In fact, many people who make hard cider do just that! Zowie! If your juice came in a glass jug, this counts as one of your jugs, but you will need another jug too.) Apple juice is tricky stuff. A rubber stopper with a hole. If you plan on buying the apple juice, you should understand that differences in juices and ciders. From there, cider has made its way through the ages; the fermented apple drink was popular in 10th century England, drunk in early B.C. Knowing the starting specific gravity is vital to knowing the actual final alcohol content. In most of the rest of the world, including the UK and Europe, just saying plain ‘cider’ means alcoholic hard cider. Copyright © 2020 by Homebrew Hours. For around a dollar or two, you will have enough yeast for 5 gal worth of cider. Follow the instructions on your bottle of sanitizer. If you are interested in knowing the alcohol content in the hard cider you are making (as most are), you will need to measure the starting gravity (also called original gravity or O.G.). In the last half, move the bucket onto a table or counter if you can (to prepare for racking), and don’t move or bump the container to let all the sediment settle to the bottom. The three most common adjustments are to increase flavor, carbonation, and sweetness. Even better, tell the orchard folks you are making hard cider, and I bet they will have some wonderful tips! In other words, you CANNOT make hard cider from juice with chemical preservatives in it! It has much more suspended solids. All rights reserved. Soon, you’ll be making cider that delights your friends and terrifies your enemies. Here are the steps you’ll follow to make hard cider of your own. Unless you like your hard cider completely still (without any carbonation), it’s likely you’ll want to add carbonation. You will bottle your hard cider using the auto-siphon, tubing, and bottle filler. Just remember, after you add the yeast, it is no longer sweet cider, so I might just call it “cider” by that stage in the process out of habit. Place the bucket in a room or closet where the temperature is 65 to 75 degrees — the closer to 65 degrees, the better. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Safcider 40725 Cider Yeast: Not a very sexy name, but folks on the cider blogs are raving about how it holds apple flavor. © 2020 Midwest Home Brewing, Wine Making, Hydroponic & Gardening Supplies. First, boil 1 cup water with three-fourths cup honey or brown sugar. The hardest part of making cider is getting the juice out of those apples, and for that you need a cider press. When pouring by hand, it can be very hard to keep all the lees from coming with the cider. Blech. Mr_Pink – YouTube Audio Library The honey or brown sugar syrup and cider should mix together naturally, but stir slowly with a sanitized spoon if you feel it is necessary. Ferment the cider for an additional one to two months. Reported to work under a wide temperature range between 50 and 86F (10 and 30C), with an ideal range is between 64 and 75F (18 and 24C). If you follow this strategy, wild strains of yeast will still be in the sweet cider when it begins fermenting. It’s potent stuff, so be careful and add it a little at a time, tasting often. Finally, you drink! You will want to use a brewer’s yeast (NOT a bread yeast). They open their jugs of sweet cider up to the air (or they have a nice batch of apple yeast from the cider mill already in the juice) and hope for the best. Your best bet for preservative-free cider is to buy it in-season from a local orchard. The world history of hard cider stretches all the way back to ancient Roman times. This yeast is quite happy fermenting at 55 – 65F so I use it in the fall/winter time of the year. Raw Orchard Fresh Cider – from a local orchard stand, or farmer’s market. Start the siphon and fill each bottle by pressing the spring-loaded bottle filler into the bottom of the bottle. Brewing can be a complex trip down the paths of chemistry, pH, specific gravity, temperature regulation, and microbe management. (, 1 Camden tablet (only if you are using fresh, non-pasteurized cider and want to control your yeast –, 3 to 6 feet of 5/16-inch food-grade plastic tubing (, Bottles, if you are carbonating your cider (. The most commonly used hard cider sweeteners are sugar alcohols, natural sweeteners, and artificial sweeteners. YES! Rack the fermented beverage into a clean container with a siphon hose, leaving the sediment (lees) behind. It gives enough detail to help a first-timer successfully make their first batch of cider, when used with the recipes. If you want help with these crude methods, look for another website, and don’t invite me over for a taste. Seal the jugs or bottles. What’s the best yeast to make hard cider? Some of the most common of these are fruits such as blueberries or peaches (see the recipe page or this article for much more about fruit additions). You can also use natural yeasts to make cider. For small batches, you can simply pour the cider from one container to another. 