Follow the detailed recipe to create a young, strong cider.
- Make tea in a pot. Drink some, but ensure there's 2 cups worth left over in the teapot. Leave to stew.
- Take 0.33 litres of pasteurised apple juice and pour in to a 500ml cup. Add a couple of teaspoons of light brown sugar. Stir in yeast. Cover the cup and leave in a cool, dark place for 24 hours; shaking / mixing it every so often.
- Pour 2 litres of apple juice in to a pan and heat to around 50°C. Do not let it boil. Stir in 500g of light brown sugar. Ensure it is all dissolved. Let the juice cool and then pour in to your fermenting bucket.
- Remove the teabags from the teapot and pour the tea in to the fermenting bucket.
- Pour 19 litres of apple juice in to the fermenting bucket and then give the must a very brief and gentle stir.
- Move the fermenting bucket to wherever it is going to stay for the fermentation phase. The temperature should be in the range of 16°C - 18°C. Take a gravity reading. It should have a potential of around 8.25% abv.
- Shake up the yeast mixture and then pour it in to the fermentation bucket. Immediately put on the lid and airlock.
- Fermentation should start slowly, with very little activity at the airlock. After 48 hours take a gravity reading; hopefully the potential alcohol will have dropped by around 1% abv. Around 72 hours in, however, the fermentation process will really kick off. Airlock activity will peak with bubbles every 6 to 8 seconds.
- Three days after the airlock activity has dropped to 1 bubble every 30 seconds you are ready to rack.
- Pour 0.66 litres of apple juice in to a pan and heat to around 50°C. Do not let it boil. Stir in 50g of light brown sugar. Ensure it is all dissolved. Let the juice cool and then pour in to your secondary bucket.
- Carefully siphon your cider from the fermentation bucket in to the secondary bucket. The siphoning process will mix it enough to produce a primed product, ready for bottling.
- Bottle the product from the secondary bucket via tap / racking cane in to 500ml PET bottles and cap, leaving a small amount of head space for carbonation purposes.
- Store bottles for 1 week at 16°C - 18°C then transfer them to a colder location or refrigeration for another 1 - 2 weeks. The product is then ready to drink.
- Keep the bottles cold-stored for up to 6 months.