How to Make Cider from Apple Juice

Updated on March 22, 2016
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How to make Cider from Supermarket Ingredients

Cider is easier to make at home than either wine or beer and makes a very pleasant alternative, especially on a warm summer evening. To make cider traditionally, you need fresh cider apples and a heavy-duty screw press. To make it even more traditionally, you need a barn, a large oak cask that you can call a hogshead if you must, sackfuls of cider apples, a huge granite mill wheel and channel, and a horse that doesn't mind walking in circles for a few hours.

Alternatively, you can use supermarket apple juice and dried baker's yeast.

What You'll Need

Pop down to the supermarket and get a large plastic flagon (about 64 oz or 2 liters) of pure apple juice (not a cardboard carton) and a packet of dried baker's yeast. The brand of apple juice doesn't matter, but make sure there are no added preservatives, as these could prevent it from fermenting. (Some additional vitamin C is no problem.) If there are no preservatives, the juice will usually have been pasteurised to stabilise it. This gives it a darker colour than fresh juice, but we can live with that.

You will also need a teaspoon and a drinking straw, but you probably have these already! If you like, you can arrange everything neatly on the table and take a photograph like mine, but this step is entirely optional!

This is all you need.
This is all you need. | Source

How to Do It

  1. Open the flagon and completely remove the inner foil seal (if any).
  2. With the drinking straw, enjoy the top two inches (5 cm) of apple juice. Waste not, want not! (The reason for this is to make a little room in the container.)
  3. Carefully tip half a level teaspoon of dried yeast onto the surface of the juice, but do not shake or stir.
  4. Replace the cap. Tighten it, then back it off a quarter turn to allow gas to escape.

And that is it! There is nothing more to do but wait (the entire process takes about five days), watch, and read my deathless prose....

Watch as the yeast quickly re-hydrates and expands across the surface, forming a slurry. The dormant yeast cells waken in a yeast heaven and soon start gorging on the sugar and nutrients in the juice and replicating like crazy. This is a yeast orgy. Clumps of cells start to break off and fall slowly to the bottom, where they carry on working on the fruit sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.

...five minutes after adding yeast, you'll see some action...
...five minutes after adding yeast, you'll see some action... | Source

What Will Happen

After a few hours, the juice should be bubbling merrily, with a good head of froth on top. Baker's yeast tends to be a much faster starter than wine yeast and doesn't take long to get going. You'll notice that the juice has gone cloudy. This is normal. The yeast population is now far larger than the original teaspoonful and the rising carbon dioxide bubbles keep everything in motion.

The fermentation doesn't go on forever. After a few days, the available sugar is all used up, the bubbling stops, and the yeast cells start to drop to the bottom. It's impossible to say when this will happen as it depends on the sweetness of the original juice, the strain of yeast, the ambient temperature, and several other factors.

  • When the fermentation has slowed to one or two bubbles per second, typically after five days, taste it using a drinking straw. It should be fairly dry. If it is still sweet, try again in 24 hours.
  • When you're happy with the dryness, tighten the cap and put the flagon in the refrigerator (not the freezer!) This will help it to fall clear.

The cider is already ready for drinking, but will look and taste better after a couple of days in the fridge. It doesn't matter if it is not completely clear. There is nothing unwholesome about a little yeast. After all, you eat it every day in bread. Some commercial ciders of the scrumpy style are traditionally served cloudy. Always keep the flagon in the fridge until serving. This prevents any risk of exploding flagons if you've been in too much of a hurry. When serving, pour carefully to avoid disturbing the sediment.

If you have judged your end point well, it will have a slight sparkle when poured, giving a freshness to the taste. If you left it a little too late, it will be still and dry, but perfectly drinkable. On the other hand, if you refrigerated it too soon, it will be sweeter and a little frothy.

...after 24 hours, the liquid will appear frothy (the process will take approximately 5 days).
...after 24 hours, the liquid will appear frothy (the process will take approximately 5 days). | Source
Lalvin Dried Wine Yeast EC #1118 (Pack of 10)
Lalvin Dried Wine Yeast EC #1118 (Pack of 10)

Paraglider suggests: A proper wine yeast will improve the quality of your cider. This one is a quick starter and a good fermenter with a wide temperature tolerance. Originally a Champagne yeast, it clears and settles well. Best of all - it's very cheap!

