Aaron Sliski's Blog

Fall is here and so is the cider

Posted on October 26, 2016

So the story of this cider starts wayyy back in January 13th 2001. My father who is a jack of all trades was told by his sister to talk to this guy named Paul Horowitz. Long story short I have helped Paul over the last 15 years with his telescope that looks for aliens out at Harvard, Ma. Anyways the reason why this is important to making hard cider is because across the street from the observatory is, in my mind the best orchard in Mass. The Orchard is not only amazing but it is on the top of a hill out in the country, it’s really truly it’s a beautiful place. When I was little The apples were the size of my face, they were HUGE! But not only were they huge they were sooo juicy and tender and not covered in gross chemicals. Anyways I have started to brew beer in the past couple months and I really wanted to make cider. So after looking up how to make cider I was a little put off, not only would i need more equipment but it just makes a mess. So I did the next best thing, I called up Carlson Orchards out in Harvard mass, and I asked if there was some sort of special cider they could set aside for me for brewing with. To my delight they said yes, they set aside a tote (275 gallons) of unpasteurized cider. Let’s just say I was stoked! I called them every two weeks or so to see how it was going and they kept telling me they didn’t have a blend they were happy with yet.

So I'll try to keep this story short but its worth telling. You need yeast to ferment your cider faster, you can let the cider sit for a while because it has its own yeast but its risky because of contamination. Anyway the yeast in the picture is champagne yeast, where did I get it you ask? Well funny story.

So the date is April 12,2015, my friend Dan and I are buying this fine 29' Ericson sailboat, once again long story short we got the boat for 800 smackers. It was semi- trashed on the inside because the owner let a hobo live in the boat over the winter, and inside while we were cleaning it we found 20 packets of champagne yeast, well somehow they ended up in my fridge at home. So when it came time to make my cider I thought it was appropriate to use the hobo yeast.

What is amazing to watch is when you brew stuff and about a day into the yeast growing they start to eat, and when they eat they output carbon dioxide. Since it outputs a gas it bubbles up and you can see it like in the video, but what you can’t see because the cider is so opaque is that it stirs up everything on the inside. It’s pretty cool to see all of this going on, it’s really a miracle of nature, you kind of just throw these germs in there and they just go wild! I am so thankful I was able to just buy the cider and I didn’t have to make it. I bought 15 gallons, which should be enough to get me through till the spring or so. The other thing about making my own alcohol, is that just like anything you make it always tastes better because you have a connection to it, this feeling of I made this. It really is a rare feeling in life and probably a feeling many people don’t experience.