February 17, 2013

Cider Keeve: Day 62

This weekend is the 2 month mark for the Cider Keeve so I wanted to check in on it, get a gravity reading, and see how it tastes/smells.  As I mentioned last time, I was anticipating a gravity of ~1.010, and at 1.008 it is going right as I hoped.
Keeved Cider at 2 months
Keeved Cider at 2 months.
Now for the big question; how does it smell and taste?  To be honest, it was very hard to judge and the smell/flavor was not like any cider I've had.  The smell had this earthy, floral, and licorice combination with a hint of honey and apple skin.  It reminded me of a mead.  When I drank it, the flavor and body made me think I was drinking a mead or a wine.  My wife said it reminded her a lot of Chardonnay.  There was also a strawberry flavor and a slight tannin note.  It had a very nice tartness; not too sharp, but still pronounced.  At it's current gravity, I find it slightly thick, although if it were carbonated, it might be nice.

My biggest hope in checking in on the cider at this point was to see if the Brett was working in tandem to the Saccharo.  Based on the aroma, I would say yes.  However, it didn't translate much into the flavor...at least not at this point.  So I can't really say definitely if the Brett has been playing an active role or not.  I think it is on track for a keeve fermentation, and will just require some more time to see how flavors develop.

Since we were down checking on this, I decided to check on the Minimalist Lambic, which has been fermenting for over 7 months.  Gravity, as expected, is 1.000.  It smells pungent of typical lambic aroma.  Mostly grassy and barnyard funk.  Some hops and a slight phenol.  The taste was very interesting.  It has a very big funky/earthy/grassy flavor, but then has this lingering void, and then a hop bitterness.  The sourness is there, but not that high.  What is interesting is that its hard to call it "watery" or "one-noted", but it is definitely lacking complexity.  This isn't much of a surprise considering it is fermented with a single Brett strain where lambic traditionally has many many strains.
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