pounds. This ended up costing us only about $50 total, compare that to a smoked Ham behind the glass counter. Your Hams are likely to taste just like those and will cost you MUCH less. Once you have the ham at home, immediately refrigerate it until you are ready to pump the salty ham brine.

 
INGREDIENTS FOR BRINE
(1 lb. FRESH HAM)
2.5 Gal. Water
2/3 Cup Salt
1 Cup Insta Cure#1 
1/2 Cup Dextrose
1/2 Cup White Pepper, Ground
1/4 Cup Juniper Berries, Crushed or Cracked







MIXING THE HAM BRINE
 You can also substitute the Dextrose with 1 cup of Honey or Maple Syrup, delicious. We had whole juniper berries, so we placed them on a tray and laid a plastic bag on them and hammered them into pieces, simple enough. Add water to your container, mix in your ingredients and stir with a long wooden or plastic spoon for a few minutes to disperse ingredients thoroughly. There shouldn’t be gritty salt grains at the bottom, if there are, keep stirring.
TIP: Heating up the water to 100°F to 140°F prior to mixing will help ingredients dissolve quicker and more solute. Cool before adding ham! *We do not recommend curing ham without stitch-pumping.

The amount of the brine to be pumped into the Ham is 10% of its weight, so in our example, it turned out to be about 4 full capacity loads with our Meat Pump . It is important to pump the densest/thickest portions of the ham muscle. It is normal for some of the ham brine  to spill out of the meat, it is inevitable, so don’t worry. 
TIP: At small home-scale production, One (1) Fluid Ounce by Volume is close enough to One (1) Ounce by Weight that we are equating them here. For precise measure 1fl.oz. = 1.043 oz.


The temperature of Ham prior to pumping should be 38-40°F (refrigerated). If you are preparing a Ham that has the bone-in, make sure to pump around the bone. When the pumping is done, put the Ham in the brine bucket which should have enough brine left to entirely cover the muscle. It is alright to place one Ham on top of another as long as the top one is also completely immersed. If stacking, rotate top-to-bottom once a day. Place a plate with a water-filled jar on hams to keep them under the brine if you have to and place a lid on the container.


CURING HAM
The brining of the Ham should be done in a cooler where the temperature can stay relatively constant at 38-40°F the entire time. Aside from top-to-bottom rotating, it's really 5-6 days of leaving the Hams alone. Let the cure do its job and get into each crevice by itself.

DRYING PHASE
Remove the Ham from the brine solution and immediately rinse them under cold water while brushing with an unused bristle brush, and or thoroughly rinse for 3-5 minutes. Rinse, Do Not Soak. After you’re done brushing, place the Ham into a permeable, clean cloth bag  or into a Stockinette Bag .
TIP: Your bag should be moistened with a Water-Vinegar solution (50/50), or with a Liquid Smoke-Water solution (1 drop L.S. per 2 oz. water) this will prevent the bag from sticking to the ham.

Tie the net/bag onto the Stockinette Hook  securely, or if no bag available, place Ham on rack. Preheat your Smoker  to 120°F. Just as in smoking Sausages, spacing is important, be sure the Hams are neither touching each other (if doing two), the interior walls of the smoker, and they should be at least 6” above the heating element diffuser. Insert the Remote Smoker Thermometer probes into both the Ham and one into the smoker. The dampers should be wide open for the entirety of the drying process. Check once every hour, for the first few hours. The drying may take 8-12 hours when the outside is tacky to the touch and it isn’t dripping from the bottom… drying is done.


SMOKING THE HAM
Open dampers/vents half-way. Set the temp. to 130°F and add a full pan of dampened Sawdust Woodchips . One smoke application lasts a little over 2 hours. On the second smoke application increase the temperature setting to 140°F for another 2 hours and close damper to 1/4 open. On the third smoke application (our last) increase the temperature to 150°F for a final 2 hours. You want between 5-7 hours of hot smoke for good flavor penetration & color development. Remove the sawdust pan, without smoke, bump the temperature up to 165°F for 2-3 hours and then set and leave at 175°F.
TIP: Usually in the 140-150°F internal meat temp zone, when cooking at temps between 170-200°F, the meat’s temp will STOP CLIMBING. Called a Plateau, or Stall. The cured ham meat is releasing moisture to the surface, which is, in turn, cooling the outside, and consequently the inside. In short, ‘it’s sweating’. It can sweat for 30 minutes or 2 hours, depending on temperatures. Don’t panic, it is normal and it will pass. Still panicked? Wrap tightly with Aluminum foil containing a small amount of water or apple juice once it plateaus.


