Brief guide to cider making

For each gallon of cider you will need about eight kilogrammes of mixed apples.  By using just the juice, that is without any added suger, the alcohol strength is usually about 6% A.B.V.  This is more than enough for most occasions!


First clean, destalk and cut out any bad bits from the apples, then pulp them.  I use the pulp master and bucket.  The apples can be pulped from whole unless very large.  Add a campden tablet and pectolase to the pulp.  Leave the pulp overnight.

Next day, press the pulp and collect the juice.  Take a specific gravity reading and add any sugar if required.

Pour into a sterilised fermentation vessel, add a true cider yeast and keep under airlock conditions until fermentation is complete (usually two to three weeks, depending upon temperature).  Check with a hydrometer to ensure that fermentation is not just "stuck".  The reading should be about 1.000.

Then decide what style of cider you are making:

For still cider, proceed as for wine: stabilise with campden tablet and potassium sorbate, clear and sweeten, if required, before bottling.  Store for at least a month before drinking.

For sparkling cider, proceed as for beer: if sweetening is required, use a non-fermentable sugar such as lactose.  In addition to the lactose, add half a level teaspoon of granulated sugar per half litre beer bottle.  Keep warm for two to three days, then cool for another four weeks before drinking.


This information courtesy Tony Frecklington, Linbrew & Calibre Crafts, 112 - 113 High Street, Lincoln, 01522 534434.