Making your own cider is not rocket science. All you need is the right set of equipment and fresh apples. If you are a big fan of cider, then you might want to try out something on your own. Homemade ciders are not as tasty as the commercially fermented cider but can turn out fine if made properly. The first thing you need is fresh apples, it is better to mix up varieties of apples for better taste. The quantity of apples depends on how much juice you want to have (10 kg of apples will produce enough juice to fill a medium sized jar). Thoroughly wash the apples and be sure to remove any rotten bits. After that, you need to slice them into quarters. The next step is extracting the juice from the apples, so they have to be crushed to a pulp. This is usually done locally by crushing them in a bucket with a pole. (Stainless steel or food plastic). They are easier methods, but they require extra equipment.
If pounding in a bowl or bucket will be too much hard work, you can easily pulp your apples with a blender. This is a faster procedure, but crushing in a bucket gives that feel of a true local cider marker. When you have the pulp, the next thing to do is to extract the juice, now this part is tricky. For you to get a good amount of juice, you will need a good press. You can get a small stainless-steel press from a homebrew store if you are pressing a small quantity of apple mash (let’s say 10kg).
Pressing your apple mash can become very messy, so it is advised you to do it outside. Do not be in a hurry as cider makers always say, “the best ciders take up the best from your time”. Make sure all your kits are thoroughly sterilized. Press your mash and collect the juice in a bucket first before transferring into a jar. (10 kg of apples will produce about six litres of juice). To keep out bacteria and prevent tears, it is advised to add a crush campden tablet once you have transferred to a jar. Place a wad of cotton wool into the neck of the jack and allow the juice to ferment. Fermentation usually starts from the wild yeast on the apples but to be on a safe side, it is advised to add some white wine yeast to the juice 24 hours after you’ve added the campden tablet. Once the first wave of fermentation is over, carefully remove the cotton wool, clean up any mess on the mouth of the jar and replace the wool with a fermentation trap.
Once the brew is cleared and all fermentation process has stopped completely, transfer the cider to swing top or champagne bottles. Make sure you add just one teaspoon of sugar to each litre. There you have your dry, sparkly cider ready for the first taste. You can have a taste of your hard work. If you followed our instructions, your cider should not taste much different from a quality commercial cider.