If you are seeking a stronger dry cider then this is probably the recipe for you. It will ferment out to about 7.5-9.0% alcohol depending on whether you use dextrose or sugar and if carbonated or not. At this strength the cider develops a detectable taste of alcohol and it may not appeal to all brewers palates as a result. Halving the amount of additional dextrose or sugar will remedy this while still providing a stronger cider.
- Four litres (1 Gallon) Apple Juice
- 180g (6 ounces) of dextrose or sugar
- Cider Yeast
Start by thoroughly cleaning and sterilizing your cider making equipment, specifically the fermenter and its components, any ancillary equipment such as funnels and anything else that comes into contact with the cider.
Add the sugar or dextrose, whichever you are using, into the sterile fermenter and pour the apple juice over the top. Agitate or stir to mix the sugar and juice together but don’t be too concerned about mixing it thoroughly as fermentation will ensure a homogenous mixture.
Pitch the yeast (Add it to the cider).
Close the fermenter ensuring that the airlock has been filled to the appropriate level with boiling water. Fermentation should start to take place within a few hours but may take up to 48 hours. The airlock will start to bubble indicating that fermentation has commenced.
It may take 14-21 days for fermentation of this cider to complete, this will be apparent when the airlock bubbles at a slower rate, perhaps once every minute or it may stop completely. Once fermentation has ceased wait perhaps two more weeks and rack the cider by siphoning it into a new fermenter without disturbing the sediment on the bottom. Repeat this process as many times as is necessary for you to be satisfied with the level of sediment in your cider. After racking 2 or 3 times the cider should be crystal clear.
Bottle the cider. Sterilize your bottles, caps and siphon. Siphon the cider from the fermenter into the bottles. If a carbonated cider is required add 5 grams (1 teaspoon) of sugar per 750 millilitres (1.5 pints) of cider. Put the caps on the bottles and age the cider by storing it at room temperature in a dark place such as a cupboard. The cider may take several months for the flavour to develop, six months or so is not unusual. Periodically sample the cider to determine when it is ready for consumption.
If you are using freshly made juice that is not pasteurised or sterilized you should treat it with one campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice and allow it to stand for at least 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast regardless of what the recipe states. The results may not be as good as the ciders from Carolina Cider Company in North Carolina, but practice will make it gradually better.