When the temperature reaches 145°F internal, the Ham can be removed from the smoker. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate overnight before carving. We hope you enjoyed this home smoked ham recipe, have found it easy to understand and will partake in some Do-It-Yourself ham smoking this year!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Delicious Sausage Ideas for Thanksgiving

Some people say that Christmas is their favorite time of the year, but for us at The Sausage Maker, our favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. What more could you possibly ask for in a holiday than a national day of food appreciation? In fact, Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday; it elevates the enjoyment of food from a hobby to a full blown sport, and we definitely aren’t complaining. So, as the best day of the year rolls around (no pun intended) here are some delicious ideas for side dishes featuring sausage to impress friends and family at your Thanksgiving table.


Stuffing

Simply put, Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving without stuffing. And while we love classic stuffing, we’ve got to admit that you are missing out if you haven’t tried to elevate your stuffing game by mixing in some spicy or sweet sausage into your recipe. Eaten on its own, sausage stuffing makes a delicious side dish that can pull together the entire meal, and eaten with your turkey, it adds an entire new depth of flavor that you’ve probably never experienced before. We highly recommend adding a bit of sausage to your traditional stuffing recipe.

Mac and Cheese

The quintessential comfort food, macaroni and cheese is just as likely to be found in the everyday diet of most Americans as is it is to be featured on your holiday menu this Thanksgiving. And while mac and cheese is deliciously decadent on its own, adding some spicy sausage takes your macaroni and cheese to an entirely different level. The sausage adds new texture to the mac and cheese, as well as cuts through the richness of the dish with its spices, creating a deliciously decadent — but well balanced — side dish that everyone will love.

Sautéed Greens

Whether you prefer Kale or Collard Greens, sautéed green leafy vegetables add a wonderful flavor and nutrition to your Thanksgiving menu. When you add some poultry-based sausage into a sautéed green recipe, you add another layer of flavor and texture that makes these greens irresistible. Even better, if you have a child (or adult) who is finicky about eating their greens, adding a bit of sausage to your recipe could be just the thing they need to get past the taste or texture they don’t like.

Rolls

Who doesn’t love a good roll? Simple, versatile and delicious, rolls are a staple of American dining, especially at Thanksgiving. However, we’ve gotten a bit bored with the traditional dinner roll. And if you’re like us, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. When you are making your rolls for the holiday, take one last step and roll up a sausage into the center of the dough balls before baking, creating a delicious sausage roll that is great as a side dish, appetizer or midnight snack long after the holiday festivities have ended and your guests have gone home.

Whatever you decide to put on the table this Thanksgiving, you can be sure that a sausage recipe is sure to please and be a favorite for years to come. And when it comes to sausage, why not make it the best sausage by making it yourself? With our selection of sausage making tools and accessories, you can impress your guests with your recipes and your newly found sausage-making abilities. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Top 10 Must-Have Gifts for Your Man This Holiday Season

Do you have a DIY-loving carnivore in your life? If so, then you are in the right place. Nothing is quite as enjoyable as making your own goods at home, and being able to take meat and process it into sausage is one of the most rewarding DIY activities out there. However, DIY does not have to mean difficult. Whether he is just starting out with home sausage making or he is an experienced homemade sausage connoisseur, here are our top ten favorite sausage-making and meat-related must-have gifts to upgrade your man’s home-cooking game this holiday season.

Hickory Woodchips


The sausage-making process can be a long and challenging one, involving lots of attention to detail and delicate care. When it finally comes time for him to smoke and cook the sausage, you want to make sure that he is doing it with the best possible woodchips that will impart the most desirable flavor. Our hickory woodchips are produced in small made-to-order quantities so that we can maintain a high level of quality. The wood he will use to smoke his sausage is as important as any other ingredient that would be used to make sausage, which is why we love these hickory woodchips. The depth of flavor they give the sausage is unparalleled, and their flavor works with almost any meat.




