Recipe: Cherry Coffee Hard Cider
My cherry coffee hard cider is perfect for cider lovers but also gives beer enthusiasts a nice depth of flavors. The base consists of frozen cherry apple concentrate with the addition of coffee added at kegging or bottling. This one is based on my frozen concentrate hard cider method and can be on its way fermenting in less than 20 minutes once you have your juice thawed.
I have successfully made both a bottled and kegged version so adjust based on how you’ll be packaging. The bottled version can be made both sweetened and sparkling as long as you don’t hate artificial sweeteners. The kegged version is best when back sweetened with more juice. I personally prefer a sparkling sweet version on most of my ciders so you’ll have to experiment if adjusting for a dry or still version.
The coffee can be any brand that you like or can get your hands on. I generally use a very dark roast. You’ll want to cold brew the coffee rather than traditional brewing to avoid too much bitterness. Your best bet is to prepare it a day or two before bottling. Pre-made cold brew will also work just fine but make sure there are no preservatives if bottle conditioning.
Flavor / Color / Aroma:
The liquid is a beautiful clear brown-amber. Aroma is of sweet coffee with apple and cherry notes. The taste is a great balance between the sweet apple, tart cherry, and some roasty bitterness from the coffee. Sweetness is slightly below what a commercial cider like Woodchuck or Angry Orchard would be.
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.055 – 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.000
Final ABV: 6.5 to 7%+
Primary Fermentation: (Approximately two to three weeks in the fermenter.)
- 18 Frozen apple cherry concentrate cans (thawed)
- 32 Cans of water
- 1 Pack of champagne yeast or whatever yeast you prefer
- 1 Teaspoons of yeast nutrient
- 2 Frozen apple cherry concentrate cans (thawed)
- 16 oz Cold brew coffee
Brewing / Mixing:
- Thaw out your 18 cans of juice overnight in the fridge.
- Sanitize your fermentation vessel and any funnels you’ll need.
- Microwave about 6 to 8 ounces of water till boiling. Add a teaspoon of yeast nutrient to the water and stir. Microwave another 30 seconds.
- Pour in the juice and water making sure to alternate so the liquid gets well mixed. Add nutrient mixture halfway through the cans of concentrate.
- Pitch sanitized yeast packet directly or make a yeast starter. A starter is quicker but directly has worked fine for me.
- Place rubber stopper with an airlock filled with sanitizer or vodka on the fermenter.
- Place in dark draft-free place that stays around room temperature.
- Watch for bubbles in airlock within three days and pitch new yeast if nothing has started. You should see activity within 24 to 48 hours.
- Ferment for at least two weeks for final gravity. Three weeks gives the yeast clean up time and helps when fermentation isn’t going quickly.
- Transfer your hard cider into the keg.
- Back sweeten with two cans of cherry apple concentrate.
- Add approximately 32 ounces of cold brew coffee or amount to taste. Make sure to either shake the keg after pressurizing or swirl it a bit to help mix everything.
- Set to 10 to 12 PSI if kegging for a slow carb or quick carb at 30 PSI for a quicker carb. Check your keg until you get desired carb level. Mine generally tastes fine after 4 to 5 days at the slow carb. This one really benefits from a 2 week aging time for best flavor.
- Transfer your hard cider to a bottling bucket.
- Add approximately 32 ounces of cold brew coffee to your bottling bucket.
- Heat a cup and a half of water to boiling then add 4.5 ounces of corn sugar and a half cup of Splenda if you’re for back sweetening. Pour this mixture into your bottling bucket. Swirl the bucket a bit to make sure it gets distributed evenly.