How to Make Hard Apple Cider from Apple Juice?
Apple cider is another alcohol beverage that dates back thousands of years with its first recorded reference being when Julius Caesar attempted to invade England and found the native Celts fermenting crabapples, but the question does remain: how is apple cider made from apple juice?
To begin, as a little background, hard cider, as it is known in the US, is simply known as cider in the UK where it most likely originated. As its most likely originator, it is no surprise that the UK is the largest consumer of cider in the world. Naturally, the UK also has the largest cider production companies in the world.
While most apples can be used in the creation of hard apple cider, include crabapples, cider apples are considered to be the best which are a variant of apple used specifically for the creation of hard cider. It is set apart from cooking or eating apples in that it has inherent dryness and bitterness to it. It is useful for cidermaking because it allows the maker to almost fully control the sugar content of the end-product.
So, how is hard apple cider made from apple juice? Of course, it all begins with the apples themselves. Choosing store-bought apple juice is never a bad idea since it removes one step of the process, and that is the juicing. From here, sugar is introduced and dissolved in the juice to prepare for the addition of yeast.
As for the yeast, however, while beer yeast is seeing a rise in popularity and most other ones can used, traditionally, Champagne-style yeast tend to yield great results. In modern age, though, there are now cider-specific strains of yeast developed and used.
For the most part, wine yeast, such as that used in Brewsy bags, is perfectly viable option to create good quality homemade cider. After the sugar has dissolved, simply add in the yeast, shake a little to wake it up and the fermentation begins. It is that simple, and, more often than not, results in a delicious alcoholic beverage.
There are, although, variations to cider such as another fruit or juice introduced into the apple juice such as apricot or cranberry, and spices such as cinnamon or allspice. There is even a drink called a cyser which is a mead-cider hybrid.
Cider has never been easier to make than it is, so give it a try.