This recipe is a for a basic dry cider, it will ferment to about 4.5% alcohol and produce a super dry cider with a good taste that will develop well with about six months aging.
Four litres (1 Gallon) Apple Juice
Campden tablets (if using fresh juice)
Sterilise all cider making equipment thoroughly and rinse it well with tap water before you start. Make sure you yourself and your clothes are clean (as opposed to having just manured the vegetable garden for example).
Add the apple juice to the sterile fermenter avoiding contact with juice or any surface of your equipment that will come into contact with the cider. If you are using fresh unpasteurised juice treat the juice with one campden tablet per 4 litres (1 gallon) of juice and leave the juice uncovered for at least 24 hours to allow the campden tablet to dissipate.
Pitch the yeast (add it to the juice) and seal the fermenter, adding water to the airlock. The airlock should start bubbling between 6 and 48 hours after the yeast is pitched indicating that fermentation is taking place.
Allow the cider to ferment for at least 14 days. After primary fermentation is complete the airlock will bubble far more slowly, perhaps once every minute or two. At this point rack the cider by syphoning it into another fermenter taking care not to disturb the sediment on the bottom of the original fermenter and then resealing it. If another fermenter is not available siphon the cider into a high density plastic bucket, clean and sterilize the fermenter and transfer the cider back into it. Repeat this process weekly until you are satisfied that the cider is clear to your satisfaction.
Complete your cider by bottling it. Sterilize your bottles,their caps and your siphon hose. Siphon the cider from the fermenter into the bottles, prime with sugar if carbonation is required and seal the bottles.
Store in a dark place at room temperature and allow the cider to age for at least three months before sampling. Your cider should be aged for three to six months or more before it is consumed. Sample the cider at intervals to determine if it is suitable for your palate.
If you are using freshly made juice that is not pasteurised or sterilized you should treat it with one campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice and allow it to stand for at least 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast regardless of what the recipe states.
If you’ve decided that producing your own cider is not for you and want to buy some, check Carolina Cider Company for great options.