Italian Bundle Kit


Nothing is quite as delicious as sausage that uses high-quality meat and high-quality spices. Our Italian bundle spice set takes the guesswork out of determining what quantity and combination of spices are needed to create an authentic Italian sausage. This set comes with our Italian Sweet and Italian Hot spice blends as well as Garlic Basil to add a greater depth of flavor to the sausage. With enough spice blend in each pack for up to 10 lbs. of meat, feel free to experiment with different spice and meat combinations to find the flavor that best suits you. We love this spice kit because it allows him to make a truly authentic Italian sausage or be creative and create a unique sausage flavor.



Smokin Bacon Kit


There is never a bad time to eat bacon; however, the holidays are an even better time to enjoy this beloved meat treat. We love this Smokin Bacon kit for many reasons. First, the kit produces really great results. Once he tries to home smoke bacon, he is never going to be able to go back to regular bacon again, as he will realize that the taste and value of home-smoked bacon is pretty unbeatable. Second, if he is new to sausage making or smoking, this kit is a great way to get started, as it is incredibly easy to use and produces consistently delicious results every time. Finally, this really is fun for the whole family, as it makes the bacon-cooking experience much more interactive and fun. Unfortunately, we cannot include actual bacon in your order, but we are pretty sure that anything could be smoked with this kit and it would turn out just as delicious.



5-lb. Sausage Stuffer


There’s an old saying that goes, “Nobody wants to see how the sausage is made.” However, we would like to respectfully disagree in this case. The quintessential home-sausage-making appliance, our 5-lb. sausage stuffer, is what DIY sausage dreams are made of. Both a beautiful piece of machinery and incredibly simple to use, this sausage maker makes a great first sausage stuffer, although we would not recommend this as a stocking stuffer. Along with its ease of use, this sausage stuffer is very easy to clean and will produce consistent results every time.





Stainless Steel Jerky Oven Tray


After bacon, we cannot think of a more universally loved meat product than jerky. Many think that it is impossible to make jerky at home because it requires too much new equipment and too many appliances. Fortunately, we have a solution in a simple oven tray. This tray makes cooking jerky at home a breeze. All he will have to do is skewer the desired meat, hang it on the tray, keep the oven door slightly open and let the drying begin. Not only is this method incredibly easy for a jerky novice, it also makes the kitchen smell amazing with all the jerky scents coming from your slightly open oven door.




Heavy-Duty Stainless Steel Gas Burner


If he loves the idea of making sausage at home, he probably enjoys any meat-related activity, such as grilling. If you want an item that is versatile and caters to all sorts of meat cooking, a quality burner is what you need. This heavy-duty burner is not only incredibly easy to use and put together, it also has safety features like safety ignition ports and wind shielding to make sure the burner is safe to use around family and friends without risk of hurting anyone.






Electric Meat Grinder


One of the reasons he might want to make his own sausage and meat products at home is to ensure that he has total control over what exactly is going into the sausage. So if he plans to make quality sausage at home, he is going to need a meat grinder that can easily grind up the quality meats he gives it. This electric meat grinder is incredibly easy to use and takes all the hard labor out of meat grinding; it can grind as quickly as it is fed. Not to mention, this electric grinder is built to last and will be a valuable investment in his sausage-making future.





Umai Dry Ribeye/Striploin Packet


Anyone who loves steak can tell you that dry aging a steak is like reducing a sauce; by letting the meat get rid of some of its water content, the flavors become extra-concentrated and incredibly rich. It used to be that special equipment was needed in order to correctly dry age a steak, but with our ribeye home drying kit, he can easily replicate the rich taste of a dry-aged steak at home. Not only is this process incredibly easy to master at home, this home-dry-aging packet makes the dry-aging experience a lot more affordable than it would be if you and your partner were buying the steak from a steakhouse.




