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Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

Pssst. It’s apple season. And since I love apples, I’m a decently happy camper. The honeycrisps right now are so amazingly sweet, tart, crunchy and delicious.

So apples are an old friend of mine, but after receiving a book on fermentation from my wonderful friend Kelsey over the summer, I’ve been itching to dip my toes into the pool of fermentation. Ok…that probably wasn’t the most appealing metaphor to pick for this topic, but seriously, fermented things are great. I can think of very few fermented things that aren’t good (except natto and stinky tofu): cheese, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, and of course, alcohol.

I came across a really simple recipe the other day that was actually for DIY sparkling cider (virgin) but it involved yeast. I was intrigued, but decided that I wanted to make the real thing—hard cider—and today decided to grab a gallon of organic pressed gravenstein apples from Berkeley Bowl. I then proceeded over to the local brewing store, Oak Barrel Winecraft and got some quick tips for brewing from the man who worked there.

I decided to use the original container as my carboy and the man behind the counter set me up with an airlock (to let gas escape during fermentation), yeast, and campden tablets for easy sterilization.

I crushed up one campden tablet and dumped it in the bottle along with 2/3 cup of sugar—1/3 brown and 1/3 white.

Tomorrow I get to add the yeast (he gave me an English ale yeast “to accent the fruitiness”) and then it’s a waiting game, which is good because I’ve been seriously working on my patience over the past couple of months.

I’ll keep you posted on this little experiment…but something tells me I’m going to start fermenting more things while I’m waiting for this to happen. Homemade sauerkraut, anyone?


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