Hello benchool, making apple cider sounds good to me and there are
several recipes floating around. You might want to try them all.
Get your hands on the freshest cider possible, and taste it. If it
tastes good, use it in your brew. There are orchards all across North
America and you can probably find a local cider mill in your area by
looking in the yellow pages or asking at your local farm stand. Spend
a little time driving around the countryside visiting as many cider
mills as possible. You?ll eventually find a cider that you like and
have a blast doing it.
Do not use any ?supermarket juice? that has preservatives (usually
potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate). Those chemicals may inhibit
your fermentation. Always read the label. However, keep in mind that
there may not be anything added to your local supermarket cider. If
not, and it tastes good, go ahead and use it.
I thought that this is good advice on selecting the juice to get started.
This is a good website if you want to really do things right and
purchase the correct equipment.
airlock & stopper
bottles, caps & capper
fresh pressed cider
wine or brewers yeast
I really liked this one. This is how your great grandmother used to make her cider.
Country Cider by Mrs. Gennery-Taylor
"For the best cider, a mixture of different varieties of apples
is best. Those usually chosen are non-keepers, small sour or windfall,
with, if desired, a few crab-apples. An odd rotten apple in a large
number is permissible, but otherwise they should be sound.
Before the second world war, my historical searches tell me there were
traveling cider presses in some districts, as many farms and cottages
had a small orchard. This practice seems to have disappeared, though
it may still exist in a few country areas.
To get your apples pressed ideally, a cider factory is the
thing, if you can persuade them to do it. Alternatively, a cider
factory might sell you newly pressed apple juice. For those who cannot
find a cider factory, you can buy a fruit press from your local
The juice should be put into a wooden cask -- a 30 gallon
ex-brandy cask is ideal for first-class good keeping cider. Base your
calculations on the fact that a ton of apples makes approximately 150
gallons of cider, therefore a cwt. makes approximately 7.5 gallons.
Any good size wooden or plastic cask is suitable but the larger the
better as fermentation goes on longer in a greater quantity of juice,
thus producing a high alcohol content. The cask should stand in a cool
place either on its side or end, Wherever the bung hole is uppermost.
Never bung up the hole while fermentation is still going on;
unless to bring the cask home, perhaps! After about forty eight hours
the apple juice will start to ferment and white froth will bubble up
through the bung hole. This will continue for about three weeks when
fermentation has almost stopped, some juice should be siphoned out of
the cask with a short length of sterile clear plastic pipe. The amount
of juice removed should be sufficient to dissolve the required
quantity of sugar.
Add 2 to 4 lb of sugar (depending on how sweet you want the cider) per
gallon in the cask to the juice you have removed, and dissolved over
heat. When quite dissolved, allow to cool, then return to the cask.
Owing to the addition of the sugar all the sweetened juice will not go
back in at once. During fermentation, which will go on for about two
weeks, the quantity of liquid in the cask reduces so that you can add
the surplus gradually (as space permits). When fermentation has nearly
finished, if all the 'juice and sugar mixture' is not in the cask,
siphon out enough juice to allow this to go in. Bottle what you take
out and use to keep the cask full while the cider is maturing -- as
the quantity reduces during this process. Developing airspace in the
cask will otherwise allow bacilli to breed and turn the cider acid.
When the juice has completely ceased to 'bubble up' bung the cask up
tightly with either cork or wood, and leave for eight months.
Cider is usually made in October - November, and should be left as
long as possible -- up to two years before opening it, but at least
until the cuckoo sings the following year. Then the cask may be
tapped, or the cider bottled down with care.
Innocent to taste but powerful -- up to 15% alcohol can be achieved."
I have not changed any wording so as not to lose the spirit of her
text. Clearly there are parts that need updating as we are likely to
use food grade plastic not "alas" wooden casks".
The yeast is naturally on the apples. This is the traditional method
one could take some risk out by adding a prepared yeast culture
There is an interesting point and that is it does best in large
quantities. This is also true of regular wine production. I'm not
likely to pop down to the super market for a ton of mixed apples but
maybe a group of us home brewers could club together to reproduce this
I would carefully read all of these and then formulate my own recipe.
A few things that I learned from a couple of failed attempts at making
1. Clean your equipment very carefully.
2. The temperature range for fermenting is very important.
3. There is a fine line between a great brew and making vinegar.
Hope your cider turns out great, Redhoss