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Old 09-30-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
Adam's Apples
Sep 2006
Posts: 266


I have just bought a house with 3 apple trees, so thought it only right that I make some cider, or at least attempt to!

I have an old book I bought from a car boot sale which advises: chop up 4 pounds of apples, add boiling water, sugar, raisins, then leave for 3 days before adding yeast, stirring, letting this ferment (doesn't mention how long), straining and then bottling. The chap at my homebrew shop advised sterilise the vat I bought and then just place the lid on top (don't seal tight) and put a cloth over to stop stuff getting in.

Now, just from browsing some of the threads on this site I can see that this is a very basic recipe. I was wondering could anybody advise me on a few things...

* How long does fermentation take, ish? (How do I tell when it's finished?)

* Are there any other (simple) things I can do that will make the finished article better?

* Is bottling as simple as it sounds?- Do I just poor the strained juice into bottles?

* How long after bottling is it drinkable?

Thanks in advance for any hints or tips. This is my first attempt at any brewing, however I can see myself getting into it - as long as I can convince the missus to let me use the spare room as a brewing headquarters!


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Old 09-30-2006, 08:27 PM   #2
Aug 2005
Posts: 1,161
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

My advise - "I reckon you should sit back, ignore the apples this year for brewing (and just use them for cooking/eating etc) and read up more on homebrewing. Then you'll be more prepared for next year, know what to expect and also avoid a divorce"
Others here would say use the search function......

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Old 10-02-2006, 06:56 PM   #3
Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Yeah, before using apples, you might want to get yourself a jug of apple cider from an orchard or natural food store if you have either in your neighborhood/surrounding area. Get it WITHOUT any preservatives- that'll just keep your yeast from doing its job. Experiment with that before using actual apples.

Second, fermentation can take anywhere from two-three weeks to a couple of months. If you get a rubber bung with a hole drilled through it and an airlock, you can watch the bubbles pass through- when the bubbles stop bubbling, that's a pretty good tell as to when the cider is done fermenting. Scientifically speaking, you can get yourself a hydrometer to test the specific gravity of your juice and you can find out that way as well.

Third, if you want to sweeten it, add lactose, a sugar that won't ferment- if you want to make it fizzy, add a small amount of sugar and a few yeast grains and let it sit. Glycerine can add body... it's pretty much up to you.

Best way to bottle is to let the cider clear as much as possible or use a fining agent to clear it, then siphon the cider off the condensed mess on the bottom of your jug. You might find a layer of condensed yeased/apple material/whatever in your bottles, but it will be significantly less than had you just poured it from the main jug.

It's drinkable right when you bottle it. It might not taste all that hot, but it is drinkable. Let it age for about a month after bottling, you should find it tastes better with time.

But yeah, just experiment around, try different yeasts, add some berries to the mix, and just have fun with it.

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Old 10-05-2006, 04:27 PM   #4
Adam's Apples
Sep 2006
Posts: 266

Thanks for that.

That's the kind of advice I was hoping for...simple things I can do to improve things.

I'm sure I will buy a book or two and continue to browse sites such as this and then I will be able to start using more sophisticated methods f I get into this brewing lark.

Thanks again

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Old 10-13-2006, 02:29 AM   #5
May 2006
Panama City
Posts: 15

I would suggest finding a concentrate kit. This gets you used to the idea of brewing and such, and then you can move into mash's etc. just my .02c

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