I'm feeling a little warm ... and fuzzy ... right now, and so if this post ends up being a little less coherent than usual, there's a reason :).
Today Deus Ex Machina bottled the cider he started fermenting a few months ago ;).
When he was gathering all of the bottles he estimated he would need to hold all of the cider in the carboy, he found a full bottle of cider from one of our earlier batches. We have no idea which one, but when we opened the bottle, it was sweet and sparkly and just yummy, yummy cider.
We drank it all up, which is why I'm a little warm and fuzzy right now :). It was probably the 14% batch, because I only had the one glass ;). It would be accurate to say that it has a little kick, but it wasn't harsh ... at all. In fact, it was only a little less fruity than the sparkling non-alcoholic cider we use to toast the New Year with our girls. It's probably a good thing there was only one bottle of it, because alcohol that doesn't taste exactly like alcohol gets folks in trouble.
There are a lot of things I really enjoy about the lifestyle toward which we're moving. Saving money is probably one of my favorites and making our own cider and beer saves a ton of money ... not that we drink that often. Because we make it ourselves and understand how precious each individual bottle is - based on the time and energy to produce - we are not likely to go on a drinking binge. One glass or 12 oz bottle at a time is more than adequate, because at this point in my life, I really am drinking it for the taste, and compared to cost of my favorite beer, which is Guinness, or any bottle of comparable wine (our cider is very much like a good medium white wine), the cost per bottle for our homemade brew is negligible.
One liter of our cider costs about $1.50. One liter of our own beer made using a beer kit costs us about $2.
We do have all of the fancy bottling equipment - buckets, airlocks, the carboy ... and for the beer, we use the True Brew Bavarian Hefeweizen Beer Kit. Buying all of the equipment set us back a little, but now that we have it, we have it forever.
And in six months, when the current batch of cider is ready to sample, I'll be feeling all warm and fuzzy again.
I can wait ... :).