Apples are one of those trees that you can get a bounty from...and even an over bounty. But the beauty of the amazingly sweet apple is that its skin is covered with wild yeasts...SCORE!!
Sugar + yeast = booze......Yeast devours sugar and booze is born.
Sure if you go to all the wine site and home brewer sites they will tell you to add this and add that. ect. But we are talking prepper's. Making due with what we have. We have Apples and a jug.
A Few pre side notes: you can add more sugar or honey to bring up the alcohol grade. A few raisins can help you bring up the yeast content if you do not want to take the chance that the apple skins have enough
Hard cider is dry, or hard, it is not a sweet alcohol.
15 pounds of apples (pears) = One gallon of booze.
This will only make .6% alcohol (the more sugar or honey you add the stronger the booze) But this post is about not adding anything but the apples.
First we need the juice.
***Now you can do it the cheater way..buy some already unpasteurized apple cider or juice. Which will at least allow you to learn and refine how to make it, with a lot less work.
But for now here is how to make the juice/cider
- So …. start with around 15 pounds of apples for one batch. You can use kinds of apples and even add a few pears. All apples will work even crab apples . Make sure the fruit is ripe and cut off any blemishes and wash them,….BUT LEAVE THE SKIN ON!
- Cut them into quarters and get rid of the seeds ( or save them for some other prepper purpose).
- Put the pieces in a pot and fill with water, just enough to cover the apples. Simmer them till they become very very soft. (15lbs about an hour)
- Put a piece of linen or cheesecloth like fabric in a strainer ( I did not I just did it in the strainer) and pour your apple juice into it (into another pan of course). An remember to press down on them to get all the juices out of the apple pulp. (this plup can be ground to be apple butter, and apple sauce later).
- You should let this drain over night just to make sure you got all the juice.
- You can filter this juice (with a coffee filter) to make is clear…BUT WHY!!! Leave to thick. It is yummy that way.
- Next day heat up the juice (optional add honey, cinnamon even a splash of a citrus) Let cool and add to Jars or containers. DO NOT fill all the way…leave a few inches empty.
- Now you can stop here and you have a great apple cider. You can even can the cider for later. PDF on how to can cider Click Here
- You will want to pasteurize, heat cider to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, 185 degrees Fahrenheit at most for 45 min. See Below for warning **
OR YOU CAN MAKE BOOZE!!! PDF Click Here
This is where this funny balloon set up comes into play. Now you can go out and buy all the curlicue glass corks and yada yada stuff.
These are the things that the balloon will be taking the place of.
- The balloon is the best in my eyes. NOW but that cider in the jug...
- Put the balloon over the opening. (I would tape in on for extra security because it could pop off or use and elastic wrapped tight)
- Poke a pin hole in the top of the balloon.
- Within an 1hr to 24 the balloon will start to inflate, This means that your yeast is transforming the contents into hard cider.. gases are now forming and are escaping through the pinhole. The balloon insures that gas escape and no contaminates get in If the balloon gets to big you can poke another hole or 2.
This is what the cruddy foam will look like so don't panic.
- Around 6 to 10 days the cider will begin looking frothy and may foam over the top. This is normal,simply wipe off the bottle, replace balloon if needed or re-secure it.
- After 2 weeks or so the balloon will go limp and the foaming will stop....and tada.....hard cider... Now this all depends on if you put sugar in it....more sugar the longer it will take. It may only take a few days if you are doing it with no additives.
*** if for some reason your balloon is not inflated that means you do not have enough yeast...add a few raisins....this should get the ball rolling. Also the smell may get a bit funky...don't freak out that is normal.
This is totally a trial and error thing. So the first batch may not be so great...but each time it will get better. That is why I suggested the cheater juice at the top of this post.
Unpasteurized, or fresh, cider may contain bacteria that cause illness, such as E. coli or Salmonella. Harmful bacteria must be killed by a pasteurization process prior to drinking the cider.
To pasteurize, heat cider to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, 185 degrees Fahrenheit at most. Measurethe actual temperature with a cooking thermometer. It will taste less ‘cooked’ if it is not boiled. Skim off the foam that may have developed and pour the hot cider into heated, clean and sanitized plastic containers or glass jars. Refrigerate immediately.
Here I think this is the best page I have come across with all things Hard apple cider. Click Here
Song for this post is going to be Pink Floyd - Apples and Oranges