Hard Cider Kit Instructions
Ingredients you'll need:
- Approximately 1 gallon of apple juice
We recommend Martinelli's apple juice
Brown or White
Equipment you'll need:
- Yeast sachet
- Airlock w/ rubber stopper
- Glass fermenting carboy jug
- Cider bottles & cork
Get your juice ready. Make sure your apple juice is at room temperature, and then pour it into your clean carboy jug. We recommend a filtered juice without too much natural sediment. (Unfiltered apple cider with natural sediment will work, but it will take more time to age and clarify for best results.)
Finally, make sure your cider doesn't include the ingredient "potassium sorbate".
Add your sugar. Choose either brown sugar for a caramel, molasses flavor, or white sugar for a more classic flavor.
If you’re using fresh-pressed juice without nutrition facts, use the value 25g of sugar per 8 fl oz of juice.
Tip: If you’re using a gallon of apple juice and fermenting in a gallon jug, first pour out 2.5 cups of juice to make room for headspace (aka, bubbling and foaming). Then, add 2 cups of brown sugar or white sugar to give your yeast the food they need to make alcohol.
Shake well. Shake until the sugar is evenly mixed into your juice and almost entirely dissolved.
Add one full yeast sachet. Then shake vigorously for 30 seconds to help wake up the yeast.
Put on the airlock. First, squeeze the rubber stopper into your jug’s bottleneck, and then attach the plastic airlock. Fill the airlock with water, and then snap the hole-punched plastic part back on.
Put your cider in a warm, dark place. An attic, closet, or near your water heater are all good places. The ideal temperature is 75°F to 85°F. (The fermentation will take longer in cooler temperatures). Now, fermentation is beginning. Fermentation will take approximately 5 days.
Tip: Once or twice a day, swirl your container to make sure the yeast make surface contact with all of the juice.
Wait 5 days, then taste-test. After 5 days, take a very small sip of your cider. Right now, the yeast haven’t been separated from your cider, so it won’t taste amazing just yet. When you taste, taste primarily for sweetness. If it tastes dry enough for you, move on to the next step. If it still tastes too sweet, let it ferment for 3 more days, then repeat the taste-test.
Put your cider in the fridge. Take off the airlock and put the hole-punched cap on your gallon jug — or, simply use a loosened cap.
Tip: make sure you never fasten the cap of your gallon jug to prevent potentially explosive carbon dioxide buildup!
Wait two days while your cider is in the fridge. During this time, the cold in your fridge is forcing the solids in your cider to the bottom of the container, making it easier for you to separate them in the next step.
Rack your cider. Slowly, pour your cider off of the sediment at the bottom into a different container. Your goal is to remove as much of the sediment as possible, so try not to tip your jug back up until you’ve finished pouring.
Take a sip! Now, you can taste your cider! Cheers!
You may love it right away, but you may find it tastes harsh or a bit off. Don’t worry! That's very normal with young alcohol. It will get better and better with time. If it tastes bitter, you can quickly fix that by making a simple syrup.
Return your cider to the fridge with a loosened cap. Unlike store-bought wine, your homebrew doesn’t have any preservatives, so it needs to stay in the fridge with a loose cap unless it is properly prepared for room temperature storage.
Age your cider. The character of your cider will change significantly as it ages.
Harsh tastes or off-flavors will dissipate, and your cider will taste smoother and more flavorful. Age your cider for at least 3 weeks, racking it about once a week.
- 🍻 Enjoy!