This simple quick n’ simple method will help you make homemade fresh hard cider from the comfort of your home in 10 easy steps. Here’s how…
If you haven’t had much luck getting your hands on a apple press (they’re quite expensive to rent, even more so to buy), we’ve put together a 10-step guide to make a simple hard cider from scratch
The challenge will be finding the fresh apples, pears, or crab apples for the task. But if you need a fresh batch, we have what you need here at our apple farm – Blake’s Apple Farm.
** How To Make Hard Cider From Fresh Apples **
Here’s What You Need For This Hard Cider Apple Press Recipe
One Masticating Juicer – Makes the process easier, but any decent juicer works
One chopping knife and cutting board
One large sieve and clean kitchen towel
Demijohn(s), a funnel, siphon hose, rubber stoppers, and airlocks.
Sugar (organic brown sugar preferred for a sweeter flavor)
Apples, pear, or crab apples (to mix with sweet apples). 15lbs of fruit produces roughly a gallon of juice. MUST be organic; preferably recently picked from the tree.
** Step-by-step Instructions To Making Fresh, Hard Cider **
Wash fruit thoroughly – if you want to make unpasteurized, wild cider, avoid using vinegar or veggie wash because the wild yeast on the skin is already on the fruit. Some people are uncomfortable with unpasteurized juice, others don’t like the gamble with flavor.
For Pasteurized Hard Cider – hear your juice to 185 degrees over a stove. Do NOT let boil. Keep at that temperature for 45 minutes while stirring. This process kills all natural yeast. Once cooled, add commercial yeast when adding sugar (skip step #6)
Cut apples into quarters checking for bugs or other issues – Discard and cut around infected core. Cut major bruises. Transfer fruit to clean bowl. No need for coring or stemming; juicer does it for your.
Let’s get ready to RUMBLLLLLLLE! Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for — JUICING! — as the pitcher fills, pour through funnel into sterilized demijohn.
Squeeze pulp juice — When pulp container fills, place sieve over a clean bowl, and line with kitchen towel, gather the edges and twist to wring as much juice as possible. Most commercial juicers (i.e. cheap ones) leave up to 50% of juice in pulp. The pulp(now called pomace) should be dry and can be used as compost. Pour juice into demijohn. Continue juicing remaining fruit repeating steps #3 and #4 until completion.
Taste the juice, add sugar — up until now, it’s been a science, now, it’s an art. Because acidity and tannin content, as well as the sweetness of your fruit varies, use your own judgment when adding sugar according to preference. As a general rule of thumb, add 1 cup of sugar per gallon of juice and start from there.
Important Note: During fermentation, the yeast eats both fructose and processed sugar to convert into alcohol – so this step is for both flavor and alcohol levels. If brew turns out too dry or tart for your taste, you can always add more sugar later.
(optional if excessive foam/pulp is floating on top of demijohn) Place demijohn in bowl, keep warm for a day or two. The yeast will start to activate and bubble. Your cider will then split with foam floating on top. A simple way to rid the smelly stuff.
Rubber stop and airlock on demijohn– let it stand for one week.
Rack cider – siphon into another sterilized demijohn. Leave yeast sediment in the first demijohn, so you have cleaner cider in new demijohn. Give a taste test. If too dry for your taste, add sugar than put airlock back on.
Do you like it sweet or dry? — if you like your hard cider sweeter, bottle it after a week. If you like it drier, give it 3 weeks. Of course, if you ferment for this long you will lose much of the ‘fizzle’. To counter this, add a bit of sugar just before bottling to regain carbonation.
Bottle your hard cider – use siphon hose to fill swing-top bottles.
P.S. Don’t skimp on the bottles. It’s important since it releases small amounts of pressure that builds up within to prevent glass explosions later.
And VOILA! You’re all set! Enjoy your home brew apple cider!
** How To Make Hard Cider From Apple Juice **
To make hard cider from fresh, organic apple juice, skip steps 1 – 6, go straight to #7 and modify to taste and pasteurization as desired.
** Secret Tip (Shhhhhh…) **
If you want to keep your cider sweet, do this – to stop fermentation at any point your satisfied with taste, use campden tablets (one per gallon). Or, place in fridge to slow fermentation process, and start drinking. Most people prefer room temperature cider so the campden tablets may be the better choice.
We sure hope you give this a fair shake. It’s a fun project that reaps rewards. If you want a little more variety that’s a ‘tad more difficult using basic home brewing methods alone…
…then have no fear, Blake’s Hard Apple Cider is here…
We pick our own fruit from our own trees from the comfort of our own backyard — guaranteeing you get the same ‘home cider’ taste but in a variety of flavors, boldness and deliciousness.
Liz Larry said, “This is my favorite orchard! Not only is there ample space for U-pick fruit, but I absolutely love the cider house. Myself and my friends have all had our birthday celebrations there, and they are very accommodating to groups (although in the fall, I’m sure it’s harder for them to set aside space for a HUGE group). The food is really good and affordable and everyone I’ve brought has loved being able to do your own cider or wine flight.” (courtesy of Google reviews)
So even if you’re not up to making your own home cider from scratch, we help you make your own cider to take home and enjoy.
We’re just around the corner here at 17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005. If you have any questions about our fresh apples you can use to make your own cider, or would like to know more about our cider house and beverage selections, give us a call at 586-784-9463.