 

Cider Apples?

Cider apples are different from both dessert and cooking apples. True cider apples are extremely hard, even when ripe. When crushed in a mill, the juice runs clear. The softer dessert and cooking varieties tend to crush to a sloppy pulp with cloudy juice which is no good for cider.

Supermarket apple juices are not made from cider apples, but they are extracted and cleared using hi-tech centrifuge and filtering techniques that are not available to the amateur. Be grateful they have done the hard work for you!

Explanations, Hints, and Tips

This method was designed to work with no special equipment and with baker's yeast. In some parts of the world, such as the Middle East, wine yeast is not available. But if you do have access to wine yeast it will give a higher quality cider.

Sterilisation is vital if you are making cider by traditional methods. However in my method you start with a sealed, sterile juice flagon and ferment in situ opening the top only for the minute it takes to remove some juice and add the yeast. Spoilage is highly unlikely.

Why not stir the yeast in? By floating the yeast on the surface, the growth process starts locally in the concentrated slurry that forms when the yeast absorbs the liquid and re-hydrates. A blanket of carbon dioxide soon forms which forces the air out of the flagon and protects the juice from oxidation. If you stir the yeast in, the start will be slower and the protection less.

Temperature: Warm room temperature is best. Shirt sleeves temperature, if you like. If the juice has been in a fridge, don't start and don't open it until it has warmed up to room temperature.

Sunlight: Yeast doesn't like sunlight. It's best not to place the flagon on the windowsill. Having said that, it doesn't need to be kept in the dark either.

Quantity: One flagon (64 oz or 2 liters) of cider is not very much. If you want to make a larger amount in a single batch, start by kicking off one flagon exactly as described above. When it is going well, say after 48 hours, transfer it to a larger vessel and pour in more juice, remembering to leave a couple of inches air space at the top. Cap it and back off the cap as before, to let gas escape. After that, proceed exactly as with the single flagon. But if you are going to do this, you should sterilise the large vessel before use.

Alternatively, if one flagon isn't enough, start two, three, five, or ten! The great advantage of fermenting in the original container is that there are no sterilisation worries.

Alcoholic Content: The alcoholic strength of this cider depends on the sweetness of the original juice. Typically it will lie in the range 4 to 6% ABV (alcohol by volume), or about the same as a medium-strong beer. You can increase the alcohol by adding sugar at the start, but this increases the chances of stopping the fermentation early, leaving an oversweet drink, because of the relatively low alcohol tolerance of baker's yeast. I prefer to accept the natural strength as it comes.

Still, Flat, or Sparkling: No one talks about still beer. If beer has no bubbles, it is called flat, not still, and flat beer is to nobody's liking. That is because beer is made from grain and contains little or no acid. It needs the carbon dioxide gas to give it sharpness or life. Cider, made from apple juice, contains malic acid. This lends a freshness to the taste, even in the absence of gas. So still cider is an accepted style, while flat beer is always a failure.

Quality: This cider is not meant to win any prizes. Better results can be obtained with fresh apples, wine yeast, and a great deal more work and knowledge. But you can be assured that it is perfectly wholesome, because you know exactly what went into it. No preservatives, no chemicals, just juice and yeast.

Cheers! And thanks for reading!

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      Dave McClure 2 weeks ago from Kyle, Scotland

      There should be no need. If you catch the end point well, it should be naturally sparkling.

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      Jeremy 2 weeks ago

      So are you able to bottle and add carbonation drops to make this fizzy after fermentation is finished?

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      You don't need to pasteurise fresh juice but do make sure that you sterilise all the equipment you use (presses, juicers, filters, etc) and the fermenting jar. With supermarket juice this is not necessary because it is pasteurised and sealed sterile. But you must add the yeast immediately to your pressed juice. If you don't, then you will need to add sulphite to sterilise it.

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      Stephanie 2 months ago

      I love this idea. Am waiting to be able to try making cider this year. I have a question. If I am using fresh apple juice and possibly pear juice, not necessarily together, do I need to pasteurize the juice first in order to be able to put this into sealed jars at the end. Kind of like moonshine?

