How to Make Sweet Apple Cider at Home

selecting apples for cider
Food & Drink > Cooking & Ingredients

Apple cider making is a part of our American Heritage that dates back hundreds of years, even when we were still subjects of Britain. Even though we can go to the store and buy apple cider, there is nothing better than fresh homemade cider from your own apples. Even if you don’t grow your own apples, using locally grow apples and pressing them yourself is a rewarding and flavorful experience you can share with your family to start a new generation in cider making. It's a great drink whether it’s served cold on a warm September day, or hot and spicy in the crisp November air.

Be Careful!

Before starting the cider making process, make sure you develop safe handling practices when working with any sort of food product, and your own and your family’s safety is your responsibility. The information in this article is provided as a reference and it should not to be taken as professional advice.

Types of Apples

Large apple cider producers use a blend of different apples to create the desired flavor of cider. You will want to have a balance of sweet apples and tart apples. However, using whatever apples that are readily available is fine. Some cider makers like to add some type of crab apple in the mix which makes the final product more complex with an acidic, tannic, or nutty component.

  • Red Delicious: Large, firm red apple with a sweet flavor.
  • Yellow Delicious: Large, firm yellow apple with a sweet flavor.
  • Jonathan: Medium, crisp semi tart apple, with red near the top, descending to green lower down the fruit.
  • Granny Smith: Medium/small, crisp, tart apple with green color.
  • Gala: Medium, crisp semi tart apple with yellow skin blushed with orange to red tinge.

Choose a blend from the above list, or shop at the local Farmer’s market or grocery store shelves. If you lean toward a sweet juice, use a 3 sweet to 1 tart combination, or for medium sweetness, use a 2 sweet to 1 tart mix. The best choice is to grow your own, but the next best choice is to drive to the nearest orchard and pick a selection of heirloom varieties as these will have the best flavor. Unfortunately, apples in the supermarket, grown by large commercial growers are often stored in refrigerated, airtight warehouses and can last for up to a year. Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage puts the apples to sleep by lowering the oxygen level, humidity and temperature to around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why apples are available year round and this is also why fresh apples always taste better.

It's best to use apples picked from the tree at the proper stage of ripeness. Do not use apples picked up off the ground, known as drops, or ones from trees where livestock can come in contact with the tree. Sort and inspect the apples before use and discard any apples that are bruised, moldy, infected with bugs or worms, or otherwise spoiled. Damaged apples will accelerate the fermentation process and your cider will spoil much quicker. Also, choosing the best apples will help reduce the possibility that harmful bacteria that could spoil your cider or make you sick will be in the final product.

 Fruit or Cider Press

Equipment Preparation

Make sure all of your equipment is properly cleaned and sanitary before you use it.

Sanitizing Cutting Boards - For plastic cutting boards, clean daily by applying a solution of one tablespoon bleach per gallon of water. Let stand two minutes and air dry. For wooden cutting boards, clean as you normally would, then wipe surface with a solution of two tablespoons bleach per three quarts of water. Keep surface wet for at least two minutes. Drain. Prior to use, rinse with a solution of one tablespoon bleach per 4.5 quarts water, drain and air dry.

If you own a cider press or can borrow one, use it. The cider press, containers, knives, grinder, cutting boards, work surfaces and so on, should be clean. You should also wash your hands before beginning the pressing and bottling process. You can clean your equipment by washing it with warm water and soap or the sanitizing solution mentioned above. Do not soak metal parts in this solution for more than 30 seconds or pitting may occur. Rinse all items thoroughly with clean water.

Apple Preparation

Once you have sorted your apples, wash them to remove any dirt or dust. The next step is to chop or grind the apples to break down the cell walls and help release the liquid. The more finely ground the apples, the more juice you will be able to press out. People use various methods of chopping apples for cider including apple or fruit grinders, food processors, meat grinders, french fry cutters or just chopping them by hand. The method you use will depend on how many apples you have and how much cider you are going to make.

Pressing

If your apples are finely ground you will want to line the inside of your press with a thin cloth such as cheese cloth. This will prevent the apples from pressing out through the slats of the basket. You can also place a cloth or paper filter over the container you are pressing the juice into. The amount of cider you get from your apples depends on many factors such as the variety of apples, stage of ripeness, how finely they are chopped before pressing, and how much they are pressed. You may also note that the more you grind the apples the darker the color of the cider will be and the more sediment will be present in the juice itself.

