Apple Cider Recipe

Cider recipe for home brewing of apple cider - you can make it easy for you and use apple juice, or do it from scratch using cider apples. Then there is of course the best of both worlds, use a cider making kit to brew your own real cider. John Bull used to make a good one, but the leading brand today is Magnum Cider Kits.

recipe cider homebrew kit For making your own homebrew cider, you can either use apple juice or cider apples and handle all the slicing and pressing yourself. If you use a home brew cider kit, you will get the best of two worlds as the juice in the kit is likely to be better than the supermarket apple juice you can get hold of and you also save a lot of effort on handling and pressing the apples.

Cider recipe from juice

This recipe makes 4.5 litres of apple cider. Ingredients:

  • 4 litres of apple juice
  • 50-200g of sugar
  • Pectolase (enzyme to break down pektin)
  • Yeast nutrition
  • A good cider yeast (if you can't find a dedicated cider yeast, pick any wine yeast)
  • Citric acid (or better - malic acid) to taste

How to home brew the cider:

The apple juice should be without added preservatives and ideally pure apple juice (check ingredients list for words such as "water" or "sugar", if they appear early in the list, there is much of it and that is a good signal to pick another juice). Common preservatives are E202, E224 and should appear in the ingredients list (there are others, just look for preservatives).

Sugar can be normal white sugar, or brewing sugar (dextrose monohydrate). The brewing sugar is slightly better if you can find it (your local home brew supplier will have it and you will need to visit them anyway for the other ingredients below).

Pectolase comes in small sachets, usually for 25 litres but you can just divide it down and if you overdose a bit it is not critical. You need to add the pectolase or you will get "chill haze" later, i.e. your cider goes cloudy when chilled.

Yeast nutrition is normally diammonium phosphate, sometimes with added nutrients. Again, it comes typically in sachets or tubs for 25 litres or more and you will find it in your local home brew shop.

The strength of this cider should be around 5.5% - 7% depending on amount of sugar added.

Fermentation of the cider

Mix all ingredients together in your fermenter, add the yeast last (normally just sprinkle it on top and mix a little after that). Note that some yeast should not be hydrated (applies if the yeast comes mixed with something such as nutrient).

After mixing ingredients, but before adding the yeast - taste it and decide if the acidity is OK. This is difficult, you may have to base this on trial and error as the balance is wrong (too much sugar) at the start of fermentation. You can add citric acid (careful - not too much) to get a "fresher" or "sharper" cider. Better again is if you can find malic acid (your local home brew supplier again).

Leave in room temperature, put an airlock on to protect the brew and it should be ready fermenting after a week. Rack it off (use a syphon to transfer the brew into bottles, but leave the sediment behind).  Bottle in swing top bottles, add a little priming sugar and you will get a sparkling cider after another week.