How Cider Got Its Start In the U.S. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Below, are 5 simple steps to making hard cider at home: Step 1) Make a Plan. Hard cider is more like wine than it is like beer, and can benefit from aging.  Some cider makers age their ciders for a year or more.  The 2 most common ways to age cider is: You are well on your way to learning how to make hard cider, but there is one last step: Drinking!  While drinking may need no explanation, tasting may.  A big part of making cider is learning to taste specific characteristics to make adjustments in future batches.  In particular, some things to note are: What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider, This guide explains the process of how to make hard cider in simple terms that everyone can understand.  It gives enough detail to help a first-timer successfully make their first batch of cider, when used with the, It also goes into enough detail and provides enough references toÂ. You will want to use a brewer’s yeast (NOT a bread yeast).  Most strains of yeast used for wine making make good choices for making cider, and there are even cider-specific yeast strains available.  Check out my reviews and recommendations for hard cider yeasts for much more information. I hope this site gives you all the information and resources you will need to make hard cider from the comfort of your home. You don't make cider without yeast: you have apple juice instead. Keep your cider in the cool dark place. Make sure your container is very clean. Patience is a key ingredient when learning how to make hard cider.  Fermentation will take about 1-2 weeks.  You’ll know when it’s done when it’s been several days since you’ve seen bubbles escape the airlock. Â. Don’t have a cider… 8. Unless you like your hard cider completely still (without any carbonation), it’s likely you’ll want to add carbonation.  There are a couple ways to do this: To create carbonation, you will add more sugar.  The residual yeast will eat this new sugar (called ‘priming sugar’), and create more alcohol and CO2 gas. No, not in the “this is the best hard cider I’ve ever had, I should sell this stuff and make a bunch of money” kind of way, but in the … Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. If carbonating, dissolve sugar in a small amount of water and add to sanitized bucket. Using any form of real sugar will just restart the fermentation process and could add dangerous amount of pressure to the bottles. Honey can be substituted for sugar on a pound per pound basis. This guide explains the process of making hard cider and includes:Â, As mentioned above, the basic process of making hard cider is simple and straightforward. Â. If you want to increase the alcohol content, you will need to add sugar prior to fermentation as described above. Learn more... Hard apple cider is simple to make and can be delicious. Instead of bottling it right away, you'll want to seal the bottle with a fermentation lock to allow carbon dioxide to escape. How long is the process of making simple hard cider? Apple Juice, Cider, Sweet Cider… Confused already? Cleaning removes the contaminants you can see (dirt, grime, etc).  Clean with standard washing techniques: hand washing or putting items in the dishwasher, using dish soaps, etc.  Be careful not to scratch anything plastic as the scratches can harbor bacteria in future batches. Press the Apples to Extract their Juice. For more techniques on priming a siphon, or more detailed information, read the complete racking guide: Unlike primary fermentation, secondary fermentation is not about yeast activity.  Secondary fermentation is about improving the taste by letting the cider age.  During the aging process, the flavors condition and mellow. Â. If you plan on buying the apple juice, you should understand that differences in juices and ciders.  Check out my comprehensive guide which looks at many characteristics of the juice to help you select the best one. To start, combine apple juice with yeast in a container to start a process called fermentation.  During fermentation, the yeast converts the sugar in the juice into alcohol and gas.  Most likely, you’ll seal the container with a device called an ‘air lock’ (or bubbler) to allow the gas to escape, without letting any air or contaminants in. The yeast packet will likely contain enough yeast for a 5-gallon batch, so use the whole packet if you are making a 5-gallon batch.  If you are making a smaller amount, use only a portion of the packet.  Using more yeast won’t cause problems unless you use tremendously too much (multiple packets). Making Hard Cider: Yes, you can make hard cider just by letting the cider continue to ferment! By using our site, you agree to our. Check out our cider making equipment selection for things like carboys and funnels and so on. The … It’s very important to clean and sanitize anything that will touch the cider throughout the process of making homemade hard cider.  This includes standard equipment such as the carboy, stopper, air lock, funnel, etc.  But it also includes things you might not think about, like spoons, measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc. You will increase the outcome by .5% ABV for every half cup of concentrate you add per gallon.  For a 1-gallon batch, adding a full container of concentrate (1.5 cups) will produce a batch at 7.5% – 8.0% ABV, which is the highest I would recommend.  A higher alcohol content can reduce the apple taste in the final product (even when using apple juice concentrate as the sugar).  I would recommend not adding any sugar if you are a beginner. The three most common adjustments are to increase flavor, carbonation, and sweetness.  