Apples are coming in and the cider is flowing. I happened to get a gallon of fresh squeezed cider from a friend of mine whose mother in law has a few trees up north, or "up nort" as some say in these parts.
Of course the only thing better than fermenting some cider is drinking some cider, so I had a pint of the unfermented stuff before tossing the yeast in. It was of moderate sweetness, nice apple flavors, pretty soft and full-bodied, with a hint of fermentation already going on. Not much acidity but some pleasant tannic bolstering at the end. I love those apple tannins, and most commercial ciders around here avoid them.
For a low acidity juice I like to use the Wyeast Rudesheimer strain, but I didn't happen to have that one around, so I used the K1-V1116 dry yeast instead. It is fairly neutral on the aromatics and should leave good apple character, and also highlights acidity nicely, especially as it can be quite dry. I also like the K1-V1116's "killer" abilities, it is very good at outcompeting and suppressing other yeast strains, which I'm sure this unpasteurized juice had in droves. Before pitching the yeast I added in a cup of brown sugar, which will help make a more stable end product by upping the alcohol, and may help give the cider some more body and a bit of residual sugar.
We'll see how it goes! I'm hoping that this will be an early drinker that I can add some carbonation to. Until then, I'll be on the lookout for more juice!