Making Hard Cider From Fresh Pressed Apples
Fresh cider is the perfect drink for autumn, but it’s also a great way to use up extra apples from your trees or those given to you by kind neighbors. Cider is a delicious and fun beverage that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. This simple recipe will show you how to make hard cider from fresh pressed apples in five easy steps.
How to make hard cider from fresh pressed apples
There’s a good chance you have a lot of apples on hand right now that you’d like to do something with. Making hard cider from fresh pressed apples is an easy way to use up extra fruit, and it’s also pretty fun. But how do you go about making your own hard cider?
- You’ll need a press for juicing your apples. This can be done by hand (with the help of some friends) or with an electric juicer. If you plan on making multiple batches of cider, though, I recommend investing in an electric press; they’re less labor-intensive and make things easier overall!
- Next comes fermentation: this is where yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas in order to produce hard apple cider—and since there will be lots of sugar coming from all those delicious apples, it needs some time at room temperature before you transfer it into bottles so that fermentation can occur fully without any danger. Fermenting tanks are available online or at local homebrew stores if they carry any equipment at all–most companies avoid carrying anything too large because they don’t have enough storage space!
- And finally…bottling! You’ve waited long enough for this step already so get ready for another wait while everything finishes fermenting before putting everything into bottles (or kegs). The last thing left after bottling would be waiting again until those tasty beverages reach maturity (and start tasting delicious).
1. Selecting apples for making hard cider
Choosing apples for making hard cider
There are hundreds of varieties of apples, but many are unsuitable for cider-making. Some have a low tannin content, while others have too little acidity or sugar. Some varieties burst when cooked, while others develop unpleasant aromas in the fermentation process. For hard cider, you want to find apples that are high in tannins and acids with a strong flavor profile; these will produce a rich and complex flavor profile that’s great for drinking straight up or mixing into cocktails.
When choosing your apples—whether from an orchard or grocery store—look for those with firm flesh that doesn’t give when pressed lightly with your finger (like you would if picking out an avocado). The skin should be smooth and free from blemishes; it’s not uncommon for some skin discoloration on Red Delicious, but avoid any signs of mold or rot at all costs. Store them at room temperature until ready to use (they’ll keep longer than refrigeration would allow), but wrap each one individually to prevent bruising if they do start turning soft before then!
2. Pressing the fresh apples to make fresh apple juice
How to press fresh apples:
- You can use any kind of kitchen or food processor to mash the apples.
- Use a large pot with a lid and add water, sugar and cinnamon stick if desired, then bring it to the boil.
- Add 1kg (2lbs) of apples at a time and cook until soft (about 20 minutes).
- Cool down your apple mash before pressing it through a sieve into another bowl/pot, discarding all solids (you don’t want them in your cider!). Leave overnight for best results!
3. Fermenting the apple juice so it turns into hard cider
The process of making hard cider begins with fermentation. This is the process by which yeast consumes the sugar (usually glucose and fructose) in apple juice to create alcohol, carbon dioxide, and organic acids such as malic acid. There are a few ways to go about this:
- You can use dry yeast packets, which work well for beginners but have a tendency to produce cider that’s too sweet because they don’t quite reach their full potential before all the sugar is consumed. If you want to start out with dry yeast packets but still want something more complex than your average grocery store drink, consider looking into Lalvin EC-1118 or Lalvin 71B-1122 brands instead of the standard Red Star Champagne Yeast used in most home brewing kits.
- For those who prefer fresh pressed juice over purchased concentrate or store bought concentrate (which tends to be on par with that found at gas stations), there are other options available at home cider presses located throughout North America where fresh apples are pressed into juice right before it’s fermented into hard cider (but beware: not all home presses offer this service). It should also be mentioned here that if you live near any orchard farms selling fresh pressed apple juices then give them a call first before taking anything else off their hands!
4. Bottling your hard cider
Let’s talk about bottling your cider.
- Bottles (of course)
- Bottle caps (also of course)
Labeling is optional, but it helps if you want to be taken seriously as a craft cider maker. If labeling isn’t for you, look into using stickers or something similar to distinguish between batches. You can also just write dates on the bottles with a marker; they won’t fade away like ink does. If you don’t want to label at all, make sure each bottle gets its own color-coded cap; that way once they’re empty and ready for recycling, you’ll know what’s in them.
5. Drinking the finished product
Now that you’ve made your hard cider, you’ll need to know how best to enjoy it.
Let’s start with what not to do: You shouldn’t drink too much and get drunk. Hard cider can’t be consumed in massive quantities without having some sort of negative effect. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re drinking hard cider, it should not be the only thing going into your stomach at any given time—it’s important to eat food with your alcohol for a variety of reasons (stomach protection being one of them).
Secondly, remember that everyone has different tolerances for alcohol. “Moderation” isn’t defined by body weight or gender; some people just have higher tolerances than others! That said, we do recommend limiting yourself to one glass every hour if possible—drinking more than this is unlikely to make anyone feel better but may result in an unpleasant hangover tomorrow morning when all those toxins come rushing out through natural processes like sweating, crying and vomiting…oh wait!
Cider is a delicious and fun way to use up extra apples!
Cider is a delicious and fun way to use up extra apples!
The process of making hard cider is not too complicated, but it does take time. It’s best to start preparing for your cider-making adventure in the fall, when you can pick up lots of apples at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Be sure to choose good quality apples; these will make all the difference in how your finished product tastes!
We hope you have enjoyed learning how to make your own hard cider. Making cider is an interesting and fun way to use up extra apples or any other fruit you might have! Cider can be made from any type of fresh-pressed fruit juice, so don’t be afraid to experiment with what fruits are available near you. If you decide to make your own cider, we would love for you to share pictures on our Instagram page @applesmakeeverythingbetter .