Sep 15, 2010

How To: Homemade Hard Cider

created at: 09/15/2010

Whether or not the autumn chill has hit your town yet, it will soon, and friends, we need to be prepared. And for my money, nothing tastes like fall like toasty pumpkin seeds... and apple cider. Whether warm and mulled with spices for everyone or fermented with crisp carbonation for adults, it's just plain wonderful.

And we think it'd be great to make it at home...easily. Some folks are lucky enough to own cider presses, but, thankfully, that's not the only way to get the job done.

Home Brew Hard Cider from Scratch

For those with a bevy of actual apples, this Instructable shows you how to press them using a simple 2x4 structure and a car jack. (You can also use an electric juicer.) For the rest of us, it's perfectly acceptable to start with pasteurized cider from your local orchard or farmer's market.

From there, it's standard fermenting techique - make a starter culture with brewer's yeast, and allow it to go to town in an extremely sterile environment. We're digging on this recipe from Mother Earth News, and appreciate the explanation of the gear and materials from ActsOfSubterfuge.

Has anyone ever tried this at home? What's your technique? Any advice to share?

Please let us know in the comments.

Happy Autumn!



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Chrissy Joy on Sep 15, 2010:

Ryan says champagne yeast if you want it dry.  The last one he did he did he used beer yeast.  We just buy juice from the grocery.  He did a blackberry extract in our last one.  Ryan is working at Gentile's (the homebrew joint by our place) tonight if you want to stop by. 4-10, he can help you out.

Chris on Sep 15, 2010:

@Chrissy - What's your usual yeast choice? Do you make the juice, or buy it?

Do they have all the goodies at the homebrew joint by your place?

Chrissy Joy on Sep 15, 2010:

Ryan and I did used the recipe from Mother Earth News, but it didn't come out nearly as good as what our regular hard cider tastes like.  Normally we just use apple juice instead of cider.  We do hard cider about every other homebrew cycle. 

Ryan thinks that either we had wild yeast or it was actually chemically pasteurized and the jug didn't say that it was.  It ended up tasting pretty bad.