Hey friends! You'll find that if you've made wine before, making apple cider has a lot of the same steps (pre-carbonation, of course). This recipe is for 5 gallons of apple cider.
You will need 20 pounds of apples for 5 gallons of cider. Don't worry so much about coring or peeling the apples. Cutting them up into 1/8 slices is good enough. And if you chose to go the route of a cider ingredient kit (there are instructions on each of the product pages) or wine base (2 cans), you won't have to worry about slicing up apples.
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2 Teaspoons Yeast Nutrient
5 pounds of sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Pectic Enzyme (only if you are cutting up your own apples. Not needed for juice/base)
2.5 Teaspoons Acid Blend
1 Packet Cider Yeast
Wine Conditioner to taste
Follow these 10 easy steps to Making Apple Cider.
Step 1. Place fruit in a large nylon bag and/or into food-grade fermenter.
Step 2: Take a hydrometer reading of your juice. Put a sample of apple juice in a test jar. Spin hydrometer to dislodge air bubbles. At eye level, read the figures on the stem of the hydrometer where the surface of the liquid cuts across the stem. This figure will tell you how much sugar is in the juice and the potential alcohol. Adjust sugar for type of wine you wish to make.
Step 3: Sanitize all equipment and utensils with Potassium Metabisulfite solution. See below for directions on making your Sulfite Sanitizing Solution
Step 4: Stir together all of the wine making ingredients called for, EXCEPT for the YEAST, into a primary fermenter. Collect any pulp in a straining bag and submerge the bag into the wine making mixture. Add water to equal the batch to 5 gallons. Then add 5 Crushed Campden Tablets. They should be crushed up before adding. Adding the wine yeast at the same time you add the Campden Tablets will kill the yeast.
Step 5: Cover the fermenter and wait 24 hours. During this time, the Campden Tablets are sterilizing the juice with a mild sulfur gas. During the 24 hours, the sulfur gas leaves the container making it safe to add the wine yeast.
Step 6: Sprinkle the wine YEAST over the surface of the juice and then attach lid. Allow this mixture to ferment for 5 to 7 days. You should start to see some foaming activity within 24 hours of adding the wine yeast. Typically, 70% of the fermentation activity will occur during this 5 to 7 day period.
Step 7: After 5 to 7 days remove the pulp from the fermenter and discard. Siphon the wine into a secondary fermenter in a careful manner, so as to leave the sediment behind. You can easily remove the pulp by lifting out the fermentation bag. Drain out any excess juice from the bag. Siphon the wine off the sediment without stirring it up. Get as much liquid as you can, even it some of the sediment comes with it. If necessary, add water back to 5 gallons.
Step 8: Attach a wine making air-lock and fill it approximately half-way with water. Allow the juice to ferment for an additional 4-6 week period or until it becomes completely clear of sediment. Use your hydrometer to verify that the fermentation is complete before continuing (like you did in step 2). The wine hydrometer should read between 0.990 and 0.998 on the Specific Gravity scale.
Step 9: Once the wine has cleared completely, siphon it off of the sediment again. Take your final hydrometer reading. When siphoning off the sediment, unlike the first time you siphoned the wine, you want to leave all of the sediment behind, even if you lose a little wine.
Step 10: You can bottle your cider at this point. You can use carbonation drops OR you can add priming sugar by mixing 5 ounces of corn sugar into 2 cups of boiling water. Allow mixture to cool before adding it to your fermenter. Bottle immediately in beer bottles. Store for 2 weeks at room temperature and enjoy!
ADDITIONAL HOME WINE MAKING INFORMATION•Sulfite Sanitizing Solution: Dissolve Four crushed Campden Tablets in one quart of water to make sanitizing solution. Being sanitary is one of the keys to great home wine making.
•Temperatures: Keep fermentation temperatures stable between 70-75 degrees F. Getting the fermentation too cool could result in the fermentation stopping before all the alcohol is made. Getting the fermentation too warm could result in off-flavors in the wine.
•Sweetening Your Wine: The wine will be dry tasting when finished fermenting. If you prefer your wines sweeter, simply add sugar, honey, etc. to taste. However, you must first add a wine making stabilizer such as Potassium Sorbate, or there will be a strong chance of re-fermentation occurring in the bottles.
•Hydrometer: In order to make good wine, you will need to use a Hydrometer. The hydrometer is used to measure the concentration of sugar in your wine at any given time. With this information you can determine your wine’s alcoholic content or simply monitor the fermentation throughout the home wine making process.
If you have any questions about the wine making process, please feel free to give us a call at 770-507-5998. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you.