APPLE CIDER

Processing: Fermentation 1-12 weeks
Storage: Pantry (12 months+)
Yield: 18L (19 quarts)
   
Ingredients:
17L (18 quarts) apple juice
1 sachet cider yeast
1 sachet yeast nutrient
1kg (2.2lb) castor sugar (superfine)
Steriliser
Settling agent (optional)
1/2 cup castor sugar (for carbonation) 
   
Method:
  1. Harvest – pick (or purchase from the grower) ripe, good quality apples of several varieties to make into cider i.e. 50% sweet apples, 35% acidic apples and 5% astringent apples. Approx. 20lbs apples (9kg) = 4 gallons (16L) apple juice.
  2. “Sweating” – most apples for cider are best stored on concrete (or wood) for 7-10 days until the skin leaves marks when squeezed which indicates the apples are sweeter, full of flavour and ready for grinding.
  3. Washing – fill a sink or clean bucket with water and some vinegar to wash apples and remove leaves, twigs, bacteria, insects and spray residue.
  4. Grinding – whole apples are ground/crushed/shredded as fine as possible in a stainless steel apple mill to collect the largest yield of juice possible.
  5. Pressing – the apple pulp is poured into press cloths or a bag that is then pressed to extract the apple juice for 30 minutes (commercial press) or overnight (homemade press). Collect the juice into your fermenting vessel as quickly as possible. The juice will oxidise during pressing (or shortly afterwards) which creates the common brown cider colour. Juice is now called must.
  6. Blending - juice is then blended to make fresh cider, or concentrated (commercially) and pasteurised for making into cider months or years later. Blending may be made at Step 4, 6 or 8. Juice is best pasteurised for home brewing to control yeast strain. Heat 3 litres (3 quarts) of the apple juice until hot (not boiling), add the sugar and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Mix with remaining 14L (15 quarts) of apple juice into a sterilised fermenting vessel. Cool to 35°C (95°F) or less. 
  7. Testing – test the sugar content to determine the alcoholic strength of the cider using the hydrometer. 
  8. Fermentation –add the yeast and yeast nutrient. The yeast feed off the sugar and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. This may take weeks or months depending on the quantity of sugar present. When the sugar runs out, fermentation slows and stops. Taste after 6-10 days of fermenting at 25°C. 
  9. Racking off – transferring the cider from the primary fermenting vessel into the second vessel (i.e. bottles or keg). Test the alcohol and acid level using the hydrometer to compare from Step 7’s results (bottle when hydrometer reads at 1.004-1.000).
  10. Filtering (fining) – make clear cider by minimising air exposure. Settling agent may also be added.
  11. Bottling –sterilise 24 x 750ml (3/4 quart) plastic bottles, then fill with cider and sugar (if using plastic bottles) then sealed to carbonate. 1 teaspoon sugar is added into each plastic bottle.
  12. Storage – store sealed cider in a cool, dark and dry area for several months to develop flavour. You can label your bottles before storing, or after opening (minimum storage 3 weeks).
         
TIPS:
  • FRESH APPLE JUICE - The juice from any apple can be used to make cider – green apples make poor cider on their own but increase the acidity (tartness) of the cider. Cider is best made from a mixture of apples with a high sugar content (for alcohol production), fibrous tissue (for juice extraction), tannin (for bitter/astringent flavour) and a nice aroma and flavour i.e. Jonathan, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious. 
  • APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE – An alternative to fresh juice, apple concentrate allows you to brew when you like, and can be stored for months/years in the pantry. It also allows a controlled brew.
       
look at those bubbles in our cider!
SERVING IDEAS:
  • Serve cider chilled (why not add a wedge of lemon or lime to your glass too);
  • Serve cider accompanying a cheese platter and quince paste;
  • Serve cider with your favourite ice-cream (or fruit & cream);
  • Serve cider with a bowl of raw, roasted or salted nuts;
  • Add cider into a recipe instead of apple juice I.e. fruit cake;
  • We like having a glass of cider with dinner: i.e. roast pumpkin, chicken & snow pea risotto;
  • We enjoy a cold cider after a busy day working!
         
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
Design your own labels on www.beerlabelizer.com
  • APPLE (ORIGINAL)
  • APPLE & PEAR
  • APRICOT
  • BLACKCURRANT
  • BLACKCURRANT & CRANBERRY
  • BLACKCURRANT & LIME
  • BLUEBERRY & LIME
  • BROWN SUGAR
  • CHERRY & PEAR
  • CINNAMON
  • CITRUS (MAXIMUM 25% IN CIDER)
  • CRANBERRY
  • CRANBERRY & CINNAMON
  • ELDERFLOWER & LIME
  • FEIJOA & ELDERFLOWER
  • FUJI APPLE
  • FUJI APPLE & GINGER
  • GINGER
  • GINGER & LEMON
  • GINGER & LIME
  • GRAPE
  • GUAVA
  • HONEY
  • HONEY & LEMON THYME
  • KIWI FRUIT
  • LEMON
  • MANGO 
  • MANGO & LIME
  • MANGO & RASPBERRY
  • MIXED BERRIES
  • ORANGE & GINGER
  • PASSIONFRUIT
  • PEACH
  • PEACH & APRICOT
  • PEAR (PERRY)
  • PINEAPPLE & MANGO
  • RASPBERRY
  • SPICED (CINNAMON, NUTMEG & GINGER)
  • STRAWBERRY & LIME
  • STRAWBERRY & VANILLA
  • VANILLA 

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