How to Make Homemade Apple Cider, Start an Orchard, Build a Cider Press, and Use Cider in Recipes
Making homemade apple cider is similar to making homemade apple juice, the difference is that cider is raw and has not undergone filtration to remove coarse particles of pulp. Hard, (alcoholic) cider is simply regular apple cider that has been fermented. Over the years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has accumulated a wealth of apple knowledge, here's a collection of our cider-based features divided into categories. If you would like to start your cider-making adventures from scratch by growing your own apple trees, see Starting an Apple Orchard. Once you’ve successfully planted and harvested fall's sweetest crop you’ll be in the mood to celebrate, and you can! See Homemade Apple Cider: Hard and Softto learn how to make cider. The perfect tool for cider making is a cider press or mill. After you’ve had your fill of this sweet autumnal beverage, turn to Apple Cider Recipes to uncover which delicious treats — from apple-butter to homemade vinegar — you can pour your cider into for a refreshingly sweet twist on home-grown treats. Remember: If you have questions after you get started, feel free to visit our Ask Our Experts service to post those questions.
Starting an Apple Orchard
How to Grow Apples By Richard W. Langer
From planting to pruning to controlling pests to harvesting, you can learn how to grow apples in most areas of North America.
Growing Apple Trees Ecologically: A Guide to a Low-Spray Orchard By Brenda Olcott-Reid
By choosing apple varieties and rootstocks adapted to your area's climate and pests, keeping trees healthy through good site selection, and using biological controls, you can grow high-quality, low-spray apples.
A Celebration of Heirloom Apples and Artisan Ciders By Tabitha Alterman
In the late 1700s, hard cider was North America’s most popular beverage. During 1767, the average citizen of Massachusetts drank more than 35 gallons of cider. Now an estimated four of five apple varieties unique to the continent have been lost from commerce. And these days most Americans have never even tried a fine, fermented, dry cider.
Fall's Sweetest Harvest By John Stuart
Before you can enjoy fall's sweetest harvest it's important to understand which type of apple trees produce the sweetest varieties and which press will provide the easiest road to apple cider heaven.
Homemade Apple Cider: Hard and Soft
How to Make Apple Cider By Judy White
You don't even need to buy apples if you have an abandoned apple tree nearby. Just gather the fruit, and press it into delicious cider for pennies per gallon.
Make Your Own Hard Cider By Nathan Poell
Make delicious, intoxicating hard cider at home with this simple process.
Fruit Juice from Fall's Harvest By Nan K. Chase
When autumn brings a glut of orchard fruits, capture the goodness as juice by cooking extraction or cold pressing. Juices can be used alone or mixed to produce sweet or hard ciders, wines, syrups, and more.
Home Brewing: How to Make Beer, Wine, Cider, Soda and Other Tasty Beverages By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
Our home brewing resources page containing links to 30 MOTHER EARTH NEWS articles.
An Apple Education: Cider Resources By Tabitha Alterman
Check out these resources including recommended books and websites to learn more about heirloom apples, as well as the how-to and history of cider-making.
Cider Presses and Mills
How to Build a Cider Press By Jim Nowadnick
Follow these step-by-step instructions to make this easy-to-build cider press, and start enjoying homemade apple cider and apple jack.
Build Your Own Cider Mill By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
Do you have access to a lot of apples? Build this cider mill and you can turn them into a lot of apple cider!
Converting a Washing Machine Into a Homemade Cider Press By Dean Bull
How to convert a washing machine into a homemade cider press. The article includes cider pressing materials, step-by-step building instructions, photographs and a cutaway diagram of the converted Maytag washing machine.
Falling for Apples By Noel Perrin
One of the sweetest things about homemade cider is the pressing of it.
Your Mission: Find a Crackerjack Cider Producer Near You By Tabitha Alterman
We have accumulated a list of cideries for your convenience, as well as a map of cider-makers where you can add your own favorite producers.
Videos From the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Team's Cider Pressing Adventure By Lindsey Siegele
The MOTHER EARTH NEWS team along, with other Ogden Publications employees, had the exciting opportunity to give cider pressing a try. Herrick Kimball from Whizbang Cider graciously donated the press, and our team had a great time making and drinking delicious apple (with a few pears thrown in) cider.
Apple Cider Recipes
Apple Soup Stock Recipe By Tabitha Alterman
This recipe for apple stock adds a depth of fall flavor to dishes normally cooked with chicken stock or vegetable stock, such as butternut squash soup.
How to Make Apple Butter By William T. Pryor
The Douthit family show you how to make apple butter, an old-timey food tradition and a fun seasonal project.
Apple Butter Cocktail Recipe By Tabitha Alterman
You don’t need toast to enjoy this apple butter cocktail made with farm-fresh hard cider.
How to Make Homemade Vinegar By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
Homemade vinegar is as easy to make as mushing up fruit, straining the pulp from the juice, then bottling it for months until your natural vinegar is ready to use.
What do Do with Windfall Apples By Barbara Pleasant
Learn what to do with windfall apples that have fallen off the tree early. Ideas include healthful "pink juice" and skin-on chips.