5. Making Cider from Apples

Procedure for 5 gallons:

 

Sterilise all equipment before you start and ensure everything is rinsed thoroughly afterwards.

 

Discard all rotten fruit. First you will need to pulp your apples and then press the pulp to extract the juice. You can also purchase the equipment for this from the site here. Once you have extracted the juice, place it into one of the 33litre fermenters. Crush 2 campden tablets into your juice. Leave it sit for two days with the lid loose on the fermenter. This will kill off all the natural yeast and bacteria in the juice. Take a hydrometer reading. The reading should be in the region 1040-1056 depending on the apple variety and juice content. This will equate to about 5-6% in the finished product. After two days add your pectin enzyme (clears the haze) and pitch your cider yeast. Place the lid on the fermenter and add your airlock. Place your fermenter somewhere warm. Make sure it is above 18 degree C. fermentation should start within 24 hours. You will note a sulphury smell, this is an indication that all is working as it should. Fermentation is complete when you have a hydrometer reading of 1000 or below.

 

Fermentation may take 10-14 days to get to 1000 on your hydrometer. When the gravity reaches this reading transfer the cider into the second bucket using your syphon. This will aid clearing of the cider. Leave it sit for 7 days to clear. When the 7 days are up, it is time to bottle. Add a half tea spoon of white sugar to each bottle (500ml brown glass bottles work best). Syphon the cider into the bottles and cap each one tightly using your capper and caps. Leave the bottles somewhere warm untill they gas up. There will be still some yeast in the cider. This yeast will ferment the half spoon of sugar releasing CO2. This CO2 cannot escape the bottle and so is absorbed into the cider giving it the fizz. It is essential that the bottles remain above 18 degree C in order for them to gas up. Once you are happy with the gas levels, (the only way to know if its ready is to try one) you can leave them in storage to mature. It takes about 14-21 days to gas up.

 

People ask when will it be drinkable. It is drinkable when you are happy with the flavour. This can be different for each individual.

 


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