Step-by-step guide on how Make Hard Apple Cider at home. This easy recipe uses just a few ingredients and produces a delicious, crisp cider.
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Making hard apple cider is a fun and easy way to enjoy the fruits of fall. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can make delicious hard apple cider at home. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
collecting apples, choose a variety that is high in sugar and acidity for the best results. While you can use any type of apple, soft apples will result in a cider that is lower in alcohol content and sweetness. Once you have your apples, clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Then, use a apple slicer/corer to remove the core from each apple.
After the apples are cored, use a food processor or grinder to chop them into small pieces. If you do not have access to a food processor, you can also chop the apples by hand. Once the apples are chopped, transfer them to a clean fermentation vessel.
Next, add water to the fermentation vessel until the apples are covered. Then, add sugar and yeast according to your recipe or taste preferences. Once everything is well combined, cover the vessel with a clean cloth or lid and set it aside in a cool, dark place to ferment for 2-3 weeks.
After 2-3 weeks, your cider should be ready to bottle. Use sterile bottles and caps to avoid spoiling your cider. Be sure to leave some headspace in each bottle so that the cider has room to expand as it carbonates. Store your bottles of hard cider in a cool place until you’re ready to enjoy them!
What You’ll Need
To make delicious hard apple cider, you’ll need the following ingredients: apples, sugar, yeast, water, and a little bit of patience! The process is pretty simple:start by crushing the apples, add sugar and yeast, then let the mixture ferment. After a few weeks, your cider will be ready to enjoy. Cheers!
You probably have most of the equipment you’ll need to make cider in your kitchen already. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
-A large pot or food-grade plastic bucket (at least 7.5 gallons/28.5 L) for boiling the cider
-A smaller pot for heating the honey (if using)
-A long-handled spoon for stirring
-A strainer or cheesecloth for straining the cider
-A funnel for transferring the cider into bottles
– Bottles (preferably flip-top bottles)
-1Gallon of apple juice – Get a good quality juice with no added sugar. Avoid “natural flavors.”
-1 package of champagne yeast – This is a good choice for primary fermentation.
-1 6-gallon carboy – Fit with an airlock.
-Siphoning equipment – This is for transferring the cider from the carboy to bottles later on.
-1 funnel – for transferring the cider into the carboy
-Patience – Making cider takes time!
Making hard apple cider is a multi-step process, but it is not difficult and does not require special equipment. The most important thing is to start with clean, fresh apples. Once you have your apples, you will need to crush them and then press the juice out of them. After that, you will need to add yeast to the juice and let it ferment. Once it has fermented, you can bottle it and enjoy your homemade cider!
Step One: Choosing and Preparing Your Apples
The first step to making hard apple cider is choosing and preparing your apples. You’ll want to use a mix of sweet and tart apples for the best flavor. Avoid using any apples that are bruised or damaged, as these can make your cider tasteflat.
Once you’ve gathered your apples, wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Then, use a sharp knife or apple corer to remove the stem and core from each one. You can leave the skin on the apples if you like, but some people prefer to peel them first.
After you’ve prepared your apples, it’s time to move on to the next step: crushing them!
Step Two: Crushing and Pressing the Apples
After you have gathered or purchased your apples, it’s time to get started on making the cider. The first step is to wash the apples. You can do this by putting them in a bowl or bucket and filling it with water. Swish the apples around and then pour out the water. Repeat this process a few times or until the water is clear.
Once the apples are washed, it’s time to get them ready for crushing. This can be done a few different ways, but the most important thing is to end up with a pulp that is about an inch thick. This will ensure easy pressing and avoid clogging the press.
If you are using a fruit press, you can simply put the washed apples into the hopper and let the machine do its job. If you don’t have a fruit press, you can use a manual crusher or even a food processor. Just make sure that the apples are chopped into small pieces before moving on to pressing.
Step Three: Adding the Yeast
Once you have your apple juice and cider making equipment, it’s time to think about adding yeast. The type of yeast you use is important, as different strains will produce different results. For a dry cider, you’ll want to use a champagne or wine yeast, while a sweeter cider is best made with a beer yeast. You find these strains of yeast at your local homebrew shop.
Adding the yeast is simple: just sprinkle it on top of the unfiltered apple juice in your fermentation vessel. There’s no need to stir or aerate the mixture, as the yeast will quickly settle to the bottom and begin working its magic.
Step Four: Fermentation
Once the must has cooled, it’s time to add your yeast. You can use any type of yeast, but we recommend using a wine or cider yeast. We like Lalvin EC-1118 for its dependability, tolerance to high alcohol levels, and because it produces very little sulfur. Sulfur can give your cider an off-flavor, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.
Once you’ve added your yeast, give the must a good stir to distribute it evenly. Then cover the must and set it aside in a warm place (70-80°F is ideal) for primary fermentation.
Primary fermentation will usually take about two weeks. You’ll know it’s done when the bubbling in the airlock has slowed to about one bubble every two seconds. At this point, you can either bottle your cider or move on to secondary fermentation.
Step Five: Bottling and Storage
After the cider has finished fermenting and you’ve taken your final gravity reading, it’s time to bottle and store your cider.
If you plan on drinking your cider right away, you can bottle it into individual serving bottles like beer bottles or wine bottles. Make sure to leave about an inch of headspace at the top of each bottle to account for any expansion from the carbonation. Once you’ve bottled your cider, store it in a cool, dark place like a closet or pantry.
If you want to age your cider, you can bottle it into swing-top bottles or Mason jars. Be sure to leave about two inches of headspace at the top of each jar or bottle to allow for expansion from the carbonation. Once you’ve bottled your cider, store it in a cool, dark place like a basement or cellar.
To serve, simply pour your hard apple cider into a glass and enjoy!
Q: What is hard cider?
A: Hard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apple juice. It has a refreshing, tart flavor and can be enjoyed on its own or used in cocktails.
Q: What equipment do I need to make hard cider?
A: To make hard cider, you will need a food-grade plastic or glass container for fermenting the apple juice, an airlock and stopper for preventing contamination during fermentation, and a bottling setup for packaging the finished cider. You will also need a source of fresh, unfiltered apple juice.
Q: How long does it take to make hard cider?
A: The actual process of making hard cider is relatively quick, taking only a few days to complete. However, the fermentation process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the temperature and other factors.
Q: How much alcohol does hard cider contain?
A: The alcohol content of hard cider can vary depending on the recipe and fermentation method used. Generally, commercial ciders contain around 4-7% alcohol by volume (ABV), while homemade ciders can range from 5-8% ABV.
Q: Can I make hard cider without yeast?
A: No, yeast is necessary for fermentation and without it, your cider will not become alcoholic. However, you can use a variety of different yeast strains to achieve different flavors in your finished product.
In conclusion, making hard apple cider is a fun and rewarding process that anyone can do at home with the right supplies and instructions. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can produce a delicious beverage that will be enjoyed by family and friends for many occasions to come. Follow the tips outlined in this guide and you’ll be sure to make great cider every time.