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      Dave McClure 7 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Stella, not sure I'd like that, but what matters is making what works for you! Keep experimenting.

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      Stella 7 months ago

      Ive made this before and i added mixed berry dessert topping to make a sweeter and mixed berry flavored cider. It worked really well

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 9 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Balisteve - I state quite clearly that better results are obtained with wine yeast and in fact the one I recommend is originally a Champagne yeast. But there are many countries where wine yeast is not available. I live in one and so do many of my readers.

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      balisteve 9 months ago

      tip , use champagne or at least white wine yeast . most bread yeasts tast like crap in brews , also bout 1/4 cup brown an 1/4 cup white suger per 2 litres will give you a brew bout 10% after 4 -6 days . wait till its bubblin nearly stopped , then taste wannt sweeter add honey or suger the stick it n the fridge . want carbonated 1\2 ts sugar per 500ml an cap. ahh brown suger light to dark ,depends on your taste . HAVE FUN oh yea if ya doin carbinated wait another week or longer before to stick it in the fridge.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 11 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Prince - I do state that wine yeast will give better results. Champagne yeast is also a good choice of wine yeast because it settles well. But there are many countries where wine yeast is simply not available. Baking yeast does work for cider and is universal.

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      Prince 11 months ago

      I just did this on my own a while ago, and decided to look back and see if the internet agreed with my methods.

      I used the same process, just with champagne yeast, and it works great! Nice recipe (though I wouldn't suggest using baking yeast to make drinks)

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      Dave McClure 14 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Chris - it should still be OK in cool temperatures but will take longer to ferment, maybe up to two weeks. On the plus side, the longer slower fermentation often results in higher quality. The loose lid lets the carbon dioxide gas out so the bottle doesn't explode! But it also makes it impossible for airborne bacteria or wild yeasts (or fruit flies!) to gain access against the stream of CO2 escaping via the screw-cap's thread.

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      Chris Conway 14 months ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      Great to see you've attentively addressed this article for years! Just trying my first batch in New Zealand. It may prove tough here since we rarely get over 20-Celsius, but I figure no harm in letting it sit for 4-6 days before refrigerating.

      I leave my lid screwed on very loosely; is the lid purely to enforce sterilisation, or is there a need to have it somewhat restrictive?

      Thanks,

      Chris

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 14 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Derek -Basically same procedure, but start the fermentation in about one litre, then when it is going very well, pour it into the big vessel and add the rest of the juice over the course of a week, then let it ferment out, or nearly.

      Tea adds tannin which gives some astringency. You can also experiment with some lemon or grapefruit juice for acidity. Another good one is a little cranberry juice, not too much. It adds to the flavour and if you get it right it can look like Magners, slightly rose coloured.

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      derekthomson 14 months ago

      Tried this, it worked perfectly, thanks.

      Just 2 questions:

      I would like to brew about 25 liters using a home brew fermenting bin and store in a pressure keg, is there any difference in procedure.

      Although first attempt very good, I found this slightly bland, is there a way of giving it a little more character, I've read somewhere that tea can be added. Is this a good idea, anything else that I could add/do to improve finished product .

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 15 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Tobias - yes. This method uses sterile pasteurised juice in a new container, opened once only to add the yeast, after which there is positive pressure from inside, forcing CO2 out through the loosely fastened screw cap. Nothing is going to get in to mess it up.

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      Tobias 15 months ago

      In other booze making tutorials they use an airlock. Is this just as safe without one?

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      Dave McClure 18 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      cider Bhoy - you might get away with it but probably not. It is likely that the preservatives would stop the fermentation.

      iggyboy - if you are going for wine strength, you'll get a more balanced result if you go 50:50 apple and grape juice.

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      iggyboy60 18 months ago

      This works and works well. Got a bit silly, did 5ltrs of AJ with 5grms of wine yeast and 1kg of sugar. Got a 14% alcoholic blast and it tastes awesome. Took a total of six weeks to ferment and then clear. Well worth the extra wait for a top result. I'm hooked.

