there is a cider mill in portland ct on rt17 going toward glastonbury he sells by the gallon. you can bring your own containers or order a barrel (50gal they are used burbon barrels and expensive) or get them from the farmers market in hartford, where he gets them.. most area orchards that make cider will fill your containers
Lymans, Bishops, avon cider mill , etc.
Have made hard cider for years and it can be tricky, depending on the weather and where you store your barrel.
Hi Kevin, I get my unpreserved cider from Johnny Appleseed's farm at the farmstand on the Vernon/Tolland town line. They only have it in the fall, but that's when I do all of my cider brewing.
I've even done a batch from Whole Foods cider.
Scott - Please share your recipe/technique if you don't mind!
Sorry for the delay, Bob. It's pretty easy really.
Get 5 gallons of unpreserved cider. Let it sit to room temperature over night.
Start 1 pkg. champagne yeast in 1 cup warm water with 1 tsp. sugar until there's a nice layer on top.
Pour the 5 gallons into a 6 gal racking bucket, add yeast and cover with lid.
After ferment stabilizes for about a day or two pour mixture into 5 gal carboy and top with vapor lock.
Watch it bubble for about 3-4 weeks and it will slow down to a few seconds between bubbles. Don't bottle it yet! Most of the sugar is gone due to the yeast.
Add wine conditioner to the level of sweetness you like. I like about 375 ml. per 5 gal batch.
Stir well and let sit another week.
If the fermentation has slowed enough it is ready to bottle.
I like to let the cider mature in the bottle a few days before handing it out for samples. It seems to taste better to me.
There are a few more things to know after you get going. Check sugar levels before you get started. These can be adjusted by adding different things to change the final outcome. Rich at Brew and Wine Hobby has been a great help to me so that is a good resource to keep in mind.
I just wanted to let anyone that saw this know that after quite a few phone calls, I was able to get some raw cider from Applebrook Farms in Broadbrook. They press on site and the product changes as the different apples come into season. They charge $8 a gallon and $4.50 for a half gallon. I was told that you could get a discount if you caught them on pressing day and brought a bucket to transport the cider in. I guess they'd pass the bottling savings onto you.
Here's a link to their site:http://www.applebrookfarm.com/index.htm
I added about a pound of honey and brown sugar to 5 gallons of cider along with some yeast nutrient and a packet of champagne yeast last Saturday. My plan is to move it over to a secondary in a month and let it sit there for 5-6 months. I'm not sure if I'm going to try to carbonate or sweeten the cider once it's done. I've kind of got to do one or the other because I don't have the equipment to keg.