make your own hard cider

Yesterday we brought you the first part of our two part series about making your own hard apple cider. It covered the basics on how to make your own apple cider from the bajillion pounds of apples you probably picked this past weekend. Today, we’re going to teach you how to take that homemade cider and brew your own hard stuff.


There are a few different ways to do this and it will vary depending on your skill level. However, for all intents and purposes, let’s assume you’re a beginner. You may not get this right the first time, but don’t sweat it. Just don’t try to make too much in your first batch; it will make any mistakes a lot easier to handle.


How to:


  • Combine 1 gallon of your homemade cider with 2 cups of sugar in a gallon glass jug. Shake it up until the sugar is totally dissolved into the mix.


  • If you didn’t already flavor your cider with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon or ginger, make sure to add one or a couple of these options in.


  • Get a packet of Champagne or wine yeast and follow the instructions on the packaging to activate it (some people like to use beer yeast. It’s really a personal preference.) Add that activated yeast to the jug and shake some more.


  • Put a balloon on the jug’s mouth and then tie a rubber band around to keep it in place. The balloon will slowly blow up as the yeast eats the sugar and emits gas. Every once in a while, let some of that gas out and then secure the balloon again.


  • Put the cider in a dark, warm place for about 2 weeks. It’s okay if you let it sit longer as that will actually increase its clarity. Remember to periodically let the gas out of the balloon or you’ll end up with a popped balloon and a shattered gallon of ruined cider.


  • Siphon the cider to get any gross stuff out of it. You’ll be left with a yummy hard cider you can proudly serve to your friends – or drink entirely on your own.


Do you have any cider making secrets or ingredients you like to add? Tell us all about them below.