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      cider Bhoy 18 months ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      Thanks for the recipe.Once the fermentation process is underway can i add juice with preservatives as preservative free juice is really expensive in Indonesia?

      thanks for your reply

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 19 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Gilliatt and Ty - After a couple of days in the fridge you can transfer it to another bottle. It will keep fresh and improve out of the fridge for several weeks, as long as you have worked cleanly.

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      Joseph 19 months ago

      Hey mate, can u store the cider in a second bottle outside the fridge or no. Ty

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      Gilliatt 19 months ago

      Hi Paraglider, thanks for the recipe! Wondering if I put it in the fridge for 2 days and then put it into another sterile container and sealed it, would it last a couple of days without being refrigerated as I would love to take it camping with me. Cheers!

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      Dougie 19 months ago

      Thanks so much!

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 19 months ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Dougie - It can still fall clear and probably will, after about two days in the fridge. Wine yeast is always a slower starter than baking yeast but it more than holds its own in the main fermentation stage. Total time should be about the same.

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      Dougie 19 months ago

      also, I used wine yeast, but the fermentation isn't as explosive as it was when I used the baker's yeast; so I was wondering if it'll take longer?

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      Dougie 19 months ago

      Hi,

      I used cloudy fresh pressed apples and I was wondering if it was possible for it to turn clear after fermentation?

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      How much taste it has depends on the quality of the juice you used. But after only 4 days, it won't have finished fermenting. give it a bit longer.

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      Eric 2 years ago

      So it's been four days now and I just tried it for the first time and it has very little taste. It doesn't taste sour or like vinegar it's kinda like carbonated water. Any explanation for this? Can I just add sugar to make it palatable?

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      I prefer to start the yeast in pure juice. If you are going to add extra sugar, dissolve it in boiled water first and leave it to cool to room temperature. Brown sugar or honey are OK but certainly alter the taste. Some people like it.

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      Eric 2 years ago

      Hello again. Just for future reference, after I try this a few times I'd like to try and increase the alcohol content. I read your article about controlling the strength and that chart comparing sugar content to alcohol content was very useful. But if I want to add sugar straight to the apple juice, do I add it first and shake it up before adding yeast? Or would I add the sugar after it's fermented for a few days? Also, would brown sugar be ok? I read somewhere that it could give a nice, different flavour. Thank you again! I'm so excited to try this!

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      Eric 2 years ago

      Great article! I just started it yesterday but was wondering how tight the cap should be. I did just under a half turn because a quarter seemed too tight but I check up on it every few hours and the plastic bottle really expands and I'm scared it's gonna blow! I just loosen the cap until I hear the pressure release and then leave it where it is, maybe tighten it just a smidge. Is that normal or is my cap too tight? Thanks!

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      Douglas 2 years ago

      Thanks for your help!

      I found that it didn't separate from the sediment very well and even after a day in a binbag filled with ice and another day and half in my sink filled with ice, it still had some levels of sediment appearing at the bottom of the new bottles.

      I tried filtering it with coffee filters, but that only really half worked. are there any tricks to quicken the process, other than what I've already done?

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Douglas - there is no risk of blindness from fermenting fruit juice. There is a risk from distilling spirits without due care and attention, but that is a completely different activity.

      Your cider will fall clear in time, whether you chill it or not, but it clears faster in the cold. your proposed method should work fine.

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      Douglas 2 years ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      I've just had a little taste of my cider and it's perfect!

      I was just wondering about the risk of blindness? I've been really careful to sterilize everything that I've used, but I've heard rumours of the potential production of methanol? and I was just wondering if you could put my mind at the rest as I have a party on saturday that I'm intending to drink it at.

      also, I've brewed 15 litres and the 5litre bottles will definitely not fit in my fridge, so I was wondering if I packed a bin bag filled box with ice and line it with polystyrene and left it out in my hut if it would do the same job?

      and lastly, how do I guarantee the cloudyness will subside? because I'd much rather have it clear.

      a fast reply would be really appreciated

      thanks so much for the recipe!

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      Douglas 2 years ago

      Hi,

      Following your advice I decided to try this cider method, although I improvised by using 5 1 litre cartons with a 5 litre bottle. However, I found that it was "pure apple juice from concentrate". Now, it didn't say anything about preservatives, but is that okay?

