We have a lot of our lovely customers asking how to make it so we figured it was high time we got our ass into gear and gave you a run down of exactly what to do to brew your own 5L Apple & Pear Cider – though you could leave out the pear and go all apple or add any other non-citrus, preservative free juice such as blackcurrant, pomegranate or cherry.
What You’ll Need
- Our 5l starter kit OR
- Sanitiser (we used the phosphoric acid blend sanitiser, which works like Starsan)
- 3L Preservative Free Apple Juice (we used the woolies homebrand)
- 850ml Preservative Free Pear juice (Goulburn Valley)
- 1 tea bag of english breakfast, steeped in 1 cup of water
- 250g Lactose (optional – for a more full bodied cider)
- About 1/4 Sachet of Cider Yeast (we used the Mad Millie yeast)
- Around 6 x 750ml Longneck bottles (PET or Glass) OR 12 x 375ml Stubby bottles.
- Carbonation drops (2 per bottle)
What to do
1. Clean everything! No but seriously. In brewing, its very important to ensure everything is sanitised before you begin. This can affect the outcome of your brew – basically it’s the difference between your beer tasting like liquid gold or dirty bath water.
We used 7.5ml of phosphoric sanitiser for a 5L carboy – the ratio is 1.5ml per litre. You simply pour it in and top it up with a bit of water and give it a good shake. Then drain it, but you can leave some foam behind – the phosphoric sanitiser’s foam actually helps feed the yeast. A well fed yeast is a happy yeast.
2. Add your juices, tea, any spices (such us cinnamon), herbs or sugars like lactose or honey.
3. Add yeast. Give it a gentle swirl to mix in the yeast. We’ve used cider yeast but you could use an ale yeast if you would prefer a sweeter, full bodied result.
4. Fill the airlock with water or some leftover sanitiser until it’s even on both sides then push it into the bung pop the bung into the carboy (make sure you’ve sanitised them both earlier on).
5. Place in a dry, dark area of the home like a garage or cupboard. We recommend finding somewhere with an ambient temperature between 16°c and 20°c. Consistency in temperature is key! Leave for a minimum 10 to 14 days to ferment.
6. When the fermentation is complete, syphon the cider into bottles! It fills about 6 x 750ml bottles. If you want it to be fizzy, add carbonation drops to your bottles. If you prefer a scrumpy, un-carbonated cider, you can leave this out.
7. Leave for another 2 weeks, minimum. The cider will get better with age so the longer you can leave it, the better.
8. Drink some and then bring us a bottle!
If you want to make a bigger batch, you can scale it up – just make sure you use a proportionate amount of everything!