anybody got any tips / recipes for making your own cider ? I have an eating apple tree and a crab apple tree for apples but not sure if the best way to proceed ?
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don't use too many of the crab apples, or you will end up with a very dry cider that will only be good for cooking.
If you don't have use of a press then an industrial mop bucket (the type that you pull the lever to squeeze out the mop) will make a good job of pressing apples.
I bought one off amazon for about £30, just make sure it's plastic and not aluminium.
There is a youtube video about it but basically you just food process the apples, or chop by hand, then put them in a sterilised muslin cloth (or a pillowcase) and press them in the mop bucket and collect the juices in the bottom.
I used some champagne yeast (about £1 off ebay) to ferment it and I also added a bit of sugar because my apples are on the bitter side.
I am eating dinner right now but will dig out a recipe I have from an old book later.
I know the yeast isn't always necessary but it helps 'speed things up a little'
Thank you - what a star xcx
Hi, Ive forgotten most of what I learned when I made my own cider but I can tell you this: mother nature is the best way of brewing cider. crush apples (or pears - you can even mix them) to get the juice (leave stalks, rough skin, pips, cores even the odd leaf in the press), pour juice into demi-john and seal with bung and airlock and leave it!
6 weeks is the average time for it to ferment all by itself, no chemicals, no lees to fine, no decanting, no problem. It was the best and most natural and most satisfying brewing I ever did!
The Following Cider recipe has been copied from a book titled 'Successful wine and Beer Making' Revised Edition, 1966.
I have copied it in the original format as a tribute to the author, S.M. Tritton
For the production of cider it is important to use sound, ripe and sweet apples. A certain amount of astringency such as is supplied by using some crab apples or pears makes the cider more attractive in flavor. Eating apples generally contain more sugar and less acid than cookers and will make better cider. It is best to blend several types apple, adding crab or bitter sweet apple. Kingston Black is an excellent cider apple. and can be fermented without blending with other varieties.
The apples should be fully ripe, stored a little while to lose their firmness and washed well, all rotten parts cut out and finally cut up and minced. Use china or glass bowls for the pulp avoiding all metal. The pulp is then put into a course canvas bag, tailor's canvas which has been well boiled or finer linen bags such as are used by millers for flour sacks are also suitable. To express the juice requires a press of some kind or the bag can be supported on another stretched canvas and weighted with flat,heavy stones.
The juice is next placed in a glass container or a barrel which is preferably filled to the top. It is desirable to add a pure champagne yeast before filling up. The brown scum will froth out from the open barrel or glass and can be washed away. the fermenting vessels should be stood in a cool place as soon as all the froth has been removed a fermentation trap should be inserted. When the evolution of the bubbles slows down quite considerably, the cider should still contain a little sugar. If it is desired to have a sweet cider then the cider must be removed at this stage from the yeast deposit into another clean container. If the fermentation is carried out in a barrel which is fitted with a tap it is easy to draw off the cider into another container and leave the yeast residue behind. It is desirable to prevent too much loss of the carbon dioxide gas and the best way is to attach a rubber tube to the tap so that it reaches the bottom of the new container and the cider can flow in quietly.
Dry Cider: It is important to rack this into a clean cask while the fermentation is still active (keeping the juice charged with gas and the casks full prevents the cider going vinegary. when it is racked into another container the cider must reach the bung hole (top) otherwise spoilage can occur. If there is insufficient cider available then a syrup must be used. (*note I used cider!) It is always advisable to ferment an extra small quantity of juice as to have a small amount of cider for filling up As soon as the fermentation stops, bung up the cask and stand for a month or so it will become clear and drinkable.
Thanks guys - I think I'll try a bit of both , some brewed naturally and some following econod's more complex method. Thanks xcx