Non-penis condom fun
So I’d been wanting to make hard (ha) cider and stumbled across a website that describes how to make a hard (haha) cider starter using the wild yeasts found on the skin of organic and unwashed apples. I stopped at a market co-op in Everett on my way to a billion other errands and bought a quart of raw milk from Jackie’s Jersey’s and three organic apples.
I should have written down the type of apples, but I didn’t. My bad.
I peeled the apples and put one entire peel and about two cups of unpasteurized apple cider in a plastic container. I tucked all three udner the kitchen sink---warm and dark, nice and friendly for yeast. The first couple of days nothing seemed to be happening. The third day, holy crap.
The container sides were hard, meaning there was a lot of CO2 from the yeast. I opened the twist caps enough to let the gas out and mmmmmm. Apple-y and a little alcohol-y.
I’d read that putting a condom on the top of the container instead of the cap or lid gives the CO2 a place to go, meaning there’s less of a chance of a big boom and a mess. Yeppers, CO2 from fermentation can make containers explode. So I put a Trojan (non-lubricated) on each of the two containers that had fermentation going. It was maybe fifteen minutes and they were all blowed up.
Faster than Viagra. Though that one seemse a little shy. Well, it was a little chilly out.
Heh heh heh.
I’m going to let the fermentation go another day and then get some more unpasteurized cider. One of the local farms usuall sells some, but I don’t know if they’re pressing apples yet. I can always go back to the grocery store. Anyway, we’ll probably end up with about four or five cups of each kind of cider to try. If we like either (or both), we’ll keep some as a starter.
Using a starter means I don’t have to add wine yeast to the next batch. I have no argument with adding specialty yeasts, but I like to see if the wild yeasts will work better. My next attempt will be with blackberries---we have one gazillion blackberries. Seriously, one gazillion. We picked some a couple days ago and made a cobbler, but most of them weren’t quite ripe enough for jam or juicing.
I did get a new sourdough starter, though. Unbelievably good. It’s called, “Carl Griffith’s 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough,” see www.carlsfriends.org. If you send them a SASE, they will send you cultured starter you can revive and use. This sourdough starter really is from 1847, and Carl Griffith’s ancesetors gave it away to anyone who asked for some, a practice Carl continued. After Carl died, his family friends continue the practice, which strikes me as quite a legacy: sharing the beginnings of something as fundamental as bread and having it shared by people who loved you enough to continue your tradition of generosity.
So if we get the cider starter going, we may very well be able to have our own tradition. Or at least, a little apple-y goodness in a glass.
As far as the cider goes though, I must admit I really don’t know how useful those reservoir tips will be.