How to Make Hard Cider

Learn how to make hard cider using this guide. Making delicious hard cider is fun and simple, and if you press your own sweet non-alcoholic cider, you’ll have the perfect starting place to brew your own intoxicating hard cider.


| October/November 2007


Learn how to make hard cider. You can make delicious, intoxicating hard cider at home with this simple process.

How to Make Hard Cider

Brewing hard cider from non-alcoholic, or “sweet” cider is a simple process, and the inebriating end product is as delicious as it is discombobulating. Here are the steps you’ll follow to make hard cider of your own.

Find the Ingredients for Hard Cider

Choose Your Juice. The best hard cider is made from sweet apple cider fresh from the cider press — whether your own, or a local cider mill’s. If you’re buying sweet cider, start by checking the label to be sure the cider doesn’t contain chemical preservatives, because these will kill your yeast and your cider will not ferment. (The cider is chemically preserved if sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate are listed on the label.) Your best bet for preservative-free cider is to buy it in season from a local orchard. In a pinch, you can also make hard cider with grocery store apple juice, as long as it doesn’t have preservatives.

Also, be aware that most commercial cidermakers are required to pasteurize their cider, and the process they use will affect the flavor. Preferably, your sweet cider should be “cold pasteurized,” which kills microorganisms with ultraviolet light. The usual method of pasteurization kills microorganisms with heat, which affects the flavor of the juice. If you’re not sure which method a local cider mill uses, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Choose Your Yeast. A variety of dry and liquid brewing yeasts will do the trick, and you can find them online or from homebrew stores. Although you can buy specialized liquid yeast packs for fermenting cider, dry wine yeasts do an excellent job and are much cheaper. (You can get a pack for less than a dollar.)

Make a Hard Cider Starter. The day before you brew your cider, make a starter. This step is optional, but it ensures that your yeast is proofed (i.e., alive) and will start fermenting your cider right away. To make a starter, open the bottle of preservative-free apple juice and pour out a few ounces. Pour the contents of one yeast packet into the bottle, reseal it and shake for a few seconds. Within five or six hours, you should see a bit of bubbling within the bottle. Once you do, release the pressure within the bottle, reseal it and put it in the refrigerator. Get it out a couple of hours before you brew.

bettyboop
11/26/2017 8:30:14 AM

For ronandangie - I found this article wonderfully informative, and there were many helpful suggestions in the comments. Is it possible that you overlooked the "Read More" button?


betty.haniotakis
11/26/2017 8:30:12 AM

For ronandangie - I found the instructions very detailed, and the comments gave additional very helpful advice. Maybe you didn't click the "Read More" button at the bottom of the first page?


ronandangie
11/9/2017 7:41:20 AM

I, certainly, could not make hard cider from this article. No information given at all.






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