Thursday, October 2, 2014

How to Make Hard Cider!

This vlog is all about home brewing, hard cider in particular! I want to encourage anyone interested in small batch brewing to give this a shot. It's not expensive, hard, or troublesome - but it does involve some minor purchases and gear. The fine folks over at Mountain Feed have everything you need to brew online. Tell them I said hello!

This video is entirely for small batch brewing, only one gallon at a time. A gallon jug costs around 5 bucks, a stopper and aerator, a few dollars. Yeast is a couple of quarters. It's an inexpensive way to start a new hobby and a great barter item for the homestead! For this video you also need to get a gallon of soft, fresh-pressed, cider and a  pound of honey. It will ferment around a dozen standard beer bottles worth of cider, which you can bottle at home.

Some essential tips:

Set your cider on a countertop the night before, so it isn't cold for brew day.

Keep yeast in your fridge when not in use!

Once in fermentation jug, set your cider aside in a place around 60-70 degrees.

Start collecting beer bottles with pry (not twist) tops, you can wash and reuse these!

Buy new bottle caps and bottle capper. You will use these in a month to bottle!


Blogger Rachel Cromell said...

Very exciting! I make fruit wines at home, and I've been hoping to get into ciders too. I see that you are using beer bottles, but your ciser is "still." Do you ever add priming sugar to get a carbonated cider?

October 3, 2014 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Jenna, you are a riot!! Thank you for explaining how easy this is to do!

October 3, 2014 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger M. Pearl said...

Loved this! I bought a book awhile on how to make folk wines and liqueurs. Any alternative to to the sani mix? I hate the idea of added chemicals in my brew.

October 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Tanya T said...

Happy Friday Jenna! You make it look so easy, I may just have to try it. Thanks for sharing.

October 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I am loving the vlogs! I have been debating making hard cider and you just convinced me I can. Thanks!

October 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Janalynn said...

Wow! Thanks so much Jenna. I asked and you delivered. My first batch of trying on my own from a combination of a bunch of different recipes failed miserably. I am excited to try again with your recipe!

October 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger becky said...

you should make a part 2 in month and show us how you bottle it.

October 3, 2014 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I was so excited and thirsty by the end of the vlog and I don't even drink alcohol! Well..that's not true..Bailey's and coffee is my favorite thing during the

October 4, 2014 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger kim anderson said...

love your vlogs, and your books...I am going to be making ciser, sooo very easy. thankyou !

October 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Elle said...

Oh lord, woman, you are a delectable hoot! I like all that good music while watching 'em, too. Just like home. I'm from the Smokies, and it just ain't what is used to be. I'm glad for all the good farming that's come in to WNC, but it's too little, too late. And the heat, oh, the heat! Winters are gone, and summers sap the soul. We've been coming to VT and upper NY trying to find some land and plant some new roots. I'll be happy for proper seasons and miles of nothing but glorious farmland, but will miss aspects of Southern culture. Guess I'll get by with gobs o' bbq and some fine music. Looking forward to more of your little gems!

October 4, 2014 at 4:25 PM  
OpenID Sam said...

Thanks for this. I made a batch yesterday and it's bubbling away happily.

Just one question though, the honey is still sitting at the bottom and doesn't look like it's started to mix with the apple juice. Thats okay still, isn't it? I didn't forget to do something? How long until it starts to mix?

(Okay, thats technically three questions....)

October 6, 2014 at 2:52 AM  
Blogger M. Pearl said...

So I bought all the goods I need for making my cider. Do you have the measurements for using sugar instead of honey? Thanks for inspiring me!

October 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Bonniejean said...

Yum! Love this. Your hard and fresh bit cracked me up! These are great. I love getting to know you a bit more!

October 6, 2014 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It takes a while to bubble and it is totally okay if the honey sits at the bottom and the foam is on top!

October 7, 2014 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

As for sugar, I would say it is still a pound of sugar for each gallon of cider.

October 7, 2014 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

thanks all of the kind words!

October 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I tried carbonating it once or twice, but so far it has had varied results!

October 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

M. Pearl, I think if you prefer you can boil the containers and items for a while, but the sani stuff isn't anything horrible. And technically, the water you would boil in is a chemical as well.

October 7, 2014 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Zola Crofoot said...

First batch has just been mixed up and sitting in the counter. Do I need to put it someplace dark? Thanks for all the great Idea's. Many of my co-workers have been forced to watch your spooky story Vlog, we all have loved it.
Thanks for positive and encouraging post. Love them all!

October 10, 2014 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Lilac Hill said...

Picked and pressed apples from our orchard yesterday, shared a few with the sheep and donkey and the pomace with the pigs. I will pitch the yeast today now that the cider is warmed to house temperature. Thanks for the vlog inspiration

October 19, 2014 at 7:26 AM  

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