Back at it again with another cider, but this time we’re adding in an ingredient, more associated with beer, hops! Tangy citrus-y and bursting with fruit character, this hazy dry hop cider might be my new favorite drink.
I’m Trent Musho, and this is the bru sho. Let’s make a hazy hop cider.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would taste like if beer and cider had a baby, this would be it. The hops added bring a fruity complexity and bitterness to balance out that sweet apple flavor. This is the perfect drink for the gluten intolerant that are missing out on the bitter hoppiness of an IPA.
And best of all, just like other apple cider recipes it is extremely easy to do. If you brew beer and never made a cider before, or you’re looking to make an easy cider recipe, then this could be the perfect jumping off point.
With hazy IPA’s being all the craze, I wondered if I could bring some of those characteristics into a cider. And through hop and east selection, as well as a bit of precise timing, I was able to nail it. Stick around, to see how it’s done.
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For this recipe, I’m making a one gallon batch, but I was so happy with the results I will definitely be making this again in a larger size. So if you want, feel free to scale this up or down to your liking.
The brew day, if you want to call it that is super simple and can easily be done in just a few minutes. For the base of the cider, I’m using one gallon, a store bought apple juice. As always avoid juice with preservatives like sorbates, sulfites, and benzoates. And if you have access to fresh apple juice that would work great.
To the juice, I’ll be adding in some yeast nutrients. My go-to combo is diammonium phosphate and fermaid O. I’ll be adding five grams DAP and one and a half grams of farmaid O. Give it a good mix with the sanitize spoon to help dissolve.
And that reminds me everything that touches your apple cider should we sanitized. Most store-bought juice has an original gravity of 1.050, and that’s just fine with me. It should give us about a 5 to 6% ABV drink, but if you want to even stronger brew, feel free to add some sugar in at this point.
Now it’s time to add the yeast I’m going for that hazy IPA look. So I want with Lallemand Voss Kveik. This use has been proven to make great any IPA’s that will hold their haze for awhile and it’s ester production or fruit characteristics expressed by fermentation will nicely compliment the final product.
No hydration is needed. I just tossed in the dry yeast and I won’t be adding in any hops quite yet. That will come shortly. Once it’s all in, I close up the lid and give it a good shake for 60 seconds to incorporate oxygen and make sure everything is well-mixed.
I then pop on an airlock and set it in a cool dark place for about 12 hours. After 12 hours, fermentation was in full swing, got to love kviek. So while it’s an active fermentation now is when I’ll add in the hops, I’m gonna use a unique cart for this called cryo hops by Yakima Chief hops.
Cryo hops are just regular hops, except they’re frozen with liquid nitrogen, which in return removes a lot of the vegetable matter leaving behind a concentrated form of the hop that is packed with more flavor, aroma and alpha acids.
The benefit of less hop leaf i the product means you’ll have less hop sludge in your fermenter and less hop absorption. And with more intense flavor and aroma, you can use less. They cost a little bit more than a typical hop, but if you’re planning on adding a lot of hops and are worried about all that vegetable waste, then this is a great product.
I like it here since I’m making a small batch and I want to preserve as much of the cider as I can. Any losses can add up quickly. I’m using Citra, cryo hops, a half ounce.
Citra adds a ton of citrus and floral character that I think will really compliment and even highlight the apple character here. I think you can use almost any hops here, but it’s fun to think of flavors that will compliment rather than contrast the flavor, but play around and have some fun.
I’m adding them here and active fermentation to try and utilize hop biotransformation, which is basically when the yeast and hops interact together to unlock some bolder and more pronounced flavors and aromas.
These are usually flavors that have a more tropical fruit forward taste. With the hops in, I close it up and let the fermentor ride for another six days.
At the end of the six days fermentation had completely stopped. I took a final gravity reading and got 1.001. Meaning this one comes in at 6.4% ABV we officially have cider.
And whoa, that kviek did some work. It really dried this out, which for me is great. I love dry cider. If you like your ciders more sweet, now’s the time that you had stabilized the cider and back sweetened to your liking. You can stabilize with something like potassium sorbate and potassium Mehtabisulfate or Camden tablets. These two will keep fermentation from starting back up.
That way you can add in some apple juice to bring back the sweetness, just know that if you do this, you’ll end up with a still cider, unless you keg get up. But I like how mine tastes as is. So I’m going to go ahead and keg it up.
If you’re bottling, you can do that instead. I show how to do that in my bottling versus kegging video. If you want to know more.
I’m using a similar Kagy method that I would use for an IPA. I’m going to purge the keg of oxygen with CO2 before transferring it. That way I can preserve as much of the hop character as possible. Then I release the pressure from the keg and connect the line of tubing from my fermentor to the outpost on my keg and slowly fill it up from the bottom.
Just to remember, to open the PRV on your keg. So when you open the valve and your fermenter, all the CO2, doesn’t shoot up into your fermenter making a mess. Also, it’s a good idea to crack the top of your fermentor so you’re not creating a vacuum.
When it’s all in the keg, I clos the PRV and then at 30 PSI of pressure for one day before reducing down to about 10 PSI for serving. And once it’s fully carbed up, this hop cider is ready to drink.
Look at that haze. It came out just as I’d hoped. I light yellow hue with a strong haze and perfectly bubbly. I like my cider’s a little more bubbly, but you can set that to your own preference.
The aroma is bursting with citrus and notes of pineapple and lemon. And I’m really getting a ton of that Citra here. It smells like an IPA, but with a slight background of green apple.
On the flavor, I’m immediately hit with a tart dry apple taste, but with a twist of citrus, like a lemon lime flavor. In fact, the more I sip on it, I get a flavor of reminiscent of a granny Smith Apple. It’s extremely thirst quenching, and the fruity hop notes really compliment the apple flavor very well. I’m extremely pleased with how this came out.
I could easily see this being in the rotation for regular things I have on tap. It’s perfect for spring or summer. And it’s great to have on hand for that gluten-free friend. Just keep in mind that if you’re brewing for someone that’s GF, that you should technically keep your beer brewing gear separate if they have an extreme sensitivity.
I can’t wait to make this again. Maybe next time I’ll play with different hops. What kind of hops would you use in a cider? If you have any good ideas, let me know.
And if you make this recipe, we share to send me some pics, either on Instagram, @thebrusho or on the discord server. I’ve loved seeing your brews that are inspired by my videos like this one from goostafnsons homebrewing.
It’s a pineapple hard cider that he calls Texas pug cider. It’s a modified version of my mango hard cider, sounds delicious. And that’s a great idea to swap out the fruit, keeps them coming.
Here’s to making hazy ciders the next craze. Thanks for watching and cheers.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.