A couple weeks ago, I watched the guys over at BasicBrewing.com make super-easy hard cider. The perks of this process is that you get one-gallon carboys, delicious hard cider and/or juice, and it is relatively inexpensive.
What’s even better is that the contents of the jugs are already pasteurized. So, there’s no need to empty the jugs at all. You should never touch the inside of the jugs with anything un-sanitized.
Sanitation is the most important part of brewing, pickling, or canning. Infection is the devil!
Also, make sure there are no preservatives in the contents. Otherwise, it will not allow the yeast to eat sugar and burp, producing alcohol.
Speaking of yeast, you’ll want to do a little research into what kind of yeast you’ll want to use. Some of the champagne yeasts will make the cider particularly dry. Some of the liquid beer yeasts will add some interesting tones to the final product. Me, I prefer it dry, so I grabbed two champagne yeasts.
The process is really easy. The materials you will need:
- A jug of what you want to make an alcoholic beverage in
- A #6 rubber stopper/bung
1. Mix up a sanitation bath.
2. Soak the stopper, airlock, jug caps, and packet/vial of yeast in the sanitation bath.
3. Dump the yeast into the jug.
4. Put the original cap back on. Shake to aerate.
5. Remove the cap and save.
6. Put the stopper in the jug, along with the airlock. Make sure you properly add whatever liquid you need to, to the airlock.
7. Put in a place, with little light that is temperature-controlled.
Optional: sample the cider/juice before hand. I did, and it was delicious.
I’m probably going to wait a month before bottling. And then I’ll probably let the final product age another month and then try a bottle of each at given intervals of one month, three months, six months, and one year. Assuming I have self-control. HA!