Author Topic: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes  (Read 3014 times)

Online erockrph

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Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:32:47 PM »
I've finally gotten around to tasting the test batches of cider that I discussed in this thread. I dry-hopped one gallon with Nelson Sauvin and left another gallon unhopped. I thought I'd share my tasting notes as there was some interest in the dry-hopped cider.

First a quick summary. Both batches were 1 gallon of local, UV-pasteurized, pressed cider with no further fermentables added. OG was 1.048. Each gallon got pectic enzyme and 1/4 packet of T-58. FG was 1.000. They were then both racked to secondary. The dry-hopped batch got 1/2 ounce of Nelson Sauvin, and was then racked off the hops after 10 days. They spent about 2 months in secondary before bottling. I added 1 Coopers carbonation drop to each bottle, and kept one bottle still from each batch.

I'll post my notes from each bottle separately so this doesn't turn into one huge post.
Eric B.

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Re: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 09:36:00 PM »
Tasting notes - still/unhopped cider

Aroma - SweetTart candy, honey, applesauce

Flavor - a quick squirt of juicy lemonade with more sweet-tarts, but fades very quickly to a bland, mineral-water note. Definitely needs something, pretty blah as-is.

Mouthfeel - watery & thin
Eric B.

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Re: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 09:38:33 PM »
Tasting notes - Still/Dry-hopped cider

Aroma - notes of apple & apricots. Vinous & honeyed - reminds me of a good German Auslese Riesling

Flavor - tart, some slightly vegetal bitterness, fadin to lingering honeyed wine notes

Mouthfeel - still pretty thin, but a hair fuller than the unhopped
Eric B.

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Re: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 09:43:54 PM »
Tasting notes - carbonated/unhopped cider

Aroma - Very appley with more SweetTart candy. Very nice

Flavor - a fleeting hint of apples with some tartness, followed by a "beery" note. Watery flavor, but more tolerable than the still version. Still feels like it needs something

Mouthfeel - thin, and ever-so-slightly prickly. This hasn't carbonated up very well after 2&1/2 weeks in bottles. I'm hoping that the yeast just needs more time to carbonate after the extended time in secondary.
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Re: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 09:48:42 PM »
Tasting notes - carbonated/dry-hopped cider

Aroma - Very similar to the still version - honey, apples and German Riesling

Flavor - honeyed wine and apples. The vegetal bitterness is less than the still version, but still faintly detectable. The apple flavor seems to come through a bit more than the still version

Mouthfeel - thin & watery with minimal carbonation. Hoping more time in the bottle will lead to better carbonation.
Eric B.

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Re: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 10:04:32 PM »
I definitely got some useful results for a first pass at this experiment. Nelson Sauvin was definitely the right choice for a hop in this cider. It doesn't mask the apple flavors from the cider, but it adds a really nice layer of complexity that pairs fantastically with cider.

I tasted the still samples about 3 weeks before the carbonated ones. I'm not sure if it is time or carbonation (or some combination of the two) that is lessening the perception of vegetal bitterness in the cider. The carbonated/hopped cider was very drinkable while the still version smelled fantastic but was rather tough to take more than a few sips of. I'll check back in another few weeks with another update.

A few other miscellaneous notes. I think I'd enjoy this cider a lot better if I backsweetened it a bit (or stopped it with sulfite before it dryed out fully). It's not so much the dryness, but it just seems way too thin and flabby. I have 3 more gallons (unhopped - so far) of this cider that is still finishing up, I may need to play with the sweetness level a bit. Also, I can't help but wonder if by using pectic enzyme that I may have traded off some body for clarity. I'll probably do a side-by-side next year on that.
Eric B.

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Re: Dry-hopped cider tasting notes
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 06:45:25 AM »
I really like 1.002 - 1.005 FG for dry cider. It's still what people identify as dry but the body and flavor are much better. Below this point and you need a boatload of tannins to prop it up.  Definately experiment with backsweetening, even a tiny bit makes a nice improvement.
 
Pretty cool idea. I might try dry hopping some cider myself.
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