Hard apple cider is simple to make and can be delicious. This article will explain the basic principle of how to make it economically without the fancy tools of the trade described in most processes.
The must is the mixture of ingredients you mix prior to the fermentation that will eventually become your cider.
Take your 2 liter (0.5 US gal) soda bottle and fill it with 250 ml of carton apple juice and 1 liter (0.3 US gal) of water.
Mix in your sugar.
Sugar is used to boost the metabolism of the yeast and increase the alcohol content. It is best to use your own judgement as per how much of each to add as long as they’re both completely dissolved.
If desired, cinnamon can be mixed into the must.
Make sure all the ingredients in the bottle’s must are completely dissolved.
You’re using dry baking yeast, rehydrate it in a shallow dish with a little water and sugar.
10-15 minutes should be sufficient.
Add the yeast to the must and shake!
Add your ‘simple lock’:
Instead of unnecessary brewer’s locks/equipment, make a ‘simple lock’ to allow the gases from the fermentation to vent. This is easily made with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Loosely cover the top of your bottle with a piece of plastic wrap and stretch the rubber band around the neck to keep it in place. Make sure the rubber band’s seal is loose enough to allow the gases to vent out.
Wait for the initial burst of fermentation to finish (the yeast should have collected on the bottom of the container and any sort of fizzing should have stopped).
With this method, it usually lasts 3 days to a week, but varies. Typically, it goes quite fast, especially if your rehydrate your yeast before adding it.
After the yeast falls out of solution (you will see it collected at the bottom), pour the cider into your second bottle with the funnel.
Try to keep as much of the yeast that has fallen out of solution in the first bottle.
Usually, it is necessary to place a second ‘simple lock’ on the second bottle as fermentation may continue.
At this point the cider is drinkable!
If more yeast falls out of solution, you can rack your cider a second time.
Eventually, once your cider has stopped fermenting, you can screw on the soda bottle’s cap.
If you desire it carbonated, add a pinch of sugar for the remaining yeast to digest, but be careful. You don’t want to blow your bottle’s top.