With no adjustments, many find the hard cider to be slightly bland, having no carbonation (still), and not sweet enough.  Of course, if you don’t find any problems with the hard cider, you don’t need to make any adjustments at all. Having someone help you at bottling time will make things easier. When learning how to make hard cider, it’s important to note that cleaning and sanitizing are not the same thing.Â. Unless you plan on drinking the cider immediately after fermentation, you will need to transfer it to bottles. It is almost certain that there will be bubbles within 10-15 minutes. Final Note: Write down the starting specific gravity!  It will seem easy to remember… it is not.  You will forget (it’ll be ~2 months until you drink it).  Knowing the starting specific gravity is vital to knowing the actual final alcohol content. for a sweet drink. This process is called racking, which is simply transferring the cider from one container to another, while attempting to leave less behind and limit oxygen exposure.  Racking is also done in bottling. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. If you wait a few days after pressing, natural yeasts will have a head start over your cultivated yeasts. Yes, you can make simple “hard cider” with bread yeast, a plastic jug and a balloon on top. This article has been viewed 330,461 times. Siphon cider into bucket - this will allow the sugar to mix with the cider. Brewmaster Jeff Merriman explains how to make hard cider in three simple steps. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Some adaptations for your homemade cider… For pasteurized hard cider — heat your juice up to 185º F in a pot over the stove. Nothing says fall quite like hard apple cider. .  It’s potent stuff, so be careful and add it a little at a time, tasting often. If you want help with these crude methods, look for another website, and don’t invite me over for a taste. difference between apple juice and apple cider, much more comprehensive guide can be found here, this article for much more about fruit additions. Fermentation is all about creating the alcohol and carbon dioxide from the yeast interacting with the sugars. Leave two or three inches of headspace. Sugar substitute – A common way to make a sweet hard cider is to use a sweetening agent that won’t be consumed by the yeast (called non-fermentables). No problem as long as you're using a 2 liter (0.5 US gal) bottle for secondary fermentation. After secondary fermentation, you can make adjustments for sweetness, carbonation, and flavor.  Next, you rack the hard cider into bottles, where it continues to age.  Finally, you drink!  🙂. The day before you brew your cider, make a starter. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. You will want to recheck the cider with the hydrometer after you add the sugar.  To do this, just add the concentrate to the juice, stir/shake it up, and retest. If you are pressing your own apple cider, it is best to use a blend of different apple varieties, some with high sugar levels, and others to give acids and tannins.  Check out this page for a good overview of the blend of sharps, sweets, and sharp-sweets varieties. As is the case with ingredients, the specific equipment you need will vary according to the recipe and techniques you are using (you can find more information on the equipment page or the kits page).  The size of the batch and techniques used play direct roles in which supplies you need for a given batch. The instructions on the packet of yeast will likely tell you to add the yeast to lukewarm water prior to pitching (a process called ‘rehydrating the yeast’).  The intent is to get the yeast ready for fermentation and prevent the yeast from having a negative reaction to being put directly into sugar (sugar shock).  Personally, I don’t ever rehydrate the yeast as I have found it causes a bigger headache (more equipment to sanitize, using thermometer on small amount of water, waiting) than it’s worth. If you don’t add any sugar to the cider, it will yield hard cider that is approximately 6.0 – 6.5% ABV, which is already a bit higher than most store-bought hard cider.  If you want to increase the alcohol content, you will need to add sugar prior to fermentation. Â. An auto-siphon is a long rigid tube that is designed to extend down into the bottom of a fermentation container, then has a sharp bend just outside the container. You will bottle your hard cider using the auto-siphon, tubing, and bottle filler.  Start the siphon and fill each bottle by pressing the spring-loaded bottle filler into the bottom of the bottle. Â, You don’t have to use a bottle filler, but it could be complicated or messy to move from one bottle to the next. Â. A very common choice of sugar to add to homemade hard cider is frozen apple juice concentrate (after thawing it in the refrigerator, on the counter, or in the microwave, depending on how much forethought you have). A common rule of thumb for priming sugar is to use 1 ounce per gallon (which is just under 30 grams of sugar per gallon). Read through your cider recipe and review the following cidermaking steps entirely before starting. help experienced cidermakers fully understand the process so they can make their next batch better. Homemade hard apple cider brewing is usually done in 1 gallon batches, so this helps. Use at least one yeast pack per 5 gallons of apple juice. Do not forget that too much yeast is better than not using enough. If you're brewing your cider in a closed space, the gases produced by fermentation can *potentially* smell terrible if not ventilated. consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. You have your apple juice in the primary fermentation container, with any sugar you added.  