Electric Smoker


Another incredibly delicious way to prepare meat, smoking used to be a long and difficult process requiring the expertise of an experienced cook that couldn’t be replicated at home. However, our electric smoker makes smoking meat at home as easy as possible with consistent and delicious results every time. This electric smoker does all the work for him; all he has to do is set it and forget it, then come back to beautifully smoked meats that retain all the flavor and moisture expected from the best barbecue joint in town.





Meat Tenderizer


One of the biggest challenges home cooks face is trying to tenderize meat. For leaner meats like chicken, it can also be a challenge to achieve even and complete cooking without drying out the meat. With our easy-to-use Mr. Tenderizer meat tenderizer, the process of tenderizing and flattening meat is no longer a guessing game. Whether grilling, smoking or pan-frying the meat, this tenderizer makes it easy to ensure that he is getting perfectly cooked and tender meat every single time.

We think we can safely assume that if you were not interested in getting the man in your life the home-sausage-making essentials before, you are definitely interested now. Our line of products makes it incredibly easy to enjoy delicious and quality meat products at home, saving money and keeping you and him from consuming the preservatives often found in store-bought options. Whomever you are shopping for this holiday season, The Sausage Maker has a meaty gift for everyone in your life.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Why Hunters Love Jerky, And What You Need To Know About Making It At Home


Jerky is the quintessential snack of hunting season. Convenient to carry in the fields, woods, or marsh, it’s easy to appreciate the versatility and reliability of this flavorful snack. All jerky, however, is not created equal. While there’s quality jerky at high-end retailers, it’s oftentimes costly. On the other end of the spectrum is gas station jerky, which is full of preservatives and hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Historically, hunters have proven themselves to be scrappy, so it’s no surprise that their solution to this conundrum is to make jerky at home, which is cost effective, healthier, and not as intimidating as it may seem.

To make delicious jerky at home, it’s important to be armed with the necessary supplies (which we will touch on throughout this post) and enough time to do it right. Give yourself at least a day of flexibility to tend to meat while it’s cooking or drying. If you’re new to making jerky, start with smaller batches and see which method best suits your kitchen habits and taste buds.

Read on to learn how to make jerky at home, as well as useful tips for best results.

Decisions, Decisions

There are so many decisions when approaching how to make jerky for the first time, but don’t let that put you off. Once you figure out your favorite methods, you can be as consistent or creative as you want.

Newbies typically start with an oven, since it’s an appliance most already have in their home. But plenty have argued for the benefits of using smokers or dehydrators. Smokers tend to be the most intensive, requiring lots of attention and have a higher risk of over-drying. Dehydrators are best for those looking to make jerky consistently because they’re typically easy to clean, can be set to the same settings repeatedly, and allow you to walk away for longer periods of time.

Aside from cooking methods, you also have to decide whether to grind or slice meat, whether to make strips or sticks from the ground meat, and how thick you should make strips and slices. As evident on the multiple forums and blog posts where hunters debate the best type of jerky and ways to prepare them, there’s no true superior method. At the end of the day, it comes down to your preferences.

Preparation

Chewy or brittle, stick or slice, classic or unique. This is where your decisions truly affect the outcome of jerky.

Check out these pro tips to step up quality and avoid beginner’s mistakes:
  • Always stick to leaner cuts (i.e. flank steak, eye of round, sirloin tip, bottom round, and top round), which result in a more tender chew and offer a longer shelf life than fatty cuts. Fat dramatically increases expiration. It’s also wise to trim any excess fat from lean cuts.
  • The thickness at which you slice the meat can either make it easier, or much more difficult, to chew. The optimal slice is ¼”. Consider using a cutting board preset specifically for jerky. Not only will precision be more attainable, but it also makes slicing a much safer activity.
  • Before you even take to slicing, it’s recommended that you freeze the meat for 30 to 40 minutes beforehand for better control.
  • Most blogs and recipes will suggest cutting with the grain for a traditional leathery chew. If you’re looking to crumble the jerky to use as a topping or for other recipes, however, cut against the grain for a more brittle and chewier end product.
  • Slicing jerky isn’t the only option! Another popular choice is grinding meat and using a jerky gun, which gives you the ability to make sliced or stick jerky, as well as sausage.

