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Friday
Sep072012

Hard Cider Recipe

 

In Brewing TV - Episode 67, we made some hard ciders. Here is the basic formula (and recipe below) for making your own hard cider at home. Also be sure and check out Northern Brewer's Cidermaking Resources Page.


If you are using  store-bought cider, collect five gallons of cider that has been pasteurized, but whose ingredient list does NOT include any preservatives (this will hamper fermentation). You can add yeast nutrient and yeast energizer per instructions.

If you are using fresh-pressed cider (either by hand or from orchard or co-op), collect five gallons. You now have two options:

  • Option #1: let the wild yeast from the apples/skins do some work up front by letting the cider sit for 24 hours. After this time has passed, pitch your yeast of choice.
  • Option #2: dose the cider/must with Campden tablets to kill or suppress any wild bacteria or wild yeast. Let sit for 36 hours. This will essentially allow your must to start with a “clean slate.” At this time, pitch your yeast of choice.


Depending on the variety of apple your cider was made with the original gravity of your cider should be somewhere between 1.050-1.060. You can add a sugar (brown, table, other) and dissolve well

Ferment between 60-70F. Chris prefers a ranger closer to 65-68F.

Primary fermentation should take about one week and the hard cider should finish at or just below 1.000. Let sit in primary for mellowing and clarification, then rack to secondary fermentor for further clarification.

After weeks-to-months in secondary, the cider will clear and flavors will mellow. However, the cider is likely to be dry and a bit acidic, which some people like. If you would rather have a sweeter hard cider, watch Brewing TV - Episode 67: How to Make Hard Cider for instructions on back-sweetening your cider should you choose to do so. You can also add any other extracts, whole/crushed fruits, etc at this point for added complexity.

------------

Here is a simple recipe from Chris Smith, Northern Brewer Customer Service Asst Manager and award-winning cider-maker:

5 Gallons pasteurized cider
2-4# light brown sugar
1 tsp per gallon yeast energizer
2 tsp per gallon yeast nutrient
White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast

Mix cider and sugar
Add half of total nutrients and aerate
Pitch yeast

After 24 hours add second half of nutrients and stir to aerate and off gas CO2

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Reader Comments (9)

Righteous episode! I just snuck away with 4 gallon of our local apple cider fresh pressed from our apple festival here in eastern Washington. It's cider time! Keep them coming. Oh and about all the ribbons and medals that you have on your wall... DAMN!!!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJuke

Should the cider be kept at room temp after you add the Campden tablets or should it be refrigerated? And is there any way to bottle condition it?

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Yes, bottle conditioning. tips on carbonation?

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTilden

First time making cider. I only added about 2 cups of sugar, just under a pound to my batch. All the recipes I've been seeing since recommend between 2-4lbs. Maybe I'm unnecessarily worrying, but is it too late to add more sugar after I have already pitched the yeast and the process has begun (still first fermentation) or can I still throw some sugar in there?

April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterE

My question I wasn't quite sure about from the video is the body
It sounds as though most of the sugars will end up being fermented in the bottle and getting a dry cider
How would you go about getting a full body out of the cider

September 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Great post and recipe!! I'm about to start this recipe, do we need kill wild yeast with camden tablets if we buy gallon jugs from the store? Also, can you clarify half of the ingredients at first then add rest 24 hours later? I'm assuming pitching all the yeast, all the yeast energizer, all of the sugar, and half of the yeast nutrient. Then add the rest of the nutrient at the 24 hour mark.

November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Sorry didn't watch the show. am just looking for a hard cider recipe. thank you for letting me know. This is my first time could you send me pic's to make sure I am doing it right. Thank you

November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLori

How many cups of brown sugar for 5 gallons? Is this a must and added by initial fermentation?

December 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjj

This is very much a work in progress whenever I find out about awriter.orgone who is more beautiful than any of these I will add her and kick out number ten Thanks for sharing the informative post.
Regards

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