Easy Hard cider made the way the big guys do it a save money
The easy way to make hard cider is from frozen juice concentrate. The big guys use juice from concentrate; just read the ingredients label on the store bought ciders. This Allows for year around production at a very reasonable price.
How much concentrate is needed for five gallons depends on the alcohol content desired. I found 16 can of apple juice concentrate gave me the OG of 1.058 or potential alcohol of 7.88 ABV and my total cost to make 5 gallons of store bought cider was $30.70. I ended up with 2.5 cases bottled and at the store cost of 9.00 a six pack or $90.00 total that is quite savings just under $60.00.
The sugar in the apple juice concentrate ferments very dry and potential alcohol is closely accurate to what is produced.
To get body and sweetness in the cider one must add complex sugar the yeast cannot eat.
I have had good success using apple juice concentrate for cider in gallon batches and five gallon batches.
Here is a link to my five gallon video http://youtu.be/SkLcCJ-hew4
Here is a link to my 1 gallon video http://youtu.be/gLBHNAPbkJ4