Cider is something that we all know about. Made from fresh fruits such as apples or pears or any other fruits, cider is an essential part of the kitchen. There is something that you know about the craft cider, or the naturally-made cider is that it is really very dry and hard. The yeast in the cider makes the sweetness of it disappear completely by consuming every sugar particle in the juice.
Now, there are these commercial ciders that remove the yeast particles and add the sweet element artificially, but you can actually make hard cider at your own home with the help of a few very simple step. Most people prefer to buy apple cider or any other type of cider from the store. However, we highly recommend making it at home to save some money and gain the experience. The steps are simple and efficient.
Choose The Juice
The first thing that you have to do before you consider making your own hard cider is to choose the juice from which you will make it. Now, cider can be made from apples, plums, and many other fruits. It’s really up to you to pick the fruit.
A tip for the newcomers: the best cider that you can make it with fresh fruit juice, as the flavor is the strongest there. You can also get freshly-pressed juice from orchards, but be careful, and double check to ensure that is no presence of preservatives.
Select An Option For Brewing
During fermentation of the juice, the one thing that you need to take care of is to make sure that the harmful bacteria and the yeast are killed in the procedure. It is only then you can add your own yeast. The harmful bacteria and wild yeast can turn the whole thing into vinegar, and you definitely don’t want that. Sanitize the fermenter really well to ensure that there is no wild yeast present. There are different options for brewing and killing the wild yeast and bacteria.
- Using Heat: Temperature plays an important role here. Plus it is the most effective and the safest method to use. Especially if you have an imperfect fruit. However, the cider might lose some of its aromas due to the heating technique. Heat the juice at a certified temperature and cover the pot for 10 minutes. When done heating, cool down the cider in an ice water tank.
- Using Sulfites: Heating the juice is certainly the safest method, but most people avoid taking that measure because of the loss of aroma from the cider. For those, using sulfites or Campden tablets are the best bet. You can do that too. Just crush a single tablet per gallon of the juice and leave it for two days. The mildness of the sulfite doesn’t affect the aroma and the flavor of the cider.
- Wild: This option is one of the highest risk factors in the process of cider making, and there is a high chance of you ending up with vinegar instead of cider. For this method, you need to absolutely make sure that the fruit is freshly-pressed and very clean. You also need to clean the crusher and the press.
Choose The Yeast
Now that you have brewed and killed all the wild yeast and the harmful bacteria, it is now time to add your own yeast to the cider. This part is really fun for most of the people as this is where they get to make their own choices about the yeast. You can choose any yeast that you want to make your cider. There are many options available from which you can make your pick.
Take a clean fermenter, and pour some star-san in that. Swish the stuff around and coat the surroundings. Star-san is an amazing component to ensure that the fermenter is clean and the yeast is safe.
Now take some yeast and add some to a boiling pot of water. After the concoction cools, you can add it to the fermenter, and after that, you can add the juice. Cover and let the fermenting begin. You need to keep it for a few weeks for good results.
Your cider is now ready to be bottled up. Check with a hydrometer to be sure about it. Cider really gets better with age, so you have to give it some time for better results.