Hard Cider Recipe 1 gallon – Real Deal at Home


Discover how to make one (1) gallon of sweet or dry hard cider with this simple hard cider 1 gallon recipe!

Have you ever wondered what it was like to make your own hard cider – we’re talking the *real deal* — from home?

It may come as a surprise to most people who are unfamiliar with the hard cider making process, but it can be done very simply in the home kitchen alone.

By the way, if you haven’t done so already, visit our website to learn more about Blake’s Hard Cider products.

Without further ado, let’s get started:

Hard Cider Recipe 8-step Process 


Step 1:

Get 2 gallons of Blake’s Apple Cider which can be purchased at our farm or TreeTop which can be purchased at Costco’s for about $7.

Step 2:

For yeast we recommend Safale s-04 so it doesn’t leave your cider to bitter or dry like champagne. For 1 gallon of juice use ½ teaspoon of yeast. Temperature range is 15-24C (59-74F). Middle range is the best at 20C (68F).

Step 3:

Purchase a rubber stopper, airlock and hydrometer at your local brewing store. Very cheap. The hydrometer is used to monitor and determine alcohol content.

You also need a few, clean, 2 liter bottles for carbonation.

Step 4:

If you’d like to boost alcohol content and sweeten your cider, remove 2 cups of cider and add 1 ½ cup of white sugar. Adding brown sugar is option to make caramel apple cider. Play around with different flavors to see what you like. What you’re doing in this process is giving the yeast more food to feed. The more food the greater the alcoholic content.

To gauge alcohol content, take a sample with your hydrometer before and after fermentation.

Step 5:

It’s All About The Process (Let The Games Begin!)

Beginning with one gallon of Blake’s or TreeTop apple juice, remove 2 cups juice to save for later

Add 1 ½ cups sugar.

Add ½ teaspoon yeast. Wait a couple of minutes for yeast to sink.

Place cap back on the bottle. Now shake it like it’s going out of style. Be sure ALL sugar is dissolved.

Add back some of the remaining juice, half a cup is fine, until there’s a few inches of space left at the top (if you’re taking a hydrometer reading, do it now).

Shake it up once more and put the rubber stopper with the airlock on it. Personally, we recommend filling the airlock with vodka instead of water because it’s more sterile.

Keep juice in a cool location between 15-24C (59-74F). 20C (68F) is a good middle range. If the temperature rises to high the yeast will produce some off-kilter flavors and totally ruin the cider. Make sure the temperature stays consistent throughout the process and the storage area has little to no fluctuations in temperature ranges.

Let the yeast do it’s job for the next three weeks without tampering. Check often especially during the first week when fermentation is most aggressive. If bubbles into your airlock, carefully remove, rinse and refill with alcohol or water.

Step 6:

During cider making, when fermentation is complete you rack it to a secondary bottle for carbonation but it adds more steps to the process making it longer and tedious. The easy way is to force carbonate the cider by building a cheap carbonator where you can learn more about how to do so in greater detail on YouTube.

Step 7:

Process (Cont.)

By now it’s been 3 full weeks. Fermentation should have slowed quite a bit but still active and you have your carbonator in place. Now…

Remove the airlock and put the cap back on. Place cider in the refrigerator to cold crash the yeast. The yeast eventually all settles to the bottom. Leave it for at least 24 hours.

Next, siphon or carefully pour off the cider leaving the yeast behind. Use old 2 liter soda bottles for carbonation. Leave 4 inches space near top of the bottle (note: if you took a hydrometer sample at the start of this project now’s the time to take a final gravity reading for confirmation)

Put both liters in the freezer to chill rapidly. Do NOT let them freeze but get it to the point where they are very cold. CO2 simply dissolves better in cold liquid.

Once chilled, put the carbonation cap on and squeeze all the air out of the bottle.

Now carbonate. 50 PSD is a good pressure. The bottle will be hard as  a brick and you won’t here any more gas.

Shake the bottle. A lot. A WHOLE lot. As the CO2 dissolves the bottle will become softer.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary until no more CO2 dissolves.

Place your bottle in the fridge to rest or, if you’re feeling REALLY brave and you’re in a hurry to drink up after the long process (and one day just couldn’t wait), open it immediately. Doing so will release a lot of gas.

Step 8:

Drink up! Not fizzy enough? Just carbonate more. Done right this is a 7% ABV or slightly below above.

You are free to experiment with fermentation times if you want it stronger or more dry. Once you’ve mastered your recipe, and ONLY then (don’t need to go making 10 gallon mistakes) do you upgrade to making larger batches at a time.



We’d love to invite you to come visit us at 17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005 when your in town, give us a call at 586-784-9463 or shoot us an email at: info@blakefarms.com if you have any questions or inquiries and **check out our website** product updates and news releases.

Also, be sure to go to your local Meijer and/or Kroger grocery store to grab yourself a 6-pack (or two) of our hard cider today!

Until next time, have a glass on us.

P.S. Blake’s Fun Fact: Eating a cider apple will give you a “Sour Face”

Ever took a whiff of something so repulsive you made a “Sour Face”…

…like changing a baby’s diaper?

Well, biting into a cider fruit is just as repulsive. Imagine eating 10 teabags in one sitting. Yeah. It’s THAT bad. However, the process of crushing the fruit to bring out it’s tart, dry sweetness is a unique chemical property that brings out the excellent taste in the final hard cider product.

Bottom-line, we recommend against consuming a cider fruit. Not that it’s bad for you, it’s just unpleasant on the taste buds. Unless, of course, you’re feeling like a daredevil and wish to cross “Eat cider fruit” off your bucket list. Hey. Who are we to stop you?! (smiles)

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