Gallery: HOW TO: Make Your Own Delicious Hard Apple Cider In 6 Easy Ste...

 
Fall is here and we've got all kinds of autumnal activities on our minds - like baking, pumpkin carving, and hard apple cider drinking. I've always wanted to experiment with making my own hard apple cider, but never felt like I had the time or money to execute it properly. Recently, however, I discovered a German style of hard cider called “Apfelwein” that is delicious and can be accomplished in just an hour or two (minus fermenting time, of course). Read on for six easy steps to mix up several gallons of your own apple cider wine. Follow them, and in just a few short weeks, you can sit on the porch, sipping the delicious fruits of your labor!

STEP ONE: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS & INGREDIENTS

Unlike beer brewing, which can be complicated and requires a plethora of specific ingredients, creating hard apple cider is relatively straight forward – and depending on how fancy you want to get, very affordable. You’ll need to make a quick stop to a local brewer’s supply store and the market for:

+ 1 package of wine yeast (Montrechet is common and highly recommended, but we also experimented with MA33 Vintner’s Harvest) + Five plastic airlocks + Five #6 rubber stoppers with a hole for the airlock + Five gallons of fresh pressed apple cider, in one gallon glass jugs (Whole Foods 365 brand or Cadia Organic Apple Juice works best) + Brown sugar, assorted spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger + Measuring utensils and a clean funnel + Permanent marker

Note: most yeast is packaged for 5 gallon batches, so that’s the yield for this recipe. You can make more or less, but you’ll have to adjust the yeast accordingly.

STEP TWO: PREPARE YOUR WORK SPACE

Once it comes time to combine the ingredients, things will move kind of quickly, so it’s best to get everything laid out and ready before you start. You’ll want a 1/4 cup measuring cup for the sugar, and teaspoons for the spices if you choose to use them. You’ll also need a small dish for mixing up the yeast and small funnel for getting everything down in the bottles.

Oh YES! The bottles. The bottles are the reason this recipe is so easy and perfect for beginners. In most beer or wine making recipes, lots of time and attention is required to sterilize the containers that will hold the alcohol. But this recipe uses apple juice that’s already living in perfectly sterile glass bottles! Be sure that the bottled juice is at room temperature when you start (too hot or cold and it could be bad for the yeast) and try not to touch the rim or inside of the bottle.

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2 Comments

  1. Digem October 18, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Is there any reason I couldn’t just use a 5 gallon carboy for making this recipe ?
    I will be using fresh apples from my trees.

  2. Andrew Swistak November 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    apologies if its in the article and I missed it but make sure if you are buying cider from the store that it doesn’t include potassium sorbate. that is a yeast inhibitor and if your cider has it in it then the yeast can’t do its work.

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