Brewing cider can be quite easy if you understand what cider is and how it is made. Cider is generally made of apple juice that is fermented. But there are plenty of variations to this brew as other fruits like pears, etc are used. Today it is easy and convenient to make a great tasting cider using cider kits. These kits are very similar to the home brew beer kits that are sold in the market. Some brands of cider kits are really excellent and instructions are easy to follow.
Cider is either still or carbonated and range from being extremely dry to extremely sweet. Apple juice that is fermented is usually known as “hard cider” in the US and apple juice that is not fermented is known as “sweet cider”.
Cider apples need to be harvested when they are very ripe. Often while making cider people use mixtures of different types of apples. These apples are crushed in what is called a “cider mill” and the pulp is then wrapped up in cloth/canvas or nylon. Even straw or hessian has been known to be used.
For those who are interested in brewing cider at home, cider making can become a hobby because it is easy and great fun. Beer enthusiasts who have been home brewing in the past will find it extremely easy to make cider at home too. All one has to do is add glucose or sugar along with the yeast that is provided with the kit and within a week one can excellent tasting alcoholic cider.
Traditionally, alcoholic cider is made from apples that contain very high tannin levels and different kinds of apples are blended to get the best tastes. Experimenting with apples of different kinds will make it really fun and soon help you to get the taste you want. Honey and other fruit can also be added when you are brewing cider to give it a special taste.
Brewing cider can be easy when you know how! A dry cider that can be modified as per your tastes can be made by adding rose petals on the fourth day. This will give it a wonderful bouquet as well as flavor. All you need is some apple juice that is devoid of chemicals and sugar, around fifty grams of sugar, one teaspoon of pectic enzyme, half teaspoon of yeast, wine yeast (red or wine).
Brewing cider at home is cheap, easy and convenient. Pour a litre of the apple juice into the demijohn and add dissolved sugar in warm water (around 250ml). The pectic enzyme and yeast can be added next. After a day add another litre of apple juice and do this again on the third and fourth day. This will give the cider better flavor instead of adding the entire quantity of juice on day one itself. The cider should be racked – siphoning off the lees or rubbish collected at the bottom – into a sterilized plastic bucket or another demijohn. This should in turn be kept in a dark, cool place for a fortnight so that more sediment can settle. Bottle the cider in plastic bottles along with a teaspoon of sugar every 500ml. The bottles need to be kept warm for a secondary fermentation. After this store the cider for a month before you can drink it.