Apple cider is a delicious drink that is very popular in the fall season. Just the penetrating smell of this delight is enough to warm the heart amid the falling leaves. But what about who doesn't live in the United States? How to taste a fresh cider? In this article, you will learn how to make apple cider from scratch. You can also find recipes for hot versions of the drink on the internet for those especially cold days.
Preparation time (non-alcoholic cider): 30-45 minutes
Method 1 of 2: Non-Alcoholic Cider
Step 1. Choose the right apples
The best ciders are those that have a balance between sweet and sour. It is common for drink makers to mix different types of apples to get the right combination. To find your mix, you'll have to experiment a lot. But do not worry! This is one of the most delicious steps in the preparation. Here are the basic features of some of the most common apples:
- Red Delicious: Large, firm and red, with a sweet taste.
- Yellow Delicious: Large, firm and yellow, with a sweet taste.
- jonathon: Medium, slightly sour, with red parts at the top and green parts at the bottom.
- Granny Smith: medium to small, sour and green.
- Gala: Medium, slightly sour, yellow with red or orange spots.
Step 2. Choose the apples from those listed above
Take a look at fairs, grocery stores and supermarkets to find a wide variety of fruits. If you prefer a sweeter juice, use three sweet apples for a sour one. For a more intermediate taste, opt for "two sweets for one sorrel". To make alcoholic cider, use only sweet apples.
You will need approximately 25 kg of apple to make 4 l of cider
Step 3. Wash apples thoroughly
Cut off the handles and bruised parts. Don't use any fruit you wouldn't eat loose.
Step 4. Cut apples into quarters
Do not peel them. Otherwise, the cider will lose some of its color, flavor and nutrients.
Step 5. Beat the apples
Beat the fruits in a blender or food processor until pureed.
Step 6. Sift the pulp
Pass the puree through a cheesecloth and squeeze to extract the juice well.
If you have a very fine sieve or chinois, squeeze the puree with the back of a spoon to get even more juice
Step 7. Store the cider in the refrigerator
After enjoying a delicious cup of cider, store the rest of the drink in a closed container below 5 °C for up to two weeks. To store the drink longer, freeze it.
Method 2 of 2: Alcoholic cider
Step 1. Make the cider
Prepare 20 l of sweet cider according to the method above.
Step 2. Buy yeast
Take a look at the internet or food stores for product preparation and buy cider yeast. Dry wine yeast is also a good option as it is cheaper and easier to find.
Step 3. Prepare a starter
A day or two before fermentation, prepare a starter with the yeasts to keep them alive and in the right spot. The starter will also give you more control over the flavor of the drink.
- In a pot with a lid, place a small packet of yeast and half a cup of fresh cider. Close the jar and shake for five to ten seconds. Set it aside for five to six hours or let it sit overnight.
- When the mixture starts to bubble, open the lid slightly to release the pressure. Then close the pot again. Store the starter in the refrigerator. Take it only a few hours before starting to prepare the recipe.
Step 4. Prepare the cider
Fill a large pot with fresh cider. Bring to medium heat until almost boiling. Cook at this point for about 45 minutes to an hour to kill bacteria and loose yeasts that can affect the taste of the drink.
- Don't boil the cider.
- Add up to 900 g of brown sugar or honey to increase the sugar content of the drink and make it more alcoholic.
Step 5. Prepare the bucket for fermentation
Sterilize the bucket to make sure it's clean enough. Fill it with water and add a capful of bleach. Soak while you finish cooking the cider. Then discard the solution and rinse the bucket thoroughly with cold water.
Step 6. Pour the cider into the bucket
Allow to cool to just above room temperature and add starter. Stir with a sterile spoon, close the lid and adjust the airlock valve.
Step 7. Ferment the drink
Place the bucket in a cool, dark room between 15 °C and 20 °C. After a few days, the valve will start to show bubbles. It's the yeast releasing carbon dioxide. Bubbles should last for about two weeks. When the cider stops bubbling, let it sit for another week for the yeast to settle.
Step 8. Bottle the cider
With a clean, food-safe siphon, transfer the beverage to sterilized bottles. Tightly close the bottles and let the drink sit for as long as possible. Wait at least two weeks to start drinking. Like wine, alcoholic cider tastes better over time.
- Regardless of the size of the bucket, it is essential that you fill it to the top with apple juice. If you only fill the container halfway, the cider will turn into vinegar.
- Yeasts need an anaerobic environment. The more space, the more air and the greater the taste of vinegar. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and is gradually released through the valve at the top of the container.
- The trick to making cider, not apple cider vinegar, is to completely fill the bucket with apple juice. If you only fill the bucket halfway, you'll end up making vinegar.
- Prepare different ciders with different types of apples. Then, combine the juices to try a variety of flavors and observe the difference the color of apples makes in the hue of the drink.
- To make cider in large quantities, invest in your own press.
- Beat the apples well and squeeze the puree into the cheesecloth to remove all the juice and nutrients from the fruit. It is possible that some solid pieces pass through the cheesecloth and that the juice becomes cloudy.
- There is debate as to what the difference is between cider and apple juice. The consensus is that cider is the raw juice, which has not been filtered or heavily processed. Cider is highly perishable and should be kept in the refrigerator. Apple juice is filtered, pasteurized and bottled in order to last a long time. The methods above explain how to make apple cider.
to pasteurize the juice, heat it to a minimum of 70°C and a maximum of 85°C to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli. Use a kitchen thermometer to measure the temperature. Fresh, unpasteurized juice should not be served to children, the elderly and people with immunological deficiencies.