Love the taste of fresh apple cider? Learn how to make your own homemade apple cider with this easy recipe!
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Commercially-made apple cider is a fall favorite, but it’s actually very easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. You can make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for later. Homemade apple cider is the perfect way to enjoy the fall season!
To make homemade apple cider, you’ll need:
-A strainer or cheesecloth
-A large pot
-Apple juice or apple cider (unsweetened)
Optional: Honey or sugar, to taste
benefits of Homemade Apple Cider
There are many benefits to making your own apple cider. First, it is a great way to use up apples that are starting to go bad. Second, you can control the sweetness of the cider by adding less sugar than commercial brands. Third, homemade cider is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. Finally, cider made at home is fresher and tastier than store-bought varieties.
The Equipment You’ll Need
You don’t need much special equipment to make cider. In fact, you probably have everything you need already. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
-A large pot or stockpot
-A strainer or cheesecloth
-Clean, sterile bottles or jars
-Optional: an apple press (if you want to save some time)
The Ingredients You’ll Need
In order to make homemade apple cider, you’ll need the following ingredients:
-7-10 pounds of apples (You can use a mix of different kinds of apples, or just one kind. If you use all Granny Smith apples, your cider will be pretty tart. A mix of Gala, Jonathan Apples, and Braeburn will give you a nice balance of sweetness and tartness)
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
You’ll also need the following supplies:
-A large pot or Dutch oven (at least 6 quarts)
-A strainer or cheesecloth
-A wooden spoon
-A funnel (optional)
The Step-by-Step Process
-1 gallon of apple cider
-1 orange, sliced
-1 lemon, sliced
-4 cinnamon sticks
-2 tablespoons whole cloves
-2 tablespoons allspice berries
1. Pour the apple cider into a large pot.
2. Add the orange slices, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries. 3. Stir everything together and then put the pot on the stove over medium heat. 4. Bring the cider to a simmer and then turn the heat down to low so it can slowly simmer for 3 hours. 5. After 3 hours, turn off the heat and let the cider sit for another 30 minutes so all the flavors can meld together. 6. Carefully strain out all the solids using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer and then pour the cider into bottles or jars. 7. The cider will last for 2 weeks in the fridge or up to 6 months if you decide to freeze it.
The Importance of Sanitation
While making any kind of food or drink at home, it is important to practice proper sanitation habits in order to avoid any food-borne illnesses. This is especially true when making something like apple cider, which will not be boiled before consuming. Any bacteria present on the apples or in the equipment you are using can easily make its way into your final product, so it is important to take care in ensuring everything is clean.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before beginning work, and be sure to wash all of your apples. It is not necessary to use any special cleaners on the fruit, as a simple rinse under running water will suffice. Inspect each apple for any signs of bruising or rot, and discard any that are not up to your standards.
Once the apples are washed, it is time to begin preparing them for cider-making.Sanitize all of your cider-making equipment before beginning. This includes anything that will come into contact with the apple pulp or juice, such as knives, cutting boards, strainers, fermenting vessels, and so on. A bleach solution made by mixing 1 Tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water (4ml per liter) is an effective sanitizer for homebrewing equipment. Soak all of your equipment in this solution for at least 2 minutes, then rinse well with hot water and allow to air dry completely before using.
The Benefits of Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider
There are many benefits to drinking raw, unfiltered apple cider.
Apple cider is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. It also contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to help lower cholesterol and improve digestion.
Raw apple cider is also a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. Unfiltered apple cider contains “mother,” a colony of beneficial bacteria that helps to ferment the cider and give it a murky appearance. Mother is rich in probiotics, which can help improve digestion and boost immunity.
In addition to health benefits of drinking raw apple cider, it is also delicious and versatile. You can drink it straight up, or use it in place of other vinegars in recipes. It’s also great for making apple cider vinegar which has even more health benefits.
Can I make cider without a press?
You can make small batches of cider without a press, but it will be more work. You’ll need to chop or grind the apples into a pulp and then put them into a clean pillowcase or lint-free cloth. Suspend the bag over a bowl or pot and let it drip overnight. In the morning, you’ll have fresh apple cider waiting for you!
Can I use other fruits to make cider?
Yes! You can use pears, peaches, strawberries, cherries, or any other fruits you like. Just be sure to adjust the sugar content accordingly. Sweet fruits like peaches will need less sugar than tart fruits like cranberries.
Is there alcohol in apple cider?
There is no alcohol in fresh apple cider. However, if you let it ferment for several weeks or months, it will turn into hard apple cider which does contain alcohol.
Here are some other questions people often ask about making homemade apple cider:
-How do I store fresh apple cider?
-Can I freeze fresh apple cider?
-What can I do with leftover pulp from making apple cider?