The first part of beginning your Hard Cider recipe is to obtain all of your ingredients. We’ve obtained the following:
- 6 gallons of fresh UV pasteurized, unsweetened organic cider
- 3 jars of local honey
- 2 packages of white wine, or champagne yeast
- box of wine bucket sanitizer for all of the hardware
- one large primary fermentation bucket (you can get one from a wine store)
- rubber stopper and bubbler (also from a wine store)
- clear medical tubing (to siphon the finished cider into the aging vessel, and your bottles)
- glass carboy or aging vessel. Once the primary fermentation of the cider is complete, you’ll siphon the cider to the glass vessel to clear and age
Step 1: – Create a starter
I have taken one of the 1 gallon buckets of the cider, and I will add the yeast directly to it. Then put the lid back on and shake it around. In a few hours, the yeast will begin to react with the sugars in the cider with the byproduct being Carbon Dioxide and alcohol. I’ll only leave the yeast in this 1 gallon container for a couple hours – until you feel the pressure in the jug. If you leave it too long, it will blow the top off the gallon jug giving you a big mess to clean up. Cracking the lid of the jug should result in a hiss – also an indicator that it’s working.
After you do this, take some time and clean your primary fermentation bucket. It needs to be perfectly clean or else your batch of cider may not work or go skunky on you.