Note: To avoid confusion on this blog post, remember that Europeans think of cider as being a fermented apple drink, and it is only due to Prohibition in the United States that the term morphed to mean “cloudy, unfiltered apple juice.” When I say cider in this post, I mean the alcoholic version.

For a detailed description, the hand out I give my students can be found here. Otherwise, this is the a general outline of how to make cider:

If you have apples to crush into juice:

  1. Gather and sort ripe apples, removing all moldy ones.
  2. Rinse the apples to remove dirt and other debris.
  3. Proceed to crush the apples into pomace.
  4. Press pomace to get the juice – stop here and pasteurize juice if wishing to consume juice and not cider.

Once you have juice, or if you do not have apples but instead area starting with juice:

  1. Test the sugar amount in the juice using a hydrometer to determine the alcohol potential.
  2. Check the acid content and the pH, adjusting if needed using either other juice or acid blends.
  3. Add sulfites using either the package instructions or the pH to guide you.
  4. Allow to sit for 24 hours.
  5. Pitch the yeast.
  6. Once the juice is fermenting, add yeast nutrient.
  7. Rack after three weeks.
  8. Rack after another one to two months.
  9. Rack after another three months.
  10. After about eight months or so, blend – combine different apple ciders, add sugar, juice, water, etc. Use sorbates if more sugar or juice is added.
  11. Bottle. Is it going to be bottle conditioned if dry?
  12. (Optional if dry, or still but sweet with sorbate ; Required for carbonated sweet) Pasteurize

For a detailed description including fermentation issues, the hand out I give my students can be found here.

Other Resources:

2 Responses to “How to Make Hard Cider”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Check out “The New Cider Maker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers” by Claude Jolicoeur. The best cider book I have read so far.

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