Cheesecloth Method

Instead of using a cider press, you can also squeeze out the juice from the apples using layers of cheesecloth. Quarter and puree the apples in a food processor or blender completely. Squeeze the pureed apple through a cheesecloth by twisting the top of the cloth together to form a softball-sized mass to extract as much of the juice possible. You can also line a large metal colander with a base with cheesecloth and place this inside a large metal bowl. Fold the cloth over the pureed apples and with a heavy pot, press down on the colander to squeeze out the juice into the bowl. Empty as needed. This is a labor of love.

Apple Cider Storage

All cider, whether fresh, pasteurized or frozen should be stored in sanitary containers with the pressing date clearly marked.

Fresh cider should be stored at temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees to slow the fermentation process as much as possible. Fresh apple cider will last 5 to 10 days before it begins to ferment and should be used within this time period. If you want your cider to last longer it is a good idea to pasteurize it to kill the bacteria by heating it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit but no higher than 185 degrees. Properly refrigerated pasteurized cider will last up to 3 weeks.

If you produce more fresh apple cider than you can use it is a great idea to freeze it. Remember to leave room in your container since the cider will expand when frozen. The cider will last up to one year when frozen.

Equipment Cleaning

Make sure you thoroughly clean all of your equipment with soap and water when you are done. It's easier to clean your equipment before the juice and apple pulp dries. If you are using a press, you can take it outside and hose it off to remove the bulk of the apples residue. Store your equipment in a clean area free of dust, dirt and other contaminants, and remember to sanitize everything before you make cider next time.

Uses

You can use your fresh cider in a variety of recipes as it goes very well with pork and ham, turkey and chicken, and even a cider vinaigrette.

2 comments

Add a comment

0 answers +0 votes
Post comment Cancel
Amanda Antara
0
7 answers Posted on Jul 5, 2010
This comment has 0 votes  by
0
0 answers Posted on Dec 7, 2009
This comment has 0 votes  by

Related articles

Different Methods of Preserving Fish

There are several methods in preserving fish. Fish preservation involves Chilling and Freezing, Salting, Fermentation, Drying and Dehydration, Smoking, Pickling and Spicing, and Canning. There is one thing first to consider, make sure that the fish that is going to be preserve is new and still fres...

How to Remedy an Overbaked Cake

When it comes to baking things need to be done pretty perfectly. Measurements need to be right on, and baking times must be followed and baked goods watched while cooking. If you are not an experienced cake baker you may find that you don’t know exactly when the cake is finished baking. Ther...

Recipe for Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake

It's not very often that I eat dinner at a restaurant and immediately feel compelled to run home and re-create something from my dining experience. In fact, I don't think that has ever happened, but they say there is a first time for everything. A few weeks ago, while I was visiting my family in Ten...

Bolivian Food Recipes

Bolivia has a diversity of geographical zones with varied climate, culture and food. Bolivian cuisine has a great variety of dishes mainly meat, fish and poultry blended with herbs and spices. The diet also consists of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some traditional dishes include 'Majao', which is ...

Amazing Art of Fruit and Vegetable Carving Around the World

Fruits and vegetables are source of vitamins and minerals and an important part of our food. The more colourful a food preparation is, it is appetizing as well, but there is another way of decorating the food, which is called 'fruit/vegetable carving'. The purpose of fruit and vegetable carving is ...

List of Scottish Food

Do not be alarmed at the picture above, it is only a deep fried Mars Bar. Below you will find a list of Scottish food, some taste better than they sound; some really do sound as if they would taste really bad. Aberdeen Angus: Scottish breed of beef cattle that has internationally renowned for its q...

How to Make Solid Alcohol

Solid alcohol is a product many of us are familiar with under its trade name Sterno® that is used for cooking in the great outdoors or to heat chafing dishes for keeping food ingredients warm. The makers of solid alcohol obviously do not want their customers to know how this stuff is made, but i...

Uncle Sam's Wife, Aunt Sammy's Depression-Era Radio Recipe for Rhubarb Betty

i bet you thought the U.S. Department of Agriculture was only interested in farming and farmers. Perhaps today, but back in the 1920s, the Department's Bureau of Home Economics created a wife for Uncle Sam (Aunt Sammy) who would take to the radio to talk about food, cooking, and anything else that p...