      Regards

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      If you add sugar before it is completely stable, it will start fermenting slowly again and probably not fall clear. Not usually a good idea.

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      Dan1825 2 years ago

      Thx paraglider I will keep it for a month, also if I add sugar to it, would it affect the cider

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Dan - the sour taste was always there in the apple juice. It is the fruit acid, mostly malic acid. Before fermentation, it is masked by the sugar in the juice. After fermentation, the sugar is all converted to alcohol. Cider is always going to be sourer than beer, for example. But it will mellow if you keep it for a month or so. You don't have to keep it in the fridge, but most people prefer to serve cider cold.

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      Dan1825 2 years ago

      I have a question. I made my cider it has a really sour tast is that normal plus do I have to put it in a fridge

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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Jamie, yes, and you don't need to use much of the dregs. Start with a new vessel and add some of the dregs to the fresh juice, not the other way round.

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      Jamie 2 years ago

      Hi Dave

      I'm also in kingdom, I brought some cider yeast out with me to make a batch, can I reuse the yeast dregs left after brewing by adding fresh apple juice and a bit of sugar?

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      Vegas Elias 2 years ago from Mumbai

      Useful info.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Caroline - yes, just wipe everything clean with paper kitchen towel and a little boiled water. It will settle down in a day or so and will be fine.

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      Caroline Cairo 2 years ago

      Hi Dave, Yesterday I started 2 one liter masafi bottles and I guess I didn't leave enough room at the top of one and it has bubbled over - now with some dry foam stuck to lid and outside of bottle - can I clean the lid with boiling water and replace of start again?

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      I've used Masafi in the past. It is one of the better supermarket juices. Glad it's working out!

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      Strongbow 2 years ago

      Successful!!!!!!!

      Today is 4th day and it's already taste like Magners. I used

      1. MASAFI apple juice 2 ltr (very sweet)

      2. 6 tbsp Sugar (melted in microwave with 3 tbsp Water)

      3. 1/2 teaspoon Haiko yeast (Very slow reacting baker's yeast)

      From the taste I can tell, there is more than 6% alcohol in there.

      I don't know how to thank you Paraglider. In my country cider beer is not available anywhere. Strongbow is my favorite.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 2 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Sugar on its own doesn't ferment well. Yeast needs nutrients and acid. Better to use fruit juice and a proper method.

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      dillwill 2 years ago

      Hi hope yu doing good . ok I add 1 cup of sugar on the same bottle dissolve it and add 1 spoon of yeast after 6 hr it ferment like crazy, after 11 days I decant it to another bottle using modify hose stick then put it in freezer for 4hr bcoz no access to refrigerator .. then I start drinking I can feell little buzz but cant get high.. should I use airlock

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      Dave McClure 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      It's better to transfer it to another bottle, leaving the sediment behind. It keeps longer if you do that and is easier to pour cleanly.

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      sha 3 years ago

      Hi very helpful !! So my question is after fermentation should i keep the bottle in to straight fridge or pour ino another bottle and keep in fridge :-)

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Dried yeast is fine. It rehydrates immediately you add it to the juice.

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      suitsyou 3 years ago

      Thanks for the advice. I've used active dry yeast by mistake but it seems ok just takes a bit longer I think.

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      Dave McClure 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yes you can, but filtering always reduces quality (loss of flavour, risk of oxidation, etc). I prefer to pour it off the sediment into a fresh vessel. Commercial wine/cider makers do filter, but using pressure difference techniques in a sterile oxygen-free environment (pure nitrogen, usually). You can't do this at home!

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      suitsyou 3 years ago

      To avoid the sediment all together could you decant into another vessel through a fine filter once it's ready to go?

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      Dave McClure 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      2 litres is the largest standard size, but it doesn't matter - it takes the same length of time to ferment 10 litres as 2!

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      Shirin 3 years ago

      Hi very helpful! But how many litres is a large flagon of apple juice ? :)

      Thanx

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      James in Swansea, South Wales 3 years ago

      Found this on my way to work. stopped off for some Innocent Apple Juice, will update in a week to 10 days, when out of the fridge. Thanks for the info.

