Three Gallon Hard Cider Recipe

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Three-Gallon Hard Cider Must



*Champagne yeast for dry cider, Cote de Blanc or beer yeast for semi-dry

You may also consider White Labs English Cider Yeast

Crush Campden tablets (to suppress bacteria or wild yeast), and dissolve them in 1 cup of cool water. Stir in pectic enzyme to prevent haze in the finished cider, yeast nutrient to provide for complete fermentation and acid blend for balance. Add the solution to the primary fermenting pail.

Now pour in fresh pressed apple cider or Vintner's Harvest Apple Wine Base and enough water to make 3 or 5 gallons. Stir thoroughly, cover the pail with the lid and let the juice rest overnight at room temperature.

Primary Fermentation

Open the primary fermenter and sprinkle in one packet of wine or brewer's yeast. Place the lid securely on the pail and attach the air lock. Fermentation will start in about 12 hours. You will notice that the air lock will bubble vigorously at first. This will subside as time passes. Allow the beer to ferment in the pail for seven to ten days. A rule of thumb is that when there is less than one bubble per minute the primary fermentation is complete. You should still wait at least 7 days before racking.

Secondary Fermentation

Place the primary fermenter on a counter or tabletop 24 hours prior to the next step. This will allow the sediment to settle to the bottom of the pail.

Clean and sanitize a better bottle or glass carboy along with your siphon equipment. Siphon the cider into the secondary fermenter. Attach the air lock and allow the cider to rest for 14 days at around 70°F.

Taking a Taste Test

After 14 days you can taste your cider and adjust it if needed. If it tastes a little bland you can add ¼ teaspoon of acid blend to taste. If it is lacking in apple flavor but the tartness is correct, add our apple flavor enhancer. If it is too tart, add frozen apple juice concentrate (preservative free) to taste. To make an addition you must first clean and sanitize your primary fermenter and siphon the cider into it. As the cider is transferring, gently stir in your adjusting ingredient. When the racking is complete, clean and sanitize the better bottle, then rack the cider back into it. Seal it up with the stopper and air lock and let it rest for another 7 to 14 days.

Bottling Hard Cider

Hard cider is best bottled in standard beer bottles using regular crown caps. You can make the cider still or sparkling by adding carbonation drops the same way as is done with beer. Bottles and caps must be cleaned and sanitized just prior to filling.

Homemade cider is best served warm with wine mulling spices

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