STEP THREE: PREP YEAST AND CHOOSE SPICES
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients and equipment within arms reach, it’s time to start mixing things up. Open all the bottles so they’re ready (but save the caps!). If you’re going to experiment with different combinations of sugar, yeast, and spice, be sure to write it on the bottle’s label with a marker. It will all look the same once you’re done, so it could be hard to keep track. We used the following combinations:
Montrechet yeast, no sugar and ground ginger
MA33 yeast, brown sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon
Montrechet yeast and brown sugar
Follow directions on the package for preparing the yeast. Most will recommend that you dissolve it in a small amount of warm water to activate the bacteria.
STEP FOUR: ADD YEAST, SUGAR, AND SPICES
Use a tablespoon and your funnel to add 1/5 of the yeast to each bottle. Don’t worry if your measurements aren’t exact! It’s the sugar, not the amount of yeast, that determines how alcoholic your cider will be. Next, add the sugar (we used 1/4 cup in each) and your selected spices (we used about a teaspoon of each).
STEP FIVE: SHAKE YOUR BOOTY
Remember those caps you set aside? Time to restore them to their rightful place on top of the glass jugs. Take each jug, which now contains juice, yeast, sugar, and spices, turn it upside down and give it a good shake for about 30 seconds to a minute. You want to make sure all of the sugar and yeast is dissolved and the spices well incorporated throughout. Do your happy dance.