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Hard Cider

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Ingredient list:

- Red Star Champagne yeast -
- 1 gallon of apple juice
- 1 cup of granulated white sugar
- 32-64oz other juice for flavoring (OPTIONAL)

Equipment list:

- 1 empty 1 gallon jug -
- 1 S-Shaped Airlock - (3-pack)
- 1 #6 Rubber Stopper  - (3-pack)
    - Complete set of the items above (jug w/ lid, airlock, and stopper)
- 1 Auto-siphon (OPTIONAL) -
- 1 Large measuring cup (minimum 16oz / 2 cup)
- 1 Medium or large funnel
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon measuring spoon


Make sure all equipment has been sterilized prior to starting.

- Place the cup of sugar in a large measuring cup
- Mix apple juice in with the sugar, leaving enough room to stir.
- Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour the mix into the empty gallon jug.
- Pour about half of the remaining apple juice into the jug.
- Add in about 1/5 of the packet of champagne yeast. If I recall correctly, this is about 1/4 teaspoon. Each of these packets is good for 5 gallons, and you don't want too much yeast!
- Making sure to leave at least 1 inch of airspace at the top, pour in as much of the remaining apple juice as possible. For most jugs, it's easy enough to just stop at the bottom of the neck.
- Place the stopper on the jug.
- Fill the airlock with water to the fill line (about halfway up the bulbs when they're even) and re-assemble it.
- Place the airlock in the stopper.
- Set aside the now empty jug for racking.


- Find another hobby for a few days.
- It should start bubbling within about 24 hours or less. Time the frequency of the bubbles.
- You should notice the bubbles getting closer together for a while, maybe for two to three days.
- They should peak out, and then start slowing down again by about day 4.
- Once they are about 15 seconds apart **after peaking** then you're done with the ferment. This should be about day 7 or 8.

NOTE: There can sometimes be an initial rush, but normally the bubbles will start fairly slow. You can rack any time after the bubbles have reached 30-second intervals. Sooner = sweeter. If you let it go until it stops bubbling altogether it won't just be dry, it'll be sour.


Make sure all equipment has been sterilized prior to starting.

Method 1 (settling & pouring):

- Remove the airlock and stopper.
- Replace the original lid.
- Wait, maybe a month or so. What we're waiting for here is to let as much of the solids (yeast and juice dregs) settle to the bottom as possible.
- Check on the lid occasionally to make sure it's not building too much pressure. If it domes up, crack it open and let it release the pressure, then seal it up again.
- Once you're satisfied that the solids have settled out enough you're ready to pour it into your empty jug. Make sure it's been properly sterilized.

Method 2 (Siphoning):

If you're planning on siphoning, be aware that the sweeter the cider is the more carbonation it generally has to it as well. In order to siphon easily, you'll want an auto-siphon. However, with highly carbonated cider this can be worse as it will make the cider foam.

- With the cider jug elevated above the top of the empty racking jug, place the siphon hose into the racking jug so that it reaches the bottom and at least an inch or so of the hose rests there.
- If you have a hose clamp, make sure it is open.
- Remove the airlock and stopper from the jug.
- Place the auto-siphon assembly into the cider and start slowly pumping. If you're not getting a lot of foam, you can pump faster to clear the air more quickly.
- Once the hose is devoid of air, gravity should take over and you should be able to just let it flow. **NOTE:** Keep an eye on it so that the siphon doesn't start sucking dregs toward the end.
- After the transfer is complete, you'll want to let the cider sit in this jug for a while just to give any solids that did make the trip through the siphon a chance to settle out.

You can repeat the racking process as much as you'd like. Simply let it settle again for a while after each transfer. I would recommend waiting to flavor it until your final racking is complete. If you don't, it'll need to be refrigerated.

Flavoring (OPTIONAL):

- If you want to flavor your cider, add the flavoring juice to the empty jug prior to pouring the cider in. I recommend 32-64oz per gallon of finished cider. This should typically result in cider that ranges from approximately 5% to 8% abv.