Making Cider or Perry: A Brief Guide

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Suggested Equipment

25l bucket
Hydrometer
Syphon
Plastic paddle/spoon
Steriliser/cleanser

Suggested Additives

Pectolase
Cider yeast
Campden tablets

 

It is preferable to have a blend of cooking and dessert apples (and/or pears, optional) to give a balance between acidity, sweetness and bitterness

  1. Make sure all equipment is thoroughly cleaned using something like VWP cleaner/steriliser or Harris No Rinse Steriliser.
  2. Make sure all equipment is thoroughly cleaned using something like VWP cleaner/steriliser or Harris No Rinse Steriliser.
  3. Pulp the fruit using something like a Vigo Pulpmaster.
  4. Press the apples/pears to obtain the juice.

  5. Check the specific gravity of the juice with a hydrometer. The ideal reading is 50 but anywhere between 40 and 60 will be OK. If reading is higher than 60 then dilute with small amounts of water to bring to about 50. If reading is lower than 40 then add small amounts of brewing sugar until about 50. (This will produce a brew with alcohol content somewhere between 5 and 7%).
  6. Add 1 crushed Campden tablet for each 4.5 litres of juice produced. Stir well and cover for 24 hrs. This will kill off any bacteria and organisms which may otherwise spoil the juice.
  7. After 24 hrs give juice a good stir with a plastic spoon or paddle, then add pectolase and yeast nutrient. Stir well to mix. Cover and wait 15mins.
  8. Sprinkle cider yeast on top of juice, cover and allow to ferment. Temperature should ideally be 18 to 22 degrees Celsius.
  9. After 2 weeks check specific gravity using the hydrometer. When reading is below 1.000 the cider is ready for bottling or putting into kegs
  10. If bottling, prime each 500 ml bottle of cider with half a level teaspoon of brewing sugar. (2 litre bottle 1¾ level teaspoon).
  11. If placing in a keg prime with 80 grams of brewing sugar.