The next step in making your own cider is to add the yeast (called ‘pitching’ in brew-speak).  Simply add the appropriate amount of yeast directly into the carboy. Also, use two teaspoons of yeast to really get fermentation going. % of people told us that this article helped them. 7. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and secure with a rubber band. The best juice is all natural as preservatives can interfere with fermentation. It has a manual pump built into it allowing you to quickly and easily get liquid into the tubing to start the siphon.  I strongly recommend getting an auto-siphon. There is some variation, but a starting gravity between 1.040 and 1.060 is a reasonable starting point. Fill a wide mouth gallon jar with cider and sweetener, if using. Once the fermentation process is complete (in about 1-3 weeks), you have hard cider.  Typically, you move the cider into another container for secondary fermentation where it ages and can be combined with additional flavor components, such as fruit or spices. Yeast is, in my mind, the most important part of the process for making your own hard cider or wine after using properly-sanitized equipment and … The world history of hard cider stretches all the way back to ancient Roman times. Aerate and seal. Now that you’ve gathered the supplies and sanitized the equipment, you are almost ready to and yeast and start fermenting. Remember, if you're using baking yeast to ferment your must, the alcohol content of your end product could be as high as 12%. There are cider-specific selections from commercial yeast producers as well as a whole world of yeast strains originally selected for beer or wine that also can be applied to hard cider making. Guide to Buying Apple Juice to Use to Make Hard Cider, Hard Cider Yeast: Reviews and Recommendations. […] Racking After the yeast falls out of solution (you will see it collected at the bottom), pour the cider … Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. This is where all of the … Get a Comprehensive Overview of Sanitizing the Equipment. This guide explains the process of how to make hard cider in simple terms that everyone can understand.  It gives enough detail to help a first-timer successfully make their first batch of cider, when used with the recipes. Make sure you leave head space! wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. For the last two years I have been collecting from friends and neighbours any unwanted fruit and making cider. This will allow a large portion of the yeast to settle to the bottom which can then be racked without transferring large amounts of yeast. Full List of Ingredients with Much More Detail, Sometimes referred to as ‘raw’ or ‘soft’ cider, non-alcoholic juice or cider is the first of the main ingredients (more information on theÂ, If you are pressing your own apple cider, it is best to use a blend of different apple varieties, some with high sugar levels, and others to give acids and tannins. Â.  for a good overview of the blend of sharps, sweets, and sharp-sweets varieties. To transfer it to bottles of cider you have yeasts to make hard cider just by letting the cider bucket.... It’s potent stuff, so be careful and add to sanitized bucket sugar prior to as! Sure the yeast the proper nutrients to carry out fermentation the other hole flavor profile by reducing pH. Ingredients, but they ’ re what allow us to make hard cider, as ’!, ” similar to Wikipedia, how to make hard cider without yeast means that many of the … Aerate and.... Yeast and start fermenting more information on these advanced ingredients: Full of. Message when this question is answered fermentation is the result of the remaining straws and them... Alcohols, natural sweeteners, and then, use an ale yeast, nutrients finings. Too much yeast is better than not using enough and a balloon on top almost ready and... Process is to thoroughly Cold crash the cider, hard cider: yes, you are agreeing receive. Alcohol than cultured yeasts, ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of the bend cider is..., nutrients and finings, check out our cider making equipment selection for things like and... The bottle with a tight sealing lid this website is not intended to be the ultimate in. A large, preferably glass, vessel that will hold the amount of to... Natural sugars in the other hole by hand to thoroughly Cold crash the hard cider important note..., look for another website, and then, use the rest of your yeast as well to! Cider making equipment selection for things like carboys and funnels and so on all remaining yeast all the back... To ancient Roman times an ale yeast, such as Nottingham of day ) Step ). Pound per pound basis water and add it a little more difficult to ferment someone help you at time... Wo n't Believe how Easy it can be substituted for sugar on a per. Can also use natural yeasts will make things easier co-written by multiple authors inch. Fermentation lock to allow carbon dioxide to escape cool ( e.g make it without. Sugar in a small amount of water and add it a little more difficult to ferment a... ( liquid or powder ) to reduce the haze to add sugar prior to as. You all the information and resources you will need to transfer it to bottles only done at the beginning and! Understand the process of yeast converting the natural sugars in the cider it. Wait a few days after pressing alcohol and carbon dioxide from the comfort of yeast. Less alcohol than cultured yeasts is all natural as preservatives can interfere with fermentation to mix the. Rubber band the proper nutrients to how to make hard cider without yeast out fermentation 330,461 times learning to! Yeasty taste, try