Seasoning


There are a ton of ways to address seasoning, and this may be where you can experiment the most. When starting out, your best bet is to opt for simple salt and pepper. When the texture and flavor of the end result isn’t competing with strong flavors, you’re more likely to get a better sense of what you like about it, and what you’d want to try next time.

Once you know exactly how you like to make jerky, that’s when the real experimenting can begin. Check out blogs and forums to find DIY seasoning recipes, or seek out reputable seasoning products available online or at a local retailer.

Regardless of the seasoning you try, be sure to marinade the meat for 4 to 24 hours before cooking/dehydrating. The longer the meat marinades, the more flavorful it will be. For best results, let meat soak overnight. Pat jerky strips dry to help speed up the dehydration process.

Method

As mentioned previously, the three methods of making jerky are baking, dehydrating, and smoking. With baking and dehydrating being lower maintenance, using a smoker requires more attention.

Every aspect of the smoker will influence the final result, especially the type of wood chips used. Some view this as an opportunity for more experimentation, while others see it as a potential for inconsistent and unreliable results. Dehydrators, on the other hand, allow for a higher quantity of jerky, as well as more control of every aspect of the dehydrating process.

As always, use your discretion to decide which option best suits you.

Shelf Life


The beauty of jerky is its convenience and long shelf life. When stored in the fridge, it can maintain all its flavorful goodness and chewy texture for up to six months. Or enjoy jerky within seven to ten days when kept in a cool, dry place. Vacuum sealing bags of jerky will ensure the snack will last one to two months when stored in room temperature.

Pro tips:
  • After cooking/dehydrating the meat, let cool for several hours before storing.
  • Never freeze jerky, as it can alter the taste.
  • If you notice condensation inside a bag or container of jerky, it’s time to throw it away.

What’s your favorite way to make jerky at home? Feel free to share tips and recipes in the comments section below!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Making Your Own Cider 101


As the hot summer days begin to cool off and fall quickly approaches, it’s time to trade in your beach beer for a cold glass of hard cider. The crisp, refreshing taste of hard cider has made its way into the hearts of many and has quickly become one of the most preferred alcoholic beverages on the market. While there are dozens of amazing cider brands to choose from, nothing quite compares to the feeling you get when you’ve harvested, pressed and watched your apples go straight from the tree to your glass. That’s right—brewing your own homemade apple cider isn’t just a rewarding experience, but a quick and relatively easy one, too!

Ingredients and Equipment:
10 lbs. of apples/1 gallon of juice
Fruit press
Large bucket
Nylon filter bag
Fermenter and air lock
Cheesecloth or large straining bag
Sanitizer (Star San)
Yeast of your choosing
Yeast nutrient
Bottling bucket
Bottle capper
Caps
Bottles
Syphon tube


Picking Your Apples:
Before you start brewing your homemade hard cider, you must first consider the ingredients and equipment you need to make the process run quickly and smoothly. Keep in mind that the type of apple you choose will greatly impact the overall flavor of your cider. If you want a sweeter flavor, opt for Gala, Fuji, Cortland, Golden Delicious or Red Delicious apples. Looking for a more acidic, tart flavor? Try Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jonathan or McIntosh apples instead! You can also mix and match types of apples to create a truly unique flavor that matches your personal taste preferences.

Juicing:
First, clean and mash or crush your apples into small pieces to prepare your fruit for pressing. Purchasing a fruit press, like our Harvest Fiesta Stainless Steel Fruit Press, will be greatly beneficial in the juicing process. To use, simply retract the telescoping base and pour your mash into the basket. Place a nylon filter bag in the basket before loading your apples. Doing so will catch the remains of the pressed fruit and make cleanup much easier once the process is completed. Be cautious not to overfill your press, for doing so will greatly reduce your juice yields.

Once you’ve loaded the basket about ¾ full, slide the base back into the center and place a large bucket under the spout to catch the juices. Easily crank the top handle until you’ve pressed the maximum amount of juice out of the apples in the basket. Once completed, retract the basket once again and remove the nylon filter bag. You may move the fruit contents around and give them a second pressing if need be. Transfer your collected apple juice into a jar or container and store away for later processing and fermentation. Check out this video to see the device in action!