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      Dave McClure 3 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      SP - probably perfectly ok if the seal is intact and if it smells good when first opened. If in doubt, don't use it though. No-one can guarantee it is still ok.

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      SP 3 years ago

      Hey bro I m using an expired apple juice bottle and that even 18 month expired .... would that be OK .......because the seal of the bottle is still intact ... any comment

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      Anthony 3 years ago

      Finally, a clear, realistic recipe, using the exact same ingredients that are available in Saudi Arabia! Thans a lot, bro, made my day.

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      Faisal 4 years ago

      nice idea for sterilisation, which as far as I know is important in making cider or beer to prevent infection.

      Also it is Middle East supermarket supplies, as we say in here (stretch your legs to the length of your blanket).

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      The best way is, after clearing it in the fridge, pour it off the sediment into another clean flagon and keep it in the fridge for about two weeks before drinking. It's not as good as with wine yeast but the extra time does soften the yeastiness.

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      smorrebrod 4 years ago

      Thanks for this great article! Is there any way to reduce the bready odour from the use of baker's yeast?

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Citric acid is not a preservative. It's the fruit acid found in lemons and oranges. Shouldn't be a problem.

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      Rokan-r 4 years ago

      Oh dang!! I just read that Citric acid e330 is in there. That is a preservative right?

      The first flagon is all done. That was great.

      Thanks again and Cheers.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Not necessarily. You might be OK. Only time will tell :)

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      Rokan-r 4 years ago

      It states various levels of Potassium (not sorbate), Magnesium, Fiber, and Iron. The word preservative is not stated.

      I guess the Potassium has to be a preservative huh?

      I have put the yeast in and it has frothed at the top just like the apple juice. No bubbles though. Should I wait and see what happens.

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      It won't turn to vinegar unless you let fruit flies get to it, very unlikely in the Middle East. The sharpish taste and smell comes from the bread yeast. If you get hold of wine yeast it will be smoother.

      Are you sure the mixed berries juice doesn't contain preservatives? Read the small print. If it does, it won't work. If it doesn't, it could ferment right through to 11%, but not in 3 days. It would take a couple of weeks min.

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      Rokan-r 4 years ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      Thank you for the quick reply. I am done with one flagon, the Nadec one, and it has turned out as you said. It is a hard dry cider, and it is decent. I say decent because I am not a cider drinker so I cant compare. In fact I could be mistaken for considering it decent. This might be a silly question but how do I know that my cider has not turned to vinegar or was in the process of turning into vinegar?

      It does not have a vinegary smell per say, but it does have sharp nose and taste. Keep in mind that I stopped fermenting after three day and placed it in the fridge. I did this to keep some carbonation in it.

      I went to the supermarket again and scanned the fridges for juices that I can ferment. I am afraid of turning to a fermented juice addict! I remember reading on your hub someone fermenting a mixed berries juice. I picked up a Nadec mix berries juice and it states a sugar level of 20 grams. According to the strength control page you gave me, thanks for that by the way, I theoretically should expect an alcohol level above the 11%!! How realistic is that? I know you have mentioned earlier that baker’s yeast would not be good enough to produce such levels. What should I expect?

      I was thinking, once both type of juices have stopped fermenting I cold mix them together. What that be wise or would I unknowingly be drinking poison?

      For increasing the strength of alcohol you mentioned adding 100 grams of sugar per liter (6.5 tablespoons, right?). Any particular type of sugar or just regular sugar would do?

    • Paraglider profile image
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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      The Nada apple could in theory come out at almost 7%. To find out why, read this: https://delishably.com/beverages/How-Strong-is-my-... but I'd expect it to finish around 6.5 with some residual sweetness and a sparkle. After two or three days in the fridge, it will pour clear of the sediment. If a little comes over it doesn't matter. Siphoning is just as likely to suck up some sediment. Not worth the trouble! Just pour carefully! By the way, if you can get hold of some wine yeast, the quality is better, of course.

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      Rokan-r 4 years ago

      I hope you know how incredible this info you have given us is!

      I am living in the Middle East and have no access to drinks. If this works for me it will be a life changer.

      Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

      I have started a couple of flagons. One Nadec and the other a Nada apple. The Nada one states a sugar level of 13g. I imagine that one would yield a higher alcohol content.

      If I do want to rack the cider into another flagon/container should I use a tube? Should I sanitize the tube? I ask this because would just pouring the juice cause a fair amount of yeast to transfer to the new flagon?

      Again many thanks for your hub.

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      That's good - and no charge ;)

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      Wise one 4 years ago

      Hey mate, as an Aussie living in the ME you have saved my life.

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Turkeybird - Cider is fermented apple juice, pure and simple. It naturally turns out around the 5% ABV mark, has a sparkle, and is drunk in large glasses as a thirst quencher, like beer. Apple wine has added sugar and sometimes acid before fermentation and is designed to turn out around the 12% mark. Fermentation takes longer and some maturing time is also needed. The wine is drunk in smaller glasses and should be perfectly clear and not sparkling.

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      Turkeybird 4 years ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      I'm happy with the cider I have been making, thank you, I have been spreading the word!

      One of my friends tells me she cant drink cider, she likes white wine but we can only get rather expensive organic white grape juice and she cant drink red wine, so she tells me she has just bottled apple wine from your hub instructions. My question is " what is the difference between apple cider and apple wine?"

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      John - no need to do that. When it clears in the fridge nearly all the yeast settles out. Only very small amounts remain suspended in the cider. Besides, live yeast is absolutely harmless.

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Paul-e-o, Experimenting is good. Personally, I don't much like spices in wines and ciders, or at least, I'd rather add them later if I had the notion no make a mulled wine. But the main thing is to make what you enjoy drinking, which you seem to be doing! (I didn't see your post till today. HP had marked it as spam).

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      John 4 years ago

      won't it be necessary to pasteurise again to kill the yeast before consuming?

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      paul-e-o 4 years ago

      hey para

      greetings once again from NZ

      ive been thinking, and ive come up with this.....

      i drain off slightly more apple juice at the beginning, i then blend up a can of peaches (in syrup) a fair handful of raisins and some cinnamon (and/or nutmeg), pitch the mixture in and add yeast as usual and leave it to its devices. aside from a slightly longer fermentation time due the increased initial sugar level and the use of wine yeast instead of bread yeast, the process is exactly the same and yields a delicious cider with excellent mouth feel and finish. ive started experimenting with fermentation times in an attempt to alter sweetness and carbonation levels, which is probably easier for me to do due to the climate here, ive found that decanting and refrigeration a day or two earlier than normal has given the required levels of both. the taste reminds me of winter style hot toddy or mulled wine of sorts, with a ski season coming up im very much looking forward to this! however with the omission of the raisins and spices it could lend itself very nicely to long hot summers outside!!

      food for thought.

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      Art Division 4 years ago from London

      Apple juice is my fave!

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      It won't matter while it is fermenting, but when it is finished and you have cleared it in the fridge, pour it off into a smaller bottle (unless you are going to use it right away)

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      Turkeybird 4 years ago

      Thank you Paraglider, I have poured the apple juice from its carton into a new 1.5 litre water bottle, will it matter that there is so much air space?

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Turkeybird - most apple juice has enough natural sugar to make a good strength cider, around 5 to 5.5% alcohol. No need to add more.

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      Turkeybird 4 years ago

      Hi Paraglider,

      Love your Hub and as a cider drinker I'm looking forward to trying yours as its too expensive here. I'm in Turkey and have some 100% apple juice which has no added sugar, should I add sugar?

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Best way is to watch for the near end of fermentation and screw the cap down about 8 to 12 hours before you put it in the fridge, to build up some pressure - but Not Too Much!! But you have to be a bit careful. Experience. . .

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      Philemon 4 years ago

      Hey Paraglider, the brewer's yeast made a very drinkable brew. I added a teaspon of sugar and let it work on that a few days to add some sparkle, but it didn't really do much. I took it out of the fridge as I thought that perhaps the temperature was impeding the process. A few days back at room temp added some more fizz, but still not as much as I would like. Am starting the next batch today. If I want a more sparkling batch (but still fairly dry), should I add more sugar to begin with? Or stop the fermentation earlier? Or let the secondary fermentation go longer? Any advice would be greatly appreciated - you're a champ!

