Making a 1-gallon batch of cider is easy! And a 3-gallon or 5-gallon batch of cider is just as easy to make too! Learn how to make cider at home and begin upping your cider knowledge today. In this episode I cover all the basics on how to make cider at home.
Below find the basic equipment needs for making cider.
Hint: Do get these items before getting your fresh pressed apple juice to ferment.
Real basic cidermaking – 1 gallon jug
- 1 gallon jug that came with your cider
- Rubber stopper with a hole big enough to fit an airlock
- airlock – S-shaped
or go deluxe and put the cider in a glass jar
Making a 3-gallon or 5-gallon batch of cider
- What to consider before you get your juice
- How much money do you want to spend and how much cider do you want to make?
- 3 gallon = approximately 22 pounds filled
- calculated as 7 pounds per liquid gallon + 1 pound for glass carboy
- 5 gallon = approximately 37 pounds filled
I like 3 gallon carboys because they are easier to lift
Equipment needed for either a 3-gallon or 5-gallon batch of cider
A. Two Carboys – always choose glass over plastic
- with hole in center, that fits in your glass carboy
C. One Airlock
- use either an S-shaped or 3 piece fermentor
- The airlock release CO2 as the cider is fermenting and prevents Oxygen from entering.
You can spend hours googling which yeast to use – For your first batch of cider keep it simple
Tried and true yeasts. Each come in a packet and are dry yeast with approximately 5 grams.
- Lavlin 71B, nice all-round yeast that helps to mellow the sharpness of high acid apple blends.
- M2 Lavlin – this yeast makes apples sing in delight as it enhances their character. Might even get a richer mouthfeel. Extra bonus – a finish that suggests residual sugar, even though it is fermented dry!
- Cider House Blend
- English Cider Yeast
F. Campden Tablets (Sodium metabisulfite) – Used to arrest the yeast that in currently active in the juice, so that your cultured yeast can go to town once it is pitched.
- 1 tablet per gallon. Add to fresh juice and let sit overnight
G. Fresh pressed unpasteurized apple juice
- Cider Blends are best!
- Why not use pasteurized juice?
- It usually contains sorbet, sorbic acid, benzoate or benzoic acid which not only affects the taste, but can affect fermentation.
Extra Yeast Tips
- Refrigerate both liquid yeast and dry yeast packets. Each contain millions of yeast cells and you don’t want them to dry out or over heat
Making a yeast starter solution – a.k.a. double your yeast money by doubling the yeast
By making a yeast starter you
- Increases yeast population before pitching
- Revs up the fermentation
- Make sure you are “pitching” yeast that is viable and healthy
1. Use a clean sanitized glass bottle, such as 750 ml wine bottle and have an extra rubber stopper and airlock.
2. Pour in:
- 1 cup of fresh pressed juice heated for 5 minutes
- Let it cool to the point that if you stuck your finger into the solution it would not burn your finger.
- 1/2 cup of fresh pressed juice that has been sulfited overnight, so you know the yeast are no longer viable in that juice.
3. Put the stopper on, with airlock and let the yeast go to town.
Figure 2-days and now you have enough yeast for 10 gallons instead of 5.
Can you keep doubling the yeast starter?
– Yes, you can!
Do the same process as before to triple the amount
Mentions in this Chat
Nathan Pierce’s Micro Brewr podcast
Sanitizing solution I0 Star for cleaning carboy, funnel and tubing
NFG homebrewing supplies has dry yeast for sale for .99¢
Ask for the following 9 #ciderGoingUP Campaign sponsors – By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Cider Chat
- Kurant Cider – Pennsylvania : listen to Joe Getz on episode 14
- Big Apple Hard Cider – NYC : listen to Danielle von Scheiner on episode 35
- Oliver’s Cider and Perry – Herefordshire/UK ; listen to Tom Oliver on episode 29
- Santa Cruz Cider Company – California : listen to Nicole Todd on episode 60
- The Cider Project aka EthicCider– California
- Albermale CiderWorks : listen to Chuck Shelton on episode 56
- Cider Summit : listen to Alan Shapiro founder of this cider fest on episode 75.
- Ramborn Cider Co. Luxembourg.
- Big Fish Cider Co. Virginia
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