Hopped Cider

So many years ago I read online about hopped cider. It sounded interesting and the article mentioned the cider used cascade hops. I had some leftover and thought, “sure.” So I made it…and tried it…and it was awesome.

As a gluten free homebrewer, hopped cider is about the cheapest and easiest “beer” alternative. Of course it is NOT beer. But if you let the cider go especially dry, it can taste a bit like a light beer. And the hop flavor confuses the mind.

However, I prefer to not make imitation beer. When I brew a gluten free beer, I want it to taste like beer. And when I make a cider, I want it to taste like a cider. And when I hop it well…I want it to taste like some sort of delicious bastard. Which hopped cider does.

I was looking through the freezer and saw I had 1oz of chinook and 1 1/2 oz of centennial from my grapefruit IPA. I don’t like leaving hops in the freezer too long (don’t know why) so I decided to do something about it. I give you, Magnificent Bastard Cider (MBC).

  • 5 Gallons of Apple Juice (I use Kroger because it is close to me and in all these years it has never let me down. Now, for the record, if I had the money I once had, I’d buy cider from an orchard. But I don’t.)
  • 2lbs Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 oz Chinook (dry hopped)
  • S-05 Yeast

Let this go a week and then rack it into a secondary. At that time add:

  • 1lb Honey

Three days before bottling I’ll add

  • 1 1/2 oz Centennial Hops

At bottling time (as always) I’ll add a can of apple juice concentrate.

There ya have it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

2 thoughts on “Hopped Cider

  1. Very interesting. I’ve only made cider with champagne yeast. Is the honey and/or the concentrate to feed the yeast for bottle-conditioning and/or add sweetness/flavor?

    And TEN ounces of chinook?! Wow, that’s way more than any 5gal batch of IPA I’ve ever made

  2. Good eye! I put a space in on the ingredient list so that it reads “1 oz.” 10 ounces of Chinook would be INSANE. I took a brief sip tonight–I need to rack it tomorrow off the hops–anyways, it tasted amazing. Might be the best batch of my new brews.

    I’ve only used champagne yeast for mead so I can’t comment on how it might work for cider. But most people who have tried my ciders have prefaced samples with, “I don’t really like cider but I’ll try this since you made it” and *always* respond by saying, “wow. this was really good.” So I’m not sure if that is the ale yeast or not.

    The honey/concentrate is for bottle conditioning and flavor. I find the “apple” disappears as it ferments. So I need to add some “apple” back in when it is bottling time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s