You can make homemade Hard Apple Cider! Welcome to the how-tos from Emily Ellyn…helping you with your first adventures in the craft.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Fermentation Time: 17+ days
Yield: 1 gallon
Wash all equipment with hot water and soap and then sanitize.
Pour 1 gallon of room temperature apple cider into your glass fermentation jug. Add ¼ teaspoon of yeast into your juice. Allow the yeast to float on the top of the juice for 2-3 minutes to rehydrate it. Then gently shake the bottle (You are basically waking up the yeast and getting more air into the cider.).
Attach sanitized screw-top stopper to bottle. Slide rubber tubing no more than 1” into the stopper and place the other end in small bowl of sanitizer. You’ve just made a “blow-off tube”. It allows CO2 to escape.
Let sit for two or three days or until vigorous bubbling subsides. This is when fermentation is highest (You know fermentation has begun once the temperature approaches 50 degrees. The warmer the temperature, the faster the fermentation.). You may notice bubbles and foam at the top of the cider. After bubbling calms down, clean tubing and ready your airlock.
Sanitize, then re-assemble airlock, filling up to line with sanitizer.
Insert airlock into hole in stopper. **Put water in the airlock. You will be able to monitor the progress of your fermentation by the bubbles you see created in your airlock.
Keep at room temperature for two weeks without disturbing. Taste after 14 days (by removing and then replacing the sanitized airlock) and taste until it is pleasantly balanced for your palate.
Note: When your cider has finished fermentation, you will notice debris in the bottom of the fermentation jug. This is a collection of dead yeast cells. They are perfectly harmless, and may be consumed with the cider.
At this point you can bottle using the racking cane, tubing clamps, and syphoning gear. Or, do what I did and simply refrigerate to keep on hand for holiday entertaining. Your hard cider will keep in the refrigerator for weeks; the higher the alcohol, the longer it will last.