- 36 medium-sized apples*
- 12 plain apples (i.e., Red Delicious)
- 24 tart apples (i.e., Granny Smith)
- 12 wine apples (i.e. McIntosh)
- 24 sweet apples (i.e. Cortland)
- 4 3" cinnamon sticks
- 9 whole cloves
- 9 allspice berries
- 1 c dark brown sweetening
- 1.5 tsp bread yeast
- Cut and press the apples to produce one gallon of juice. Save pulp for making apple sauce, apple butter, etc.
- Place juice in 6qt. pot and add cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Heat slowly until hot, but not boiling.
- Add sweetening and stir until dissolved.
- Keep hot, but not boiling, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Serve hot with a slice of lemon or shot of cinnamon schnapps (i.e. Goldschlager or smaller amount of Hot 100). Or serve chilled.
* You can also use 1 gallon pre-made apple juice. Recommended: Langers' apple juice - pure apple juice with no preservatives or high-fructose cornsyrups (HFCs).
Hard CiderThis is sometimes called "Poor Man's Cider" because it can be made cheaply and simply.
- Make one gallon of cider as directed above.
- Divide cider into two containers, placing slightly less than half the cider in one container (1/2 - 1 cup less than half). Keep larger portion chilled.
- Add yeast to smaller half of cider and cover, but do not seal. Place out of direct sunlight and allow to sit undisturbed.
- After 5-7 days, strain cider three times through fine sieve (or paper towels) to remove yeast sediment. Put in clean container and store, chilled.
Serve mixed 50-50 with non-alcoholic cider.
I used Langers' apple juice for my first batch of hard cider, which I actually just racked (strained) today. I want to try making it with my own, homemade juice, but I don't currently have a juicer or press. Apples are especially in season this time of year (winter), so if you want to try making your own juice, now's the time.
It's got a very high alcohol content, somewhere in the 12-16% alcohol by volume range (based on smell and taste-testing, comparing against wines I've had). This means 3-5oz. of it has as much alcohol as a can or bottle of your basic cheap beer (Bud, Miller, etc.).
One alternative to making it so strong and then mixing it back in 50-50 with unfermented cider would be to allow it to ferment for less time, say 3-4 days instead of 5-7 days. I may try that for my next batch.
It's also exceedingly sweet, almost sickeningly so (for me, anyway). Even if I didn't make it as strong, I would probably still want to mix it with unfermented cider to counter the sweet taste.
After trying a few combinations of homemade apple juice (haven't cider-ized it yet), I've found the Red Delicious + Granny Smith to be the tastiest combination.
Please drink in moderation and responsibly.