Cider Recipe

appleIf you don’t mind the work cider can be an excellent way of using up your apples to make a natural and refreshing drink.

Cider is fermented, pure apple juice and can be made from almost any variety of apple. Although cider apples produce a dark, bitter cider and dessert and cooking apples produce a paler drink, most cider makers will use any apples they can get their hands on.

Required Equipment / Ingredients

We sell everything that you require to make cider - except for the apples that is!

Making the Cider

Fruit should be ripe, avoiding early windfalls or fruit that has dropped due to drought. The riper the fruit the higher the sugar content, which will ultimately determine the alcohol level of the finished cider. Bruised apples are ok, but avoid rotten fruit.

Before pressing the apples should be crushed. This can be done by using a fruit crusher, a pulpmaster, or simply by pounding the fruit with a hefty piece of wood. Once crushed the apple pulp should be placed in a fruit press and the juice pressed and collected.

Pour the juice into a food grade plastic bin and check the specific gravity with a hydrometer. This can be between 1040 and 1070 which will give 5% - 8% respectively. Add sugar if a stronger cider is required.

Traditionally nothing further is added, fermenting on the natural yeast. However, to avoid failure and bacterial infection you should add 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon and after 24 hours add a champagne yeast, such as Lalvin EC1118 which will ferment up to 5 gallons. Initially the fermentation will be fairly lively, but as it slows down you should fit an airlock to your container to prevent airborne contamination.

When the gravity is 1005 or lower siphon the cider off of the sediment into a fresh container and replace the airlock.

When all signs of fermentation have finished and the cider tastes nice and dry, again treat with 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon, top up to exclude all air and store in bulk. When ready for drinking siphon into barrel or bottles.

So to recap……

  • Choose sound fruit
  • Crush, press and collect juice
  • Add 1 campden tablet per gallon then after 24 hours….
  • Add 1 EC1118 yeast for up to 5 gallons
  • Store in warm place and fit airlock
  • Fermentation can take from 10 days to 10 weeks. When finished siphon the cider into a fresh container and top up to exclude all air
  • Move the container to a cool place to speed up clearing
  • The cider should be ready for drinking by early summer
  • If a sweeter cider is required mix up a little sugar syrup and add this before drinking

Remember to sterilise all of your equipment to ensure that bacteria does not spoil your homebrew cider!

 Do you need help or advice with making your own cider?

Use our homebrew advice forum or contact us.