Many people are interested in brewing their own booze at home but are daunted by the price and complexity of homebrewing equipment. Luckily for you, there’s homemade hard cider, which is much easier to brew than beer but just as exciting and creative.
A warning that this is for educational and instructive purposes, and you should look into local laws before attempting as some areas prohibit home brewing. Also, be aware that brewing cider involves using active yeast cultures which lead to the possibility of food allergies or contamination. Always sterilize your tools and containers, and only use fresh ingredients.
What tools you need to start home brewing cider
- 1 gallon glass carboy (fermentation tank) with a lid
- Airlock (including a bung)
- Measuring glass
- Siphon hose
- Glass jar with lid
If you’re wondering where to get these items, Robert Scott, a brewing blogger at State Of Writing and Bigassignments, suggests that “you can buy an all-in-one brewing kit from a local brewshop, or have a look on a site like Craigslist or even Amazon has carboy kits and airlocks for affordable prices. Regardless of where you’ve sourced your materials from, completely sterilize them with the bleach before you start.”
What ingredients you need to make hard cider
- 1 gallon fresh-pressed apple juice*
- Yeast (either champagne yeast or cider yeast)
- Yeast nutrient/energizer
- Campden tablets (optional)
- *A note on the apple juice: it can be obtained in many different ways, as long as it’s completely fresh and pure with no preservatives or added sugar. The best way to do this is to mash and juice apples yourself, but you can easily skip that step and buy pressed apple juice instead.
Before you start, read up on the type of yeast and yeast energizer you’re using, as different types of yeasts need different treatments. If you’re using dry yeast, you need to hydrate it in a cup or two of 80 to 90 degree water for about 15 minutes until it’s ready to be added to your brew. A tip from Ralph Hynes, an expert at Academized and Report Writing Help, is to “be sure you speak to your homebrew shop or look at the yeast packet to follow the accurate instructions for your specific type of yeast. Similarly, your specific yeast energizer also has its own instructions. Some need to be added to a boil, and others can go directly in the fermentation bucket.”
Funnel your apple juice into the glass carboy. If you have a Campden tablet, crush it and add it to the juice, which will help kill any existing bacteria or yeast in the juice and allow your own yeast to thrive. Put the cap on the carboy and shake it gently. Put it aside for 48 hours, then pour 1 cup of the liquid into your glass jar and put it in the freezer for later
In your measuring glass, re-hydrate your yeast as per the instructions and add to your carboy. Put the bung and airlock on the carboy, keep it open, and gently add a bit of water to the airlock. This allows the CO2 gasses to escape without letting in oxygen. Keep an eye on it to make sure the water level is steady throughout fermentation.
Put the carboy on a tray or towel in case of overflow during fermentation. The fermentation process should begin in 24 to 48 hours. Once it begins, move your container to a dark, cool spot, at around 55 to 60 degrees. Keep an eye on it every day. At around 12 to 48 hours, the airlock will start to bubble and will continue for at most 8 days or so. This is completely normal and you can rest assured everything is happening as it should.
After 3 weeks, take the frozen juice from your freezer and funnel it into your carboy. This will also start to ferment so recap your airlock and bung afterward.
Fermentation takes from 4 to 12 weeks to complete. When you no longer see bubbles rising up, you’ll know it’s complete. At this point, siphon the cider into a clean glass carboy, without transferring the dregs from the bottom of the fermentation jug (keep the hose above the sediment). Cap and refrigerate, and drink within one month to make sure it doesn’t restart fermentation. Enjoy, and drink responsibly!
Chloe Bennet is a content manager at Type Me an Essay and Do My Coursework portals. She helps with editorial calendars, reviews marketing ideas and writes about education. Chloe teaches business writing at Essayroo website.