I have been brewing beer for a while and have made some good beers, but now I want to try making a hard cider with my girlfriend. I know nothing about this and am wondering if someone could be so kind as to give me a run down of equipment needed and the process to make it. ANy help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
The easiest way to make hard cider is to get some cider or juice with no preservatives (pasteurized is fine) and add yeast. It will make cider.
A quick and easy way we make cider is to buy Tree Top 3-apple blend and pitch in a vial of White Labs English Cider Yeast (WLP775, I think?). Give it a few weeks to ferment, then package it (keg or bottle) and let it age for at least 3 months. I just entered this very cider into a local competition in SoCal and it won the gold medal.
If you like your cider sweet, that’s a whole new can of worms. It’s easier if you keg. If you bottle, it’s hard to sweeten without kicking off the fermentation again and creating bottle bombs.
Also, if you intend to start from fresh apples, that’s opening another can of worms. I just planted some apple trees in my back yard and intend to do that in a few years if I get a decent harvest.
That easy huh? Awesome.
I plan to go to an apple orchard near me and get a couple gallons of fresh pressed stuff. From what Ive read, I’ll just need to add campden tablets, wait a day, add yeast and wait it out. I plan to bottle and carbonate. I dont care if it turns out dry or sweet at the moment since Ive never even tried a hard cider. Just think itll be fun.
Maybe I’ll go buy a couple diffferent types and see what I think. Got any suggestions on brands to sample?
You’ve got the right idea. It’s all good. Buy the good stuff from your local orchard, sulfite and add some yeast, and you’ll be rocking and rolling in no time. Very very easy to get started on cider.