Saturday, October 24, 2009

Homebrewed Hard Apple Cider Recpie

Last night my boyfriend and I brewed some hard apple cider. This was a piece of cake. It's easier to brew then beer, and is perfect for the season. If you have an interest in home brewing, it's a good recipe to start with.

So I found the following recipe online:
5 gallons sweet cider (fresh, cold pressed, no additives DO NOT USE pasteurized apple juice)
3 pounds brown sugar
3 pounds honey
2 packs champagne yeast

5 gallons is a lot of frickin cider. Plus we already have pumpkin beer (made from a HUGE pumpkin) fermenting in our 5 gallon carboy. So we cut the recipe down to 3 gallons:

3 gallons cider (we bought ours form Russell Farms in Ipswich MA)
1.8 pounds of brown sugar
1.8 pounds of honey
1.2 packets of champagne yeast

For the modified recipe we used a glass 3 gallon carboy and filled with about 2.5ish gallons of cider.

Mix remaining cider with the honey and brown sugar in a large pot. (heat it just high enough to dissolve the honey and sugar but not enough to boil)

It doesn't say to add spices..but it doesn't say not to add them, so i sprinkled in some cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Not too much, maybe like 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and about a half teaspoon each of allspice and nutmeg. Now that i think about it, i probably should have added that during the second fermentation process. Oops. LET COOL TO ROOM TEMP (overnight)

Add the packet of yeast to a cup of lukewarm water and let it sit for 20 minutes. This is called a 'starter'.

Normally in a 5 gallon bucket style carboy you would add the yeast mixture directly into it stir it forcefully 2 or 3 times with a long spoon to jump start the activation process. But in a glass carboy the opening is much too narrow so poor the yeast mixture into the now cooled honey/sugar/cider mixture and stir it a few times.

Pour yeasted mixture into the carboy. (you may have to empty some of the cider in the carboy out to make room) **Do yourself a favor and invest in a funnel**

Snap the airlock on and wait three weeks (1st fermentation). According to the recipe funky smells are normal as it ferments. Hmmm. Well keep out of direct sunlight, perhaps that will help.

After three weeks take out the airlock and pop some Campden tabs in the brew. (one per gallon) **Quick note, if you'd like to use the to sterilize fruit before fermentation add when you first add the cider to the carboy. I'm using it as a preservative so I'm adding now (bottling process)

Take an 'ale pail' and empty the priming sugar into it. Be sure to measure out the right amount of priming sugar to how many gallons you're brewing.

Empty carboy into 'ail pail' either by syphoning it, or getting you're muscle bound boyfriend to dump it in.

Bottle and Cap

Store in a cool dark area for another week or two depending on taste and pressure (second fermentation and helps flavor and adds carbonation) **If any bottles explode place them in the fridge. This stops the fermentation process dead**

Enjoy :):) Good luck and let me know how your batch turns out.

Extra juice?
Hot Apple Cider (non-alcoholic)
6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
1 orange peel, cut into strips
1 lemon peel, cut into strips


  1. very informative I think that I will make more after I finish the first batch.

    1. If you want to re-use your carboy, clean it properly before. You can also buy a machine which will do it perfectly (ex:


  2. I keep seeing this green thing in the background in some of you pictures is that a baconator. You are so awesome!!!

  3. art fan i though carboy could be used only once ! cool tip