Hollis Honey Perry

I got a text this past weekend letting me know a friend had some extra pear cider, asking if I was interested in coming over and helping make some. I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve never had fresh pear cider, and I never made Perry. I am a big fan of both pears and local fruit. Sunday morning I set of with my work crew and we headed to turn some pears into juice. The Cider grinder and press is a gorgeous piece that would look at home in a turn of the farm (1900’s). Osha and FDA certified it is not, with a hand crank powered toothed grinding wheel, a large open flywheel, and lots of wood. Continue reading

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Brewing Bitter New Englander for NHC’s club night.

I had to get this brewing session in as I was running out of time to brew my contribution to club night for the National Homebrewers Conference. While I won’t be there, I’m really excited to be sending this beer for my peers.This beer will be one of many being poured by my club members at the Brew Free or Die (BFD) booth, just look for the drinking old man of the mountain. This is my second try at this recipe. I brewed a Bitter American clone as my first all grain batch back in mid December. That first beer was all over the place, missed mash temps, stuck sparges, and extremely low volumes to and from kettle, pretty much what you expect for a first all grain brew day. The resulting beer was well received, I enjoyed it, and I figured if it was good when i screwed it up, it might be really good if I brewed it well. Continue reading

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Cider with a twist, Cyser

This fall was pretty hectic, starting a new job, having appendicitis, and a trip to California. All of this happening in the span of 3 months really cut into my free and brewing time. So much so, I nearly missed making my 2nd batch of cider. It’s not like making cider is time intensive either. The basic recipe is Cider + sugar + yeast + fermentation time. While I did finally make a batch, I did miss my preferred cider mix from the local farm. During picking season the farm will have single varietal fresh ciders along with their normal blend. These aren’t hard cider specific apples known for their acidity, or tannins, just single mac, macoun, or my favorite, honey crisp. Last years batch was a mix of honey crisp and cider blend, and after malolactic fermentation, aging on various items, it turned out quite well. Well enough to take a ribbon at a club only cider comp (1 of 8 or so). Continue reading

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