Refining Buried Cider from the Basement
January 20, 2011 3:20 PM Subscribe
What can I do this old apple cider? I found a 30 year old jug in my inlaw's basement. It's funky and drinkable! What can I do to kick it up a notch?
Long story short, my father in law had a bunch of apples pressed in the 70s. He thought he would make hard cider and just left a 5 gallon glass jug in the basement. He abandoned it for some reason, I think he thought it got junk in it or something.
Yesterday, as I was poking around, I pulled the rubber stopper out of the jug and it smelled good! We poured a tiny amount into glasses and gave it a shot.
It didn't exactly taste like cider, but it was sort of good. It felt mildly alcoholic and had a smoky taste. It is a bit bitter, but actually quite a neat experience to drink. We dubbed it Apple Wine. We drank about two liters of it and no one got sick.
My questions are these:
1. What was happening with this apple juice all those years? It was straight juice in a glass jug with a somewhat airtight rubber cork. Did it ferment?
2. How can I test the alcohol content of this stuff?
3. Most important: Is there any way I can refine/strengthen this stuff? Can I do some further fermentation (I picture a basic yeast+sugar type thing)? I'm considering doing some experimental batches with different methods, ingredients, if you have any suggestions.
Thanks for any help/suggestions!