Making cider from a kit is a straightforward two step process starting with preparation and fermentation, then bottling and conditioning. (Pretty much the same process as making beer)
What equipment will I need …
- 25 L fermentation bucket with a seal-able lid, grommet and airlock
- Thermometer to check the fermentation temperature (18-25C)
- Stirrer for mixing
- Steriliser powder
- Syphon for transferring the cider into bottles or a pressure barrel
- Hydrometer to check fermentation has completed correctly
- A good quality juice cider kit or a kit which requires either household sugar or brewing sugar
The kit above contains all the equipment you’ll need except bottles
Follow these simple step by step instructions
- Wild yeasts and bacteria can affect the taste and flavour of your cider so to avoid any problems you’ll need to sterilise all the equipment that will come in contact with it. Mix 1 teaspoon of sterilising powder with roughly 2 L of warm water and add to the fermenter. Fit the airlock and grommet into the lid and attach. Shake the fermenter a couple of times over a 5-10 minute period to ensure good coverage. Rinse out a couple of times with cold tap water.
Pour the contents of the bladder into the fermenter. Then use the bladder to transfer enough hot and cold water to make up 23L at between 18-25C and stir in well to disolve.
- Sprinkle the yeast sachet to the mixture and justleave or you can gently stir it in.
Attach the lid and half fill the airlock with water (preferable pre boiled).
Sit the fermenter somewhere safe at between 20-25C for 10 days to complete the process. The fermentation is complete when the airlock stops bubbling though it’s advisable to leave it for the full 10 days.
Test the specific gravity of your cider by opening your fermenter and using the hydrometer tube removing a small sample and testing it by by placing the hydrometer in it. If it has reached the required reading then it’s time to bottle or keg your cider. See (How to Use a Hydrometer)
Note: While this explains how most kits are made it does pay to follow the instructions included with the cider kit you purchase.