Hard cider



Light sparkle, just a bit of residual sweetness, good tart/bitter and nice aromatics in this batch #9- one of the best from last year. A few batches got a bit funky, with some brett and malolactic flavors.

All but the ice cider is now bottled, plenty to quaff and share. The ice cider has fermented down to SG 1.060, and I just hope I can get it to stop. My plan is to crash cool the carboys in a couple weeks using a chest freezer, and do a stabilization racking or two after that. That stuff is ambrosia, super rich and sweet (I’ve been sampling).


I really enjoy hard cider, it looks very refreshing. Maybe someday I will have lots of apples and can do this.


Can I ask the price for 50 gallons of local cider in your area?


Were you able to fill the barrels with cider using your hand grinder and press?

I just pressed a few gallons of cider from desert apples using a ratchet style wine press which was a lot of work! I used the apples as a test because they did not sell and I had them left over… Don’t expect the cider to be very good from these apples, but with the small equipment it was more work than I expected.


$3 per gallon is a going rate for getting a 50 gal barrel filled, I did not attempt to fill a 50 gal using my hand crank grinder and basket press. I did press around 50 gallons with it, but over the course of a month or so.


In anticipation of the truly immense amount of fruit I will surely have in the next few years ( ha ha) , I have decided to try and make some hard cider this winter. I have a friend who is fairly accomplished at making homemade fruit wines who has given me pointers and have read about it extensively so what could possibly go wrong? I have some basic ingredients and airlocks and my sanitizer should be here later this week. I plan on starting a gallon this weekend with pasturized cider. Last week I decided to try a half gallon jug of cider preserved with potassium sorbate that I had in the fridge. I put in in a big glass wine bottle and added sugar and lots of bread yeast. I covered it with a sandwich bag with a little hole poked in it. It fermented for a few days and I started testing it . Well it’s not bad cloudy but sweet. I have tested it until there is only a quart left…pint.


@Derby42 good luck. I have never liked the taste of bread yeast in beverages but if you do great.

What I have settled into, for now at least, is making cider a gallon at a time, about once a week or as quickly as we finish it. The goal is to have some fermented but still sweet cider around for drinking on a continuous basis, and to use up apples in storage which are starting to go soft.

I found that one of our natural fermented batches had a good taste to it, so I have been using some of it and its “children batches” to inoculate the next batch. Sort of like making yogurt or sour dough. I just inject about 1oz of the previous cider batch into the new one before I put the air lock on. Seems to work well, at least so far.

At some point, I should probably try for a fully fermented and bottled batch of cider. But for now this fizzy somewhat still sweet cider is great.


That’s how my bread yeast batch turned out , sweet and fizzy. The first day or two my wife said it smelled like beer but yesterday she said it smelled like apples again. I have real cider yeast for my next batch.


I put a gallon of cider in a glass jug , added a little brewed tea, a table spoon of lemon juice , cup of sugar and a package of yeast. Popped an airlock on it and put it up .


Bubble bubble, I think it is progressing nicely, should be able to rack this off into a secondary Thursday.


I got enough fruit from my seedling selection of Searsport Bittersweet to make a batch of cider. I will bottle in spring 2019, but some tastes have been quite positive . This is a found tree that makes low acid, astringent fruit which ripens midseason and is very well suited for cider-I would say it is 1 in a 1000. Nifty that my grafted tree made fruit as well, so I can confirm its quality in my home orchard as well. Seems precocious, spur type growth habit, somewhat dwarfy and nice clean fruit.



You’ll make a single variety cider with it?


I harvested and pressed around 1.5 bushels, not quite enough to make my standard 5 gal batch, but around 75% Searsport Bittersweet. I racked the batch from a bucket to a carboy and had overage which I bottled, even though it has not fully fermented. I’ve been drinking and enjoying them day by day. I think it will be very nice once fermented to dryness.


How do you carbonate your cider? I’m making some with store bought cider right now before I invest in a grinder and press to make sure this is something I want to do with my own apples next year. I’ve read that after a month or two I can add 3/4 ounce priming sugar per gallon of cider, does that sound about right? I’ve also read about adding Campden tabs prior to this but doesnt sound necessary if to full dryness. Also, i plan on ordering a whitney and chestnut crab this year have you tried making cider from these apples before?


Im looking for a few cider varieties of apples to graft next spring. might need to hit you up for some wood… :smiley:


I carbonate by priming the dry cider at bottling time with approximately 1 tsp of sugar per bottle. Cap it off and in 6 weeks or so it will have sparkle. With dry cider, the varieties of apples used have a big influence on the result, be aware that fresh cider based on dessert varieties will come out pretty acidic once the sugar is fermented out. Chestnut crab makes great hard or fresh cider, it has a russet character I really like. Whitney I don’t know, just be cautious with highly acidic apples and use sparingly in your blend. Experiment, have fun, and have an open mind. Homemade dry ciders are much different to store bought, mass produced ones, more like wine.


Get in touch in late winter, I will hook you up.


Have you ever used erythritol to add a bit of sweet back into your ciders? Its a sugar alcohol that is not able to be processed by yeast (or humans) so wont be digested. Another name for it is Swerve… I added some to wine I made this year and it seems to work ok.


Racked into a secondary jug to finish fermentation. I had a bit left in the bottom l put in a glass…smelled yeasty I took a sip and it was not sweet so the yeast is doing its job. Kinda tasted like watery wine and yeast, hoping it drys out and does some mellowing now.