Home brew cider methods are many and fairly easy. However the easiest way to make cider is by using the packed apple juice that is easily available in the market. One can use the apples in three ways to make cider – make a pulp from the fermented slices of apple, mash the apples in a juicer to get the juice or press and pulp.
The first step would be to use a corer that both cores and slices the apple evenly. Discard the cores and place the apple slices into the fermenter directly. Brew this for 48 hours, then take out the slices , mash them by hand and put them once again into the fermenter. It is a good idea to put them into a sieve bag so that the pulp can be removed without any problem.
If you want to use a juicer, then make sure that it can get rid of all the pulp as it works. The motor should be a good one so that you wont have any problem while putting in the apples. This means that the whole apple juicer should have wide outlets and inlets that enables you to put in your apples without having to cut them up.
Home brew cider made the traditional way of “press and pulp” is one of the best especially if the quantity is large. Pulp the apples first by either bashing them up with a hammer or by using the “pulper”. Once you do this then you have to put the pulp in a press in order to squeeze the juice out. The quantity of juice will no doubt depend on the quantity of apples you use.
Home brew cider made from a mixture of various types of apples is considered the best type. The ones that are popular and chosen time and time again by home brewers are small sour, non-keepers or windfall along with crab-apples. Apples that are chosen should be good and not rotten, though an odd spoilt one would not make a difference.
Home brew cider that is stored in a wooden ex-brandy cask (30 gallons is ideal) will keep well. If you have a plastic cask, it should do as long as it is large enough to enable good fermentation of a large quantity of juice. This will give it a higher content of alcohol. Note that the cask should stand on its end or side, in a cool dark place. Apple juice will begin to ferment after 48 hours and will continue to do so for around 3 weeks till it stops. This is when 2 to 4 pounds of sugar per gallon has to be added to the quantity of juice you have removed from the cask. Add this sweetened liquid slowly and gradually into the cask. After the juice stops bubbling up the cask can be bunged up tightly with wood or cork and left for 8 months to 2 years.
Home brew cider is generally made in the months of October or November and when it is ready, it should be bottled with care. It is best when produced in large/huge quantities.