Create a 'Master Grocery List' to Make Shopping Easy (Free Template)

What is your typical grocery shopping experience?  Is it anything like some of mine?  I don't know how many times I've gone shopping, armed with a list that I hastily scratched on the back of an envelope, bought my groceries, and got back home only to find I missed some imp...

Diabetic Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you look at the Red Velvet Cupcakes pictured below, one thing pops out at you: the rich cream cheese frosting. There is about the same amount of cream cheese frosting atop these red velvet cupcakes as there is cupcake, itself. And for diabetics, that spells danger, with a capital D! There's more ...

Cooking Tips: How to Remove Extra Salt from Stocks, Sauces, Soups and Stews

I am sure that you will agree with me that at some point in our lives, all of us manage to cook an awfully salty dish. Adding too much salt while cooking is a very common mistake. Sometimes the salt just rushes out of the container too fast, and other times food becomes over salty because of th...

How to Make Duhat, Banana, Bignay, and Kasoy Wines for Special Occasions

“Any fruit containing sufficient sugar to taste may be used for making wine. If sugar is lacking in the fruit, cane sugar may be added. The flavor which the wine acquires depends largely on the kind of fruit used.” Banana Wine 1. Cut the peeled bananas into halves. For every kilo of...

How to Make Nata De Coco and Nata De Coco Dessert

In about two weeks time you can harvest your nata from coconut water and prepare nata de coco dessert.  Just follow these simple steps: Utensils:              bowl            &n...

The Most Popular Street Fruit and Cold Drinks in the Philippines and Their Health Benefits

These street cold fruit drinks are usually sold using plastic cups or plastic bags with sipping plastic straw. Here are some of the most popular street drinks in the Philippines.  Assorted Palamig   Image Source Orange Juice Several local types of “palamigs” are sold in th...

Are There Any Negative Effects of Eating Too Much Tofu?

There are studies that support theories of soy causing negative health effects as well as studies that show little to no link between soy and health problems. However, it's important to keep in mind that these effects would only occur after eating large amounts of soy on a regular basis.  ...

Guide to Asian Noodles (Egg, Wheat, Rice, Bean and Soba Noodles Defined)

Here are the most common Asian noodles you're likely to see in stores or on menus. When shopping, remember that dried noodles will keep indefinitely; fresh ones can be refrigerated two to three days. Egg Noodles - made from wheat flour and egg. Varieties include dan mian and hokkien mee (China), b...

Easy Cake: Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake

Chocolate Mug Cake This chocolate mug cake is really easy to make, it can be made in a matter of minutes. The recipe is made in the microwave in around 3 minutes and contains no egg, so their is no concerns about under cooking. As you can see from the image, the cake was eaten almost as fast as it ...

Old Fashioned Lentils, Barley, and Split Pea Soup

Talk about comfort foods, this is one of my family’s favorite soups and rarely are there any leftovers. My kids like to serve this over their cornbread and biscuits with grated sharp cheddar cheese or sour cream. Legumes are the most versatile and nutritious foods to aid you in your quest for...

How to Make an Authentic Cobb Salad

My father-in-law loves fast food. Over the years, however, I’ve realized that what he really likes is the predictability of the food. Take him into a mom and pop café in a strange town and he’ll immediately scan the menu for something that looks familiar. When he fails to find any...

Pressure Cooked Pork Chops with Apples and Sweet Potatoes

This is the best time of year to buy both apples and sweet potatoes and pork pairs really well with both of them.  If you have a pressure cooker you could be eating this complete meal in no time.  When cooking pork in a pressure cooker keep in mind that the pork will need to cook for 15 mi...

How to Make Pastillas

Pastillas de leche are sweet milk candies that are usually served for dessert. They are very easy to serve because you don't need to cook to make pastillas. What we have is a no-cook fast and simple dessert recipe intended to gratify your cravings right away. Also, cooking or heating any recipe is n...

Brussel Sprouts Have a Horrible but Undeserved Reputation, Let These Recipes Fix That for You

I have always been a good girl and eaten my vegetables. I love them. But my husband is a bit restricted in this area. When I met him, he like broccoli. Period. Not much variety do you think? Well I have been married to him 25 years this May and we are making progress. He has a much wider range no...

The Health Benefits of Eating Wild Huckleberries and Recipe

Image Source Huckleberries are not grown commercially and may not be available at your local grocer. The best place to find them is at your farmer's and they will be expensive or you can purchase them online.  If you have never tasted a huckleberry it has a similar taste to the blueberry....

