Valentine’s Day weekend is coming up. What better way to say “I love you” than making your own hard cider together?
Even if you don’t have a valentine, you can still partner up with a friend and bring home a beverage crafted by the two of you.
This Friday is Cider Creek Hard Cider’s third class.
“I told my wife ‘I’m going to quit my job and open up a hard cider company,’ and she was like ‘What are you doing? Are you sniffing nitrous at work?'” Head Cider Maker Kevin Collins said.
Collins was in the dental industry for 13 years before he decided to open up the cidery in Canisteo.
“My wife gave it some thought,” Collins said. “She was in full support, and we moved back here. This is our family farm. We have roughly 2,500 acres here. I’ve always wanted to have a family business back on our farm to sustain the property long term.”
The class provides attendees with basic homemade cider equipment. The first thing, most importantly, is the vessel – a five gallon carboy.
A rubber stopper and airlock go on top to prevent the juice from oxidizing.
You will then disinfect everything. Collins uses peracetic acid – essentially a heavily concentrated vinegar.
After, it’s time to fill the carboy with cider. It’s important to leave headspace because you don’t want the yeast to burp up once fermentation starts.
By experimenting with even more instruments, you will be able to eventually calculate the alcohol percentage of your beverage.
You can bring additional ingredients like spices, fruits, and juices to play around with the flavor.
You’ll then take it home and let it sit somewhere where it’s no cooler than 68 degrees.
“We’ll have a follow up class roughly four to six weeks after our initial class where everybody brings their cider back,” Collins said. “We taste it. We judge it. Then the winner of the class… we will recreate their cider and put it on our draft list for the tasting room.”
The tasting room is open from Thursday to Sunday.
The class is $65 per couple and you can buy tickets by clicking here.