8. Set the cap on the top of the bottle, do not reseal the bottle. A standard amount (and good baseline to use) is to add the equivalent to 1 cup of sugar sweetness for a 5-gallon batch. See this chart to help make your yeast choice fit your hard cider preferences. Cinnamon sticks are also a very common additions, but be very careful not to add too much. The usual method of pasteurization kills microorganisms with heat, which affects the flavor of the juice. Racking is also done in bottling. Most likely, you’ll seal the container with a device called an ‘air lock’ (or bubbler) to allow the gas to escape, without letting any air or contaminants in. According to their website the strain was selected English ale yeast, selected for “fast fermentation character” and its flocculate (drop out at the end of fermentation and leave you with clear brew). (Be gentle when moving the bucket full of cider. No problem. Siphoning is the process of using gravity to move liquid between containers. While drinking may need no explanation, tasting may. There are a couple ways to do this: To create carbonation, you will add more sugar. Next, you rack the hard cider into bottles, where it continues to age. Now, it is illegal to use these “drops” or process them into cider that will be sold, but there is never a guarantee that the apples that were squeezed into your cider did not come in contact with the ground or other contaminated harvesting equipment. Before bottling it, put some sugar into the bottles (1 TBSP for each 1 Litre). Just ask if the juice has any chemical preservatives in it. Orchards can either ‘traditionally’ pasteurize their juice (long, gentle heat it to kill microbes) ‘cold pasteurize’ it with UV light. Pasteurized Cider – from the grocery store (that does not contain preservatives) Not so flavorful, but fine in a pinch. With time and experience, your skills will grow and your recipes will become more complex. Since 1986 it has been illegal for cider resellers to sell unpasteurized cider to anyone but direct consumers. At this point, it’s time to start drinking your cider and thinking about brewing your next batch. Clean with standard washing techniques: hand washing or putting items in the dishwasher, using dish soaps, etc. Is reputed to have good flocculating qualities (i.e. This is apple acid (Malus is Latin for apple) and it is fine too. Typically, you move the cider into another container for secondary fermentation where it ages and can be combined with additional flavor components, such as fruit or spices. Buying on Amazon gets you the same products for less money. This guide explains the process of how to make hard cider in simple terms that everyone can understand. This kit provides all of the basic fermentation and testing equipment required to make your first hard cider. If apples are not of your own growing and washed – you’d better to use wine yeast or unwashed grape. If you want help with these crude methods, look for another website, and don’t invite me over for a taste. This includes standard equipment such as the carboy, stopper, air lock, funnel, etc. If your juice is contaminated, your hard cider may be too. 2. Preferably, your sweet cider should be “cold pasteurized,” which kills microorganisms with ultraviolet light. TWO GLASS 1-gallon jugs. You can overcome this challenge very easily by using artificial flavorings, like this artificial apple flavoring. If you want more alcohol in your hard cider than is produced using the sugar in the raw apple juice, you will need to add additional sugar prior to fermentation. Check out some of the cider forums listed in the links section of this site and join the “what’s the best cider yeast” conversation! This is a true ale yeast, so it can go as high as 18% alcohol, so if you give it too much sugar, you’ll get apple “wine.” I sometimes use this yeast at the end of the cider process to carbonate. Goes slow, and slow is good for cider flavor. A hydrometer measures the sugar in the cider. Make a note of this number, as you’ll use it in the end to calculate ABV. It also goes into enough detail and provides enough references to help experienced cidermakers fully understand the process so they can make their next batch better. Be careful not to scratch anything plastic as the scratches can harbor bacteria in future batches. 1 Gallon glass Jug ($9 ships free from I will cover the 2 most common ways here, and a much more comprehensive guide can be found here. As is the case with ingredients, the specific equipment you need will vary according to the recipe and techniques you are using (you can find more information on the equipment page or the kits page). Preferably, add yeast within 24 hours after pressing. Don’t have an Amazon Prime membership? One of the magical things about hard cider is… the process would happen without you doing anything at all. A package of yeast is very inexpensive and lasts for years in an unopened package (in the fridge or freezer). If you’re using wild yeast, your cider may be not so carbonized as you expect, but with wine yeast the you will be pleased with the result. You may also notice a very distinct smell (sulfur). (if you buy cider (juice) in plastic, you will need to move it into glass to ferment. Final Note: Write down the starting specific gravity! Pour the contents of one yeast packet into the bottle, let the yeast float on the top of your starter solution (Do not shake). Blech. Boiling causes pectins to set, which creates a permanently hazy beverage. Sanitizing is the process of removing the unseen contaminants, such as bacteria. You have your apple juice in the primary fermentation container, with any sugar you added. Generally, natural yeasts will make less alcohol than cultured yeasts. Most strains of yeast used for wine making make good choices for making cider, and there are even cider-specific yeast strains available.