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Joel's Maple Cider

  • Boil 4.5 gallons of sap for ten minutes to kill any bacteria.
  • In a separate pot, mix another half gallon of sap with 5 cinnamon sticks, a heaping tablespoon of whole cloves and 1 Lb. of molasses. Boil for ten minutes.
  • Strain the sap/spice mixture into 5-gallon glass carboy. Add 14 cans of apple juice concentrate and top off with 4.5 gallons of boiled sap.
  • Cover and put outside to let liquid temperature cool to 72 degrees. (Wrapping the carboy with cold, wet towels will bring down temperature more quickly.)
  • When 72 degrees is reached, add two packets of dry champagne yeast and airlock the cider so CO2 can escape, but air can not enter the container. (An airlock is simply a tube coming out of the sealed top of the container that runs into a glass of water)
  • After a day or two the yeast will begin to convert the sugars into alcohol and CO2 will be released from the container at a rapid rate (several "burps" per second into the glass of water). The "burps" will become less frequent after a few days. Once the burps have slowed to every 90 seconds (4-5 weeks later) the cider is ready to be bottled.
  • Transfer the cider to another container with a spigot, mix one cup of corn sugar to the cider and bottle. (the extra sugar adds carbonation.)
  • The cider is ready to drink after two weeks in the bottle.
  • The cider should be chilled before drinking and drunk in small quantities like wine. It will have a very woody, maple-like character, but will be very dry, since nearly all of the sugars are fermentable and have been converted to alcohol. Alcohol content is 12%-14%.