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Making Your Own Cider

Cidermaking is easy and fun. You can buy cider making kits at homebrew suppliers. You make cider kits in exactly the same way as beer kits. It is really easy to do & if you have experience with beer kits, you won't even have to think about it. Just add sugar or glucose & the yeast provided & in a week or so, you will have about 30 750ml bottles of excellent alcoholic cider.

We have a really good cider kit made by "Black Rock". They process their own blend of cider apples to make this kit so it tastes really good & it is always reliable. Give it a go, you will be glad you did.

When you make Black Rock cider you will need:
A 25 or 30 litre fermenter *
A priming scoop for measuring sugar into the bottles *
Enough bottles for 20 litres of cider
Homebrew sterilizing compound *
* available from Liquorcraft


Varying cider kits:

You can start with the Black Rock cider kit but make it with extra additives to vary the taste & alcohol content. Here are some suggestions
Add 1 or more bottles of Top Shelf Apple Schnapps essence
Add 1 or more bottles of Top Shelf Peach Schnapps essence
Add 1 or more bottles of Top Shelf Apricot Brandy essence
Add 1 or more bottles of Top Shelf Orange Brandy essence
Add 500g of malt extract
Add 500g of honey (don't use Eucalypt honeys)
Use a few litres of fruit juice to replace some of the water. Try pear juice, orange juice, black currant juice, grape juice or anything else you like.
Mince some fresh apples & add this to the fermenter


Home made farmhouse cider
Here is a basic recipe for 22 litres of Farmhouse Style cider.

You will need
A 25 or 30 litre fermenter *
A priming scoop for measuring sugar into the bottles *
Enough bottles for 20 litres of cider
Homebrew sterilizing compound *
* available from Liquorcraft

Ingredients
22 litres of fresh pressed sweet apple juice
5 cups of sugar
1 pack of lager or champagne yeast *
* available from Liquorcraft

Method
Sterilize your fermenter according to directions on the sterilizing compound.
Put the juice into the fermenter, add the sugar & stir well to dissolve. Add the yeast and fit a fermentation lock in the lid of the fermenter & half fill it with water.
The fermentation should start within 24 hours. When it starts, bubbles should stream through the water in the airlock.
Allow the cider to ferment and then leave it for at least two months to mature.
Transfer it into sterilized bottles & seal the bottles. It is now ready to drink.

This is a still cider which is not fizzy.

If you want it to be sparkling cider:
You will need to use bottles that can withstand gas pressure. Beer bottles with crown seals & screw top lemonade bottles are suitable.
Use a priming scoop (available from homebrew suppliers) to add a measure of sugar to each bottle.
Fill the bottle to about 50mm from the top then seal it firmly with a crown seal or screw cap.
Store these bottles in a warm place for a week or 2 to allow them to condition (become fizzy). They will now be ready to drink.