Instructables

Cider the Hard Way from Press to Pi**ed !

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I have an apple tree in my back garden and a lot more time on my hands than i should. for this reason i decided that rather than let the apples fall and rot, id use them to make hard cider. unfortunately i had a few obstacles in my way; no juicer, no press, no money!

So what follows is an instructable on how to build a press and get from apples to scrummy scrumpy with as little cost as possible.

i took a few tips and ideas from the following sources, thanks to all those who published 'ibles already.

Homemade cheese and cider press

hard cider from scratch

Making Your Own Cider

and many more

also before i forget check your local laws for brewing in your area. its usually legal if you're of legal drinking age and you're only brewing a small batch.

Hard cider is of course alcoholic so please drink responsibly homebrew is not just about making bucket loads of cheap booze its enjoying the satisfaction of tasing something youve made yourself.

As with any homebrewing, results can vary wildly! in worst case scenarios you can end up with nasty infections or otherwise spoiled produce. sanitation is key but things can still go wrong, dont come whining to me if your cider gives you the runs !
 
 
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swesbur2 years ago
I have a question. I have a little bit of stuff floating near the top of mine. I've tried syphoning without pulling this with, but it seems impossible. any tricks to get rid of this? I'd hate to bottle with (even a little) crap in my cider.
swesbur2 years ago
By what I was reading, the "vinegar" flavor from having too low of a pH is because generally the bacteria that produce acetic acid do well in more acidic environments. . . thus the vinegar-like flavor is in fact vinegar (typical cooking vinegar being what? 4-8% acetic acid?). . . *shrug* I didn't look into it too deeply, but that makes sense. That would imply that there would also need to be some source of contamination, which, even with sterile technique is plausible given transfers, etc.
swesbur2 years ago
Hello there!

I am a first time brewer, and I decided (due to the recommendation of many brewers) to try three micro-batches the first time. Though the suggestion was to use multiple types of apples, we have Haralson trees in our back yard, so I used those for the juice.

After sanitizing the equipment, I filled each of my three gallon carboys with juice from the apples, added 1/2 tsp of pectinase, and a crushed campden tablet, with varying amounts of added sugars (as per other suggestions online).

Question 1: After I added the campden tablets, I covered the carboys (sealed); campden tablets release SO2, which is what kills the microbes. . . was I supposed to not cover them during this step?

For the sugar added, each of my containers were as follows:
A: 1 cup white, 1 cup brown sugar
B: 1 cup white, 1/2 cup brown sugar
C: 1/2 cup white, 1 cup brown sugar

I did not check the pH/gravity of the solutions, as I did not have pH strips, or a hydrometer.

After 2 days, I pitched the yeast (using a Wyeast sweet mead/cider yeast) into each of the 3 containers, after letting it sit for 3 hours (as per instructions) and confirming (by inflation of the bag) that it had been activated.

By the next morning, container C was bubbling at a noticeable rate (about 0.2 hz bubbles), while the other two had no pressure differential (as noticeable per an S airlock). After another day, I pitched additional yeast into both A and B, and waited a day to check them. (at which point C was at about 1 hz bubbles)

A day after the additional pitch, B has started bubbling at a rate of about 0.01 hz (almost unnoticeable) and A has yet to move.

Question 2: What could be causing A or B from taking the cultures?

(A few notes:
I pitched C first from the premade packet, which was made to treat 6 gallons, then B, then A;
though I had shaken the packet of Wyeast yeast, it sat for about 50 seconds before I pitched it;
the packet included nutrient for the yeast;
As I stated before, the S airlocks were in place immediately after the campden tablets were added;
My concerns were mainly that maybe SO2 was still in the environment when I pitched, and that maybe either the yeast or the nutrient in the packet was not evenly distributed through A, B, and C, though an even amount was delivered from the packet to each, due to quick separation (I haven't looked into their relative densities, or anything))

Thank you for your help! ~Steven
swesbur swesbur2 years ago
A note: During the original pitch, though I did shake each jug, the locks were still on when I did this. I removed them only momentarily to pitch the yeast, after which point I replaced them. During the second pitch, I removed the airlocks, and shook them for about a minute each.
AR10NZ2 years ago
Hi all :
I have been distilling, making wine & beer, for about 40 odd years. Easy extraction of fruit juices, etc, is obtained by freezing, thawing, and pressing. This process ruptures the cell walls, and results in a high recovery rate. Cheers. AR10NZ
Chard (author) 4 years ago
well all but one bottle is gone! im saving this as a vintage to try next year.

if you liked this, check out my new brewery build here!
You have all the best tools! I've had to make my carboys out of balloons and tubing and hot glue. I have 3-liter soda bottles instead of jugs. I had a pillowcase and a child's blender to do my juicing. It really takes the old-world charm out of the process. But man, the cider was good.
Eee, when I were a lad we used mouldy bread in an old sock.

Disclaimer: don't use mouldy bread in an old sock.
Whoa. It could be worse...you could be in prison.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pruno
EnigmaMax4 years ago
I don't fully understand this slightly politically incorrect title.
Z.. EnigmaMax4 years ago

Politically incorrect?? You misunderstand.

" ...from Press to Pi**ed", is: ..from Press to PIe-eyED. Pie-eyed of course being the colloquial terminology for drunk.

I think that Chard showed remarkable genteel sensitivity.

That is commendable don't you think?

reedz Z..4 years ago
Ah... I read it as from Press to Pissed, like piss drunk...
I read it from Press to Pissed, like pissed of at how hard the hard way is.
Chard (author)  Weissensteinburg4 years ago
I'm loving the response to the title! it wasnt meant to be some multiple possibility play on words but as it aparrently is. So im not going to tell you what I meant it to mean. consider it low budget, low impact, low return viral advertising. Like Cloverfield but if the final product was better than the advert. ha ha.
EnigmaMax Chard4 years ago
well, could you deliver us clues then? Is it pissed, or no?
Chard (author)  EnigmaMax4 years ago
Politically incorrect? How so? I try and avoid Politics, correct or not, if i can help it.
Nice, and amusingly written. I'll be starting my batch of fall cider soon, might do a cyser. I'll be starting from juice, apples don't grow down here.;-)

For anyone who decides to do this from store bought clear juice, you can skip the racking at 2 weeks and just bottle after 4-6 weeks.
Chard (author)  Tool Using Animal4 years ago
im thinking of making some from store bought and maybe doing a blind taste test with that, my homebrew cider and some commercially bought cider.
I'd be interested in hearing the results.
I'd be more interested in tasting the results. Nom, cider :)
Z..4 years ago
Well me being a sweet little old lady an' all, I could  never think of such an interpretation.....{o_-}.
Warlrosity4 years ago
Apples scare me... -shudders-
Very nice Instructable, Chard! That is a fine looking cider you've got there. Excellent clarity in the final stage. I like the additional steps on pressing and finding the alcohol content also. I'll have to try those out for my next batch (unfortunately my most recent one turned into about 3 gallons of apple-cider vinegar due, I think, to a faulty seal on my airlock... oh hurray).

 Keep brewin', keep drinkin', keep pissin'.
 -AB
Jayefuu4 years ago
Nice! I love cider.