Last night I tried one of my dry-hopped ciders from the disastrous batch using Aldi brand cider. It appears that perhaps I wrote off the Aldi cider too early. The temperature for October and November was crazy, I had the brewing buckets in the basement but maybe the temperature still fluctuated too much, or even was too cold, for the yeast. (this is one of those times I wished I was more precise and used a hydrometer). All that to say perhaps the yeast wasn’t done and the residual sweetness was simply sugar the yeast hadn’t eaten as opposed to sugar the yeast couldn’t eat. Definitely some more maturation and fermentation taking place in the bottle and to my surprise, the cider wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good, but give it another month and it just might be drinkable.
The most important take away from me is I will definitely try Hallertau hops again with cider. In fact, I’ll do that this month.