An article written by: Lee Sonogan
“The king and high priest of all the festivals was the autumn Thanksgiving. When the apples were all gathered and the cider was all made, and the yellow pumpkins were rolled in from many a hill in billows of gold, and the corn was husked, and the labors of the season were done, and the warm, late days of Indian Summer came in, dreamy, and calm, and still, with just enough frost to crisp the ground of a morning, but with warm traces of benignant, sunny hours at noon, there came over the community a sort of genial repose of spirit – a sense of something accomplished.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe
If you have apples you can make your own cider. Even better if you have apple tree. Saying that I have apple tree out the back where I am living. It does not require any special equipment and is to do. I am highly considering doing this and you should too if you are interested. the following article is a guide full of instructions in how to make you very own alcoholic cider for self consumption.
Step One is collecting the apples. You need lots of apples. 20-22 gallons of apples is equal to 4 and a half gallons of juice. Meaning you will need to collect about 4-5 times the volume of apples compared to the volume of juice you want to make into cider. You will need lots of large containers. Using a sheet or a blanket you can shake the tree to make all the ripest ones fall to the ground first.
Step Two is pulping the apples. To release the juice you will need to smash-up the apples and then press them. Do this with something untreated with any sort of preservative. Such as a good piece of timber that is long. Step Three includes pressing the apples. Loading the crushed apples (about 3/4 full) into a straining bag. This will separate the juices from the pulp. When pressing with a good amount of tension, leave it for a few minutes and wait to the juice to start leaking.
Add one crushed tablet of campden per 4.5 litres collected. This will prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage. Step Four is adjusting the taste. For acidity you will need a PH reading between 3.6 to 4.2 PH. increasing the Tannin level will give it a tea taste. Use half a level teaspoon per 5 litres. Pectolase powder can add flavour to your cider. Finally the alcohol leven can be increased using caster sugar.
Step Five is fermentation. You need to start it as soon as possible. No longer than twenty-four hours. You can use food grade plastic bottles, glass jars or fermentors to store your cider while being fermented. They must be clean and sterile. The temperature to ferment is between 15-27C for about 5 to 14 days. Once fermentation is done you will need to siphon off the yeast into “another clean and sterilised container.
Suggested equipment you will need:
- Wine/fruit pressing equipment
- Crusher/Pulping tools
- Sterilising equipment
- Containers and clean fermentation containers
- Mixing spoon
- PH and Thermoneter to check quality of your cider (Recommended)
- Straining bags and a siphon
- Buckets with lids
- Probably more equipment you could use depending what you have
There you have it. A guide to making your own cider. Step six and the final step is making it into the type of cider of your choice. There is seven choices to pick from. They include Flat cider, Sparkling cider, Sweet cider, Perry, Apple juice, Vintage cider and Apple wine. Since I have not done this before I will let you do further research on finishing your cider creation. I belive I explained the first five steps of creating cider well enough.
Disclaimer – If you are under the age of 18 or 21 in America to not make your own cider as it is illegal to do so.
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