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken Legs

It's that time of the year again where many families with kids sports seasons are in full swing.  It is hard to cook dinner and eat as a family when there are mid week games and practices.  This is the time of year when having a crock pot is very practical.  When you prepare your meal...

Indian Cuisine: Types of Indian Breads

Bread is a fundamental part of the dining culture of India; in much the same way as it is in the European countries. There are various types of Indian breads found in the Indian cuisine which are cooked in different ways. Each differs from the other in shape and size, in the ingredients used, and of...

Some Facts About the Dessert of Pavlova

What is not in doubt is that the dessert was named in honour of the Russian ballet dancer of the 1920’s Anna Pavlova. She toured both countries during her period of fame with both claiming to have created the now famous dish. Researchers claim that the country that made the original dessert w...

The Many Kinds of Jewish Yemeni Breads

Nearly all Yemeni Jews now live in Israel, with only a few hundred still living in The Yemen, and others scattered around the world. The Israeli Yemeni traditions are very distinct in all areas of their lives, in their prayer, language, dress and their food. Their traditional foods consist of Yemeni...

Tempranillo Wine Pairing

Among the many underappreciated wines is Tempranillo, a lovely Spanish red that lends itself to pairing with many foods, from Spanish tapas and paella to Moroccan lamb tajine. Tempranillo is one of the best wines from the Rioja region of Spain, and can be the main component of red wines labeled Rioj...

Great Kitchen Tools Beyond the Basics

If you've decided to get more creative and adventurous in the kitchen, but all you have are the basic kitchen tools you left home with, you might ask yourself, " What's the next step?"  Before deciding which fancy new kitchen tools you might want to add to your arsenal, first you'll need to con...

Fried Foods - Types of Coating for Fried Foods

Fried Foods – Coatings for Fried Foods While it is possible to fry foods without a coating, potatoes for instance-this does not always result in the crispy golden morsels, cooked throughout but not greasy, that a good coating helps to achieve. The pieces of food can be rolled one at a time in...

How to Make Maja Blanca

In high school we had a Home Economics class as part of our curriculum. Accordingly this was to prepare the boys and girls for when they will start their own future homes. For the freshmen girls, they were taught basic cooking while the boys were introduced to carpentry. The girls’ class was d...

Cooking with Surimi: Asian Shrimp Surimi and Vegetables Stir-Fry

Surimi Overview Manufacturing and fish processing companies has found a way to turn leftover and scrap pieces of fish and other raw materials into a high value, edible, protein product with a wide range of attractive and delicious uses Surimi is one such product – a popular fish-based...

Traditional Indian Wedding Cake: An Artistic Pastry Delight

Who can doubt that the most looked forward to event of any formal wedding is the cutting and eating of the wedding cake.   However, Indians have taken the traditional Indian wedding cake presentation to the next level higher than most wedding planners have in Western culture....

How To Make Highland Coffee

A highland coffee is a very quick and simple thing to make and gives enough of a twist to a normal coffee to raise the bland to something quite delightful. It may be nothing more than coffee with cream with the added addition of a Scotch whisky but it really does work very well together and is both ...

The History of the Food Processor

Food processors are an ingenious appliance to have in the kitchen. Its main purpose is making meal preparation much easier and faster for the cook or chef. The food processor is equipped with several settings to knead, shred, grind, chop, slice, mix, blend, shave and pulverize numerous types of food...

Oven Roasted Plantains with Rum-Pineapple Gastrique

Plantains, "potatoes of the air" or "cooking bananas" are the fruit of the Musa Paradisiaca, a type of banana plant. Plantains are more starchy than sweet and must be cooked before being eaten. They are a staple crop in much of Africa, and are served boiled, steamed, baked, or fr...

Food Combinations That Cause Gas

Correct food combinations are important for proper digestion, utilization, and assimulation of the nutrients in our diet. Different foods require different digestive enzymes to aid in the digestive process - some acid, some alkaline. When acids and alkalines come in contact, they neutralize each oth...

Make the Most of Leftover Potatoes

If you like potatoes and eat potatoes, don't feel guilty. They're loaded with Vitamin C and give you a good wallop of iron besides calcium and Vitamin A. As a starchy food, they give you energy and they can be served so many different ways that you can have them every day for at least two weeks and ...