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      Yorkshire Bird 4 years ago

      Thanks for that will let it run its course.

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Yes, just let it slow right down naturally. It will turn out around the 5% mark for a typical apple juice.

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      Yorkshire Bird 4 years ago

      I am making the cider and started as you suggested but using wine yeast then added juice to fill a 1 gallon container. It is now day 10 and the stuff is still bubbling away merrily, the temperature of the room is good, do I just let it continue until it almost stops bubbling? Maybe it will be more of an apple wine! Many Thanks.

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      Philemon 4 years ago

      Great - thanks for the prompt advice! I will let you know how it goes.

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Philemon. The taste is certainly better if you use a brewing yeast. Bread yeast always gives a sharpness to the flavour, but for many people it's the only yeast available.

      Yes, if you've fermented it right through to dryness and want to introduce a sparkle, decant it into a fresh flagon, allowing a little of the cloudy lees to pass into the new flagon (but only a little!) Top it up with fresh juice. Extra sugar is not necessary but if you do add some, no more than a level teaspoonful. Leave it out of the fridge for a couple of days with the cap tight. It should start to referment slowly. You won't see bubbles but the bottle will start to pressurise slightly. Then store it in the fridge until use.

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      Philemon 4 years ago

      Hi Paraglider, tried this method last year here in the ME with some apple juice and bread yeast, but couldn't get past the yeasty taste. Was fortunate enough to have a trip home since then and brought back some brewer's and wine yeast.

      Started 1.75 l of Tropicana Apple Juice 1 week ago with some brewer's yeast. Bubbling has almost ceased and the flavor is much better than the previous attempts. According to specific gravity calc's it is around 5.7% ABV and is dry and flat.

      I don't mind the dryness, but would actually like a bit of sparkle. From what I've gleaned from the comments section here, I should let it settle for a few days in the fridge and then decant it into another container at which time I should add some additional juice and sugar if I want a but of fizz. Just how much sugar are we talking about?

      Also ... will the carbonation still build up if I continue to leave it in the fridge? That seemed counter-intuitive to me, but seems to be what is being suggested.

      Thanks so much for your advice!

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Sa'adFD - probably not. These processed drinks are usually full of preservatives and contain very little natural nutrients for the yeast. Fresh apple juice is easily available in Saudi so it's best to use that, as per my method.

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      Sa'adFD 4 years ago

      Would this work with the type of carbonated non-alcoholic cider they sell in Saudi?

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      Pumpkins 4 years ago

      I like flat beer.

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      pxl - fresh yeast is also perfectly OK to use. Again, wine yeast gives a better end result than bread yeast, but both will work. Most supermarket apple juices are made from dessert apples that are not highly acidic, so even if you ferment right through to total dryness it will still not be as sour as your Apfelwein.

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      pxl 4 years ago

      Hey! Thanks for all this information! I startet a batch yesterday and I am very curious, how it will turn out.

      Is there any particulair reason against using fresh yeast in "cake" form? I did that because I didn't have any dry yeast at home yesterday.

      By the way, your recipe now has spread to germany too ;) While we have some sort of Cider, called Apfelwein, it is extremely dry, sour and flat. The apples used are of a specially sour brand. People would often mix it with lemonade or soda because of that. It isn't a bad thing but I really like the slightly sweeter and sparkling nature of UK-Ciders, which are very expensive to buy over here.

      My father had lots of brewing utensils, but he sold them when we moved away from the countrieside. He used to try spontaneous fermentation but that didn't work out a lot of the time. Maybe I can surprise him.

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      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks!

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      Dave McClure 4 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      James - since you're in the UK, getting hold of dried wine yeast should be no problem. It does give better results than baking yeast, though either will work.

      Sparkleyfinger - let it ferment right through to the end, refrigerate it to clear it, pour it off the sediment into a new flagon and top this up with more apple juice with some sugar dissolved in it. Keep it in the fridge and occasionally release the cap to let the gas out if necessary.

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      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      I am Deffos doing this!! I like a sweeter cider, will adding sugar at the start or end make it sweeter?