The folks at the Orchard Project – our article of which you can find here – have kindly provided an excellent recipe for homemade cider; perfect for those who have apple trees in their garden and never know what to do with the mountain of fruit they produce. This cider is both refreshing and resourceful! All the equipment listed below can be purchased cheaply online.
Juicer, or a blender
10 kg apples
Heavy duty swing-top bottles
Source your apples: when it comes to Autumn there is no shortage of apples littering our gardens and roadsides. If possible pick your apples from several trees including eaters and cookers for a balance of sweetness, tannin, and acidity. Any apple, any size, wonky, bruised or blemished can go into making your cider.
Clean & sterilise your equipment: use a sterile solution made from dissolving one Campden tablet in water. Make sure you rinse well with hot water to remove any residue.
Wash, chop and juice your apples: your everyday juicer, or blender and muslin cloth will do the job.
Decant your golden juice into a 4.5-litre demijohn and add a Campden tablet to destroy any unwanted bacteria.
Attach your airlock: this is crucial as it allows carbon dioxide created during fermentation to be released while preventing any air or critters from entering.
Leave to ferment, for a couple of weeks until the bubbles form very slowly signalling that the fermentation has finished.
Bottle your cider: syphon off your cider into heavy duty swing top bottles, leaving the sediment at the bottom as this is the dead yeast known as the Lees. We would recommend bottle conditioning your cider to create a refreshing lightly sparkling dry cider, to do this add a teaspoon of sugar to your 1-litre bottle and leave to work its magic until Christmas.
Finally and most importantly drink and enjoy.