Artichokes: How to Make Artichoke Tea and Pan Roasted Artichokes and Vegetables

Baby Artichokes Artichokes have been a delicacy in Europe for more than 400 years. Artichokes are ranked higher than any other vegetable or fruit  and is considered a “super food,” due to its powerful anti-oxidants and extraordinary health benefits, with most of those health benef...

Tips for Buying, Storing, and Cooking Fresh Corn

Summer means many things, most importantly fresh corn. There are numerous recipes that take advantage of this American staple and gardeners and cooks do their best to extract as much flavor as possible during its short growing season. The following are some tips on how to purchase, store, and cook f...

Sauteed Chayote Con Espina with Penne Pasta and White Garlic Sour Cream Sauce

Also known as vegetable pear, Chayote is a type of squash from the gourd family that is native to South America. Chayote con espina, which means chayote with thorns, is dark green and covered in thorns or needles. Chayote flesh has a high water content. A 1/2 cup serving of chayote has 1 g. each of ...

Food Storage; Purpose and Guidelines

The storage of food is very much important. Almost every society has learned to store foods for their future needs. There are certain proper ways in storing foods; these should be ensured to be able to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Different varieties of foods have different ways of storing. S...

Health Benefits of Elderberries: Elderberry Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

In addition to the flavonoids, elderberries contain Vitamin A, B and C it also boost your immune system to fight infections like herpes, colds, cough, influenza (Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995) and viral and bacterial infections, . And has antioxidants to fight f...

Baking Tips: How to Bake Perfect Drop Cookies

Baking cookies is great fun and a delicious treat for both children and adults. Home baked cookies are loved by one and all. They are a delicious delight to any occasion, whether it is a birthday party, or a casual tea party or just a Christmas get together. The word cookie is derived from the Dutc...

How to Prepare and Cook Mountain Oysters with Hot Pepper Sauce

Rocky Mountain oysters also known as calf fries or prairie oysters are a type of food that actually consists of the testicles of bulls or sheep. Called offal, a class of meat that is rejected as waste it include the organs or entrails of butchered animals such as pork intestines, chicken gizzards, a...

Easy Entertaining Recipes: Tangy Cheese Ball

The busy Holiday season is just beginning, and for many people this will mean entertaining family and friends in your home, or perhaps you'll be needing to take food to a buffet-style get together.  Schedules are usually bursting with many activities - shopping, pageants, parties, and gift wrap...

Collecting and Eating Giant Puffballs

A giant puffball with a GPS unit for scale.   Photo by Sulfer So help me this guy came into my fishing tackle store with a giant puffball that weighed over forty pounds he had just collected on the side of the road, as soon as I saw it I started to drool because I knew how tasty one of these...

How to Buy the Healthiest Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has become very popular, but not all Greek yogurts are created equal. Yogurt is healthy for you and your digestive system, but some yogurts are far from the healthiest of foods Why is Greek Yogurt Healthy? It gives you calcium, protein and live active cultures, otherwise known as prob...

How to Make a Great Cup of Coffee

This article will detail how to make a great cup of coffee at home which can save you money instead of buying it at your local coffee house. It is easy to make good coffee at a fraction of the cost of buying coffee by the cup. All you need is an inexpensive grinder and a cone filter to make excellen...

How to Make Professional Quality Beef Jerky at Home

Over the past several years, beef jerky has become a healthy snack of choice for adults and children alike. Jerky is an excellent source of protein because all of the fat and moisture is removed from the meat during the drying process. However, commercially made beef jerky is usually made up of high...

Get deals for top cooking & ingredients brands

Arm & Hammer promo codes Hickory Farms promo codes King Arthur Flour promo codes iGourmet promo codes Flirty Aprons promo codes Monterey Bay Spice Company promo codes Mackenzie Ltd promo codes True Lemon Store promo codes Hamptons Lane promo codes Artisanal Cheese promo codes Bulk Powders - UK promo codes Stock Yards promo codes Fredericksburg Farms promo codes Bare Bones Broth promo codes DiBruno promo codes Savory Spice promo codes CyberCucina.com promo codes Rastelli Direct promo codes Top Secret Recipes promo codes Certified Steak and Seafood Company promo codes Morningstar Farms promo codes BeautyBakerie promo codes SpicesForLess.com promo codes Shop Taste Of Home promo codes Best New York Bagel promo codes Gooseberry Patch promo codes Sensibus promo codes GourmetFoodStore.com promo codes American West Beef promo codes Oh Olive promo codes