Which apples to use for cider?
I'm a complete newbie at both wine and cider making, but over the summer I've made cherry wine, raisin wine, spiced banana wine, blackberry wine and I'm away to pick rowan berries to make rowan wine. Reason for all these being that I'm a student on a very extended break over the summer and I have nothing to do!!
I have several cooking apple trees in my garden, with absolutely monster apples on them. I also have a crab apple tree. Could I mix both types together for cider, or is one better than the other? I've already read the thread about using a juicer, so my trusty old juicelady will be making an appearance!
Also, does anyone have any great cider recipes and any hints or tips for a newbie?
If you're a newbie with cider making, the easiest thing to do would be to buy cider from a nearby orchard/natural food store if there is one nearby. I haven't mixed my own apples myself (I live in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city) but from what I've read, you need to figure out your own mix of tart, sweet and filler apples.
If you do decide to buy juice, get it in a glass jug (if possible) WITHOUT (I'm stressing WITHOUT) any preservatives.
Basically, all you need to do is get yourself some apple juice and some good wine yeast (I use Lavlin K1-1116 with some good success) and let the yeast do its thing for a couple of weeks to a couple of months or so.
You might be tempted to make yours fizzy, but try brewing it out dry and use up all the sugar before trying anything fancy. If you don't like it dry, the sky's the limit as far as cider experimentation goes :)
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