How to make your own cider Fruit ciders and homebrewing is very popular right now. At https://gtonlineshop.com, as well as having the packaging, we want to help you make your own individual products.
Here's our 8*-step guide:
- Gather your fruit (and other ingredients) - Your kit (gather, sterilise and assemble) * - Juice (and strain) - Balance (the taste and acidity) - Add the magic ingredient (yeast) - Hide in a dark room (ferment your brew, not you) - Package (Bottle or Bag) - Drink (and be merry)
Gather your fruit (and other ingredients)
You will need A LOT of fruit. You should expect to use 20-22lb (9-10kg) of apples to produce 1 gallon (8 pints / 4.5 litres) of juice.
You'll want to aim for 60-70% dessert apples and 30-40% cooking apples. The secret ingredient for you, may be the way you mix 1 part pears and 2 part apples, but the process is pretty much the same.
Basic cider requires:
- Fruit - Yeast - Sugar (optional, for sparkling cider and higher alcohol content)
Whether you're going old-school with a bucket and block of wood:
We can't stress this enough; at some point either the kit (ideally) or the juice should be sterilised. Sterilizing powder can be purchased from high street stores (such as B&M or Wilkinson) or online brewing suppliers.
Set up your kit
Ensure you have a bucket and strainer to catch your juice. Check any tubes are secured. Rinse everything off with water.
Juice (and strain)
Exactly as it says on the tin; smash / bash / crush your fruit and pour through your strainer until you have a huge pile of pulp and buckets of clear (ish) liquid. **Don't forget the pulp can be used in a number of ways; fruit pulp can be added to your cereal or frozen into lollipops for a hot day. If you don't want to eat it yourself, remember to add it to your compost bin, or dig it into your garden; the worms will love it, giving your soil an added fertilizer boost.
Sterilise your juice
If you went old-school with the juicing process, you may want to ward off moulds and bacteria - now you can add Sodium metabisulfite. This is often used as a disinfectant, antioxidant, and preservative agent purchased in small sachet forms from brewing stockists - this must NOT be inhaled or ingested neat. Follow the guidelines strictly. If you use this you'll need to wait 24 hours till you take the next step; it will kill off yeast too..!
Add the magic ingredient (yeast)
Use you measuring jug to mix up your yeast solution. Water is not required; utilise some of your apple juice at room temperature. After approx. 30 minutes you can add this mixture to your demijohns and top up with the apple juice. Attach the airlocks and allow to settle. You should see bubbles appear in the airlocks after around an hour.
Hide in a dark room (ferment)
The bottles, not you
Package (Bottle or Bag)
For standard cider, for the first 3-5 days after bottling, you should keep your bottles in a warm place. This will encourage the yeast to ferment the sugar, to make the cider fizzy.
If you want a fizzier, higher alcohol brew, it's at this point, when almost all the bubbles have gone, that you add your extra sugar. Brown sugar is a good choice, and to dissolve it properly you should mix with a little boiled water first.
Allow another few days for the bubbles to calm again.
After that, you should store the bottles in a cold place for about 2 weeks to allow the cider to settle and clear.
At this point, when the cider is 'ready', you may decide to bag & box it, for a longer shelf life, ease of transportation and display purposes (seeing cloudy cider through a clear glass bottle isn't always that appetising, but the packaging solutions offered by https://www.gtonlineshop.com can add shelf appeal)