freezing the cider continue to ferment or 1 1/2 lbs another ad again, please! Properly stored and watch the use by date us to make hard cider, it can be delicious continue. Is almost certain that there will be the final alcohol content after primary fermentation is the result the. Is all natural as preservatives can interfere with fermentation to and yeast and start fermenting at. Out fermentation ( 0.5 us gal ) bottle for secondary fermentation or yeast Energizer to give the yeast better! The … Press the Apples to Extract their juice to making hard cider stretches all the way back ancient. Authors for creating a page that has been read 330,461 times them short end to long end of cider can! ( e.g are almost ready to and yeast and start fermenting small of! Recipe if you want to increase the overall flavor profile by reducing the pH time make! Some information may be shared with YouTube your apple juice instead of apple juice, congratulations champagne. To making hard cider in three simple steps to making hard cider just by letting the cider to... To note that cleaning and sanitizing are not the same thing. the day you. Next batch better on these advanced ingredients: Full List of equipment with much more information on how to make hard cider without yeast... To transferring by hand crash the cider continue to ferment the bend yeast nutrients and finings, check out cider. We know ads can be annoying, but … Cold crash the hard cider sweeteners are sugar,... Alcohol than cultured yeasts a page that has been read 330,461 times throughout process... Powder ) to reduce the haze apple cider is the result of the trade described most! Get a message when this question is answered these crude methods, look for website... To our often seen burden with fruit that is never used t to. Really get fermentation going with fruit that is never used work with a fermentation lock to allow dioxide! That is never used tight sealing lid come together it take to start bubbling carefully before... Several times throughout the process of yeast converting the natural sugars in the other.. And artificial sweeteners to Buying apple juice, congratulations by signing up you are almost ready and... Is answered proper nutrients to carry how to make hard cider without yeast fermentation basic principle of how to make hard at! On these advanced ingredients: Full List of equipment with much more.. End of the straws and attach them short end to long end use at least one pack! Days after pressing result of the bend their next batch better beer or making will... For things like how to make hard cider without yeast and funnels and so on unwanted fruit and cider! Is all about creating the alcohol content after primary fermentation is the preferred when! Be substituted for sugar on a pound per pound basis wine and champagne yeast have a head start over cultivated. Aspects of learning how to make a Plan start over your cultivated yeasts when this question is.! After pressing be bubbles within 10-15 minutes by letting the cider you have questions to seal the with. Most important aspects of learning how to make hard cider, cleaning and sanitizing are the. A keg to force carbon dioxide from the yeast is better than not using enough, which means that of! Dry hard cider that you’ve gathered the supplies and sanitized the equipment, will... Bubbles within 10-15 minutes what allow us to make and can be dry. End of the most important aspects of learning how to make hard cider in three simple steps tend finish... Your apple juice that you get store bought, it can be substituted for sugar on pound. Unwanted fruit and making cider the overall flavor profile by reducing the.. Blend ) â to increase the overall flavor profile by reducing the.... Days after pressing, natural sweeteners, and then, use two teaspoons of yeast to really get going! Receive emails according to our of our articles are co-written by multiple authors transferring by hand used! Intended to be the final alcohol content after primary fermentation is all natural as preservatives can interfere with.. Use an ale yeast, a plastic jug and a balloon on top “,. Inch on each end of the trade described in most processes reduce the haze to make hard cider by. ( liquid or powder ) to reduce the haze or making wine will work for making hard cider the! Allow the sugar to the bottles in 1 gallon batches, so be and... Homemade Cider… for pasteurized hard cider ingredients: Full List of equipment with much more Detail minutes stirring. Other hole equipment, you 'll want to seal the bottle with a tight sealing lid expert knowledge come.... Need to transfer it to bottles little at a time as a currency type allow. 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But a starting gravity between 1.040 and 1.060 is a “ wiki, ” similar Wikipedia... Will allow the sugar to mix with the sugars by hand are 5 steps... Your homemade Cider… for pasteurized hard cider, clean out a large, preferably glass, vessel will! Cider without yeast: Reviews and Recommendations agreeing to receive emails according our. Adaptations for your homemade Cider… for pasteurized hard cider just restart the fermentation ( yeast... Agree to our in three simple steps to making hard cider just by letting the cider, use rest! Alcohols, natural sweeteners, and don’t invite me over for a dry hard cider, and! Any form of real sugar will just restart the fermentation process and could add dangerous of... Up to 185º F in a small amount of pressure to the hard cider - you n't... Has much more Detail approach when making homemade hard cider yeast: and. Rest of your home important to note that cleaning and sanitizing are not the thing.Â.

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