Hard-Apple-Cider is a great place to start experimenting with Home-Brewing.
This Website will give you all the ‘Details’ you need about brewing Hard-Cider.
While ‘THE HOMEBREW HELPER’ site has lots of helpful home brewing details, I am going to discuss how easy it is to make a simple batch of Hard-Cider.
Apple Juice is turned into the alcoholic beverage Hard-Cider by adding yeast to the juice which converts sugars in the juice into CO2 & alcohol.
Yup… it’s that simple… Juice (Sugars) + Yeast = Happy Juice
If you have a natural source for apples – Wonderful… but for the rest of us it is much easier to go to a store like Whole Foods and buy natural Apple Juice. Try to stay away from regular Frozen Concentrate Apple Juice because many have items added to them that might make it difficult for the brewing yeast to thrive.
I don’t have a preference for a specific type of Apple Juice or Cider, but I do check the labels to make sure it is pasteurized, and that there is NOT any Potassium Sorbate or Sodium Benzoate in the juice.
Ascorbic acid ( Vit-C ) is fine as a listed additive, and will not effect the yeast.
One item that can ruin your batch of Hard-Cider is not using clean and sterilize equipment; therefore, washing your hands & equipment with Antibacterial dish soap will go a long ways towards creating a successful home brew.
Also be sure to use a No Rinse Cleaner like ‘One Step’ right before you pour anything into the brewing containers. You can find it online or at a local Home Brewing Store … ( Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply )
One of the items you will be cleaning with the ‘No Rinse Cleaner‘ is an Airlock ‘bubbler’ to release the pressure build up of Carbon-Dioxide created inside the container as the yeast converts the sugars in the juice into CO2 and Alcohol.
Homebrewers use drilled out rubber stoppers, or special screw-on caps, to connect the bubbler to their fermenting containers. I like to put 80 proof Vodka in the Air-Lock instead of water to help keep contamination from getting into the container. ( Screw-On Cap for 1 Gallon Jug )
It addition to buying ‘No Rinse Cleanser’, you will need to buy some yeast from a Home Brewing Supply. I use LALVIN EC-1118 … or what some people like to call a ‘Champagne Yeast’ … because it allows for higher alcohol content.
Mix Apple Juice with the Yeast and wait 1 to 2 weeks and you have Hard-Cider.
There are lots of online home brewing sites to help you create your first batch.
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