Adding Fruit Matter:
After you have successfully pressed and stored your juice, consider adding small bits of apple to the mix. In homemade hard apple cider recipes, adding fruit matter to your ciders is often recommended, especially when using particularly harsh yeasts. Adding bits of fruit not only boosts its fresh, natural flavor, but the pieces also act as food for your yeast to consume. Fresh apple matter is always best, but frozen pieces work as well. Freezing tends to rupture the fruit’s cell walls and helps make it easier for more sugars to be processed by the yeast.

Pasteurization:
There are dozens of effective methods of pasteurization. Frozen fruit is typically pasteurized before it freezes, so simply dropping frozen fruit matter into the mixture will do no harm to your brew. However, it is important to realize that you will get much more color, quicker fermentation and more flavor if you blend and “mash” the fruit (whether it’s frozen or not) before adding it into the juice.

Choosing Your Yeast:
There are a variety of dry and liquid brewing yeasts that will work great for your home brewed cider, and you can find them either online or in-store at various homebrew stores. Although you can buy specialized yeasts for fermenting cider, dry wine yeasts do an excellent job and are a much cheaper alternative.

Keep in mind that the yeast you use will contribute nearly the entire character of your cider. While this may not be news to many of you, it is important to keep that in mind during the entire brewing process. Try to steer clear of Montrachet or red wine yeasts, as they take an extremely long time to ferment and produce the desired flavor. Also avoid yeasts that generate a lot of isoamyl acetate, for the banana-like flavors these yeasts produce tend to clash with the apple flavor. Opt for dry white wine yeasts instead, or try the typical S-04 yeast, which will create a dry, slightly tart flavor that is very enjoyable. Other yeasts to consider are:
  • Lalvin 1116
  • Lalvin 1122
  • Lalvin D47
  • WLP001 California Ale Yeast
  • 002 English Ale Yeast
  • 013 London Ale Yeast
  • Graff and saison yeasts

Fermentation:
Before you begin the fermentation process, make sure your fermenter and everything that touches your cool must (“must” refers to unfermented juice) is clean and sanitized. The best and easiest way to do this is to have a gallon-sized vessel (i.e., a bucket or a water pitcher) full of star san, a sanitizer for beer and wine equipment. Pour a small amount of the sanitizer into your fermenter and swish it around, making sure to evenly coat all of its surfaces a few times. Upon completion, dump the remaining star san into a bucket and place any of the small equipment you plan to use in the bucket as well.
Now you can pitch some yeast! Follow the steps below to successfully ferment your cider:
  1. Heat one cup of water until it boils, and then immediately turn the heat off. After doing this, add your yeast nutrient, let it cool to around 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit and then add pectic enzyme if you wish.
  2. Pour the mixture into your clean, sanitized fermenter and transfer the must (pressed apple juice) into the fermenter and pitch your yeast.
  3. Use about one packet of yeast per 5 gallons of unfermented apple juice. Remember that too much yeast is better than not enough!
  4. Use yeast nutrient according to your package directions (some packets state to use 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons, while others say 1/2 tsp per gallon).
  5. If you’d like, use about 1 tsp pectic enzyme per 5 gallons of must.
  6. Finally, cover your fermenter and attach a sanitized airlock. Let the contents ferment at 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of weeks.


Bottling Your Cider:
Once the fermentation process is complete, you are now ready to bottle your hard cider! Using a hydrometer is the most accurate way to check if your cider is fully fermented. Upon completion, the cider should taste very dry. Keep in mind that if you bottle a cider that is too sweet, it may end up exploding from continued fermentation occurring inside the bottle.

Clean and sanitize a bottling bucket and heat two cups of water to boiling temperatures. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and dissolve a priming sugar (corn sugar or dextrose) in the water. You will want about 1 oz per gallon (or 3/4 cup for a 5-gallon batch). Pour the hot dissolved sugar solution into the bottle bucket and carefully siphon your cider into the bucket as well. Fill your cleaned, sanitized bottles, leaving 1 to 1.5 inches of headspace. Cap and leave the bottles in a warm room for two weeks to carbonate. Next, refrigerate the bottles for three to 12 months. Keep in mind that cider ages well, so give it some time to sit for the best results possible.