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Trying to keep it K.I.S.S

In the backwoods of Nova Scotia an old relative of mine tells that as a teenager he and his friends used to throw some apples in an old wooden barrel, throw in some yeast and sugar and after some weeks be drinking their own brew.

Now, a few decads later, I am thinking of brewing my own cider. After studying my way throught the massive quantities of info on the Net, am not sure whether all of the hoopala of exact proportions, sorbate, capden, paricular yeast, yeast killing, etc., are all necessary, or if we have entered an age of being too perfectionist.

Does anyone remember that old Kodak camera commercial (back when cameras began beeping with all the bells and whistles) when the kid says, all I wanna do is take pictures with my camera.?

Well, all I wanna do is drink my own homebrewed apple cider. Could someone please give me their version of a simple process, recipe, that will bring me to that ultimate goal? Would much appreciate it.

I have placed many times with my cider, but I feel that it is very important to achieve the proper balance of sweet apples/acidic apples/astringent apples. I also have preferred yeast strains. IME cider is easy to make, but great cider takes a bit of work and proper planning.

Thanks for the prompt reply. Guess I’ll be needing to do lots more homework before I begin. BTW, what is IME cider?

IME: In My Experience

I think the easiest place to start is Apfelwein

, although it’s more fermented apple juice than it is cider. But it sure is simple and delicious!

As Baratone Brewer posted, making great award winning cider takes a bit of planning and experimenting, however basic hard cider is really simple, just apple juice and yeast, add some sugar if you want to boost the alcohol. I prefer beer yeast as it doesn’t attenuate as much as wine yeast, lending a bit more body finished product.

For a simple, tasty, dry cider, buy a gallon jug of organic cider and pour out one quart and drink. To the gallon jug, add one can of frozen apple juice, a teaspoon of yeast nutrient, and a packet of dry white wine yeast. Cover with foil or use an airlock and keep on the cool side, in the low 60s if possible. Once fermentation is complete, cold-crash for a week to drop the yeast, then transfer to a clean jug or jugs. If you don’t want it sparkling, backsweetening is easy - just add the sweetener of your choice and keep it cold.

Thanks to everyone for all the information. Cheers!

I’ve made one cider. On the advice of someone from another board, I let the wild yeast do it’s thing. It turned out OK. But it was only one variety of apples. What I call “pie” or “crisp” apples from my mom’s back yard. They are very tart.

The OG was on the low side. I thought of adding a couple cans of FAJ, but decided to let it go and see how it went.

If you have a supply of apples, just go for it and make a small batch.

The biggest PIA for me was juicing. I did almost 5 gallons of juice (10+ 5 gallon pails of apples) with a little juicer machine. Do a pail or so each night and freeze the juice.

If you can build your own press or rent one, I would highly recommend it.

best cider I’ve taste is one made by a friend who bought sweet cider specifically pressed for hard cider and let the yeasts in the juice do its thing. I’ve always been too chicken to not pitch yeast.

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