After a disappointing apple crop last year, when it came to making cider, we were stuck having to make other arrangements for the juice. Home Brewing by Kevin Forbes (Chapters discount area, but I don’t see why it is) has a pretty good recipe for making Turbo Cider which is essentially just store bought non-concentrated juice. Like a lot of the recipes in this book, you need to do a little additional research online just to double check amounts, etc.
So off to the grocery store to buy 24 cans of regular apple juice (with added vitamin C, but it doesn’t seem to do any harm). Sterilize everything the liquid touches, dump 2/3 (16 x 1.05L cans) of all the juice into a plastic bucket. Some people go straight to a glass demijohn, but apparently this can slow the fermentation process or completely kill it off due to static electricity. I have no idea if this is true or not, but why risk having to tip 25L of juice down the sink. Boil the contents of two cans in a saucepan and dissolve in 500g of regular granulated white table sugar. Most brewers won’t touch white sugar and use dextrose instead, but in cider it works well as it adds to the cidery flavour.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add the hot liquid to the bucket. With a temperature around 23°C pitch (add in) one packet of champagne yeast. Insert bung and airlock.
Once it’s sat for a couple of days, I add all but one of the remaining cans of juice. If you try to add it all at once, the cider can ferment so violently that you’ll have the bung on the opposite side of the room, a ceiling dripping with apple juice and yeast, and a slightly drunk cat.
I started my second batch on February 19th and within a week or so I transferred everything to a large demijohn to sit in the hot room to continue fermenting:
Although the recipe suggests that it is a fast fermentation, I’ve found that leaving it for at least a month really improves the flavour and allows a lot of the roughness to dissipate. If you like rough, just mix apple juice and rubbing alcohol to taste (make sure you get the proportions right, as this will be the last drink you’ll ever have). Before the week is through, I’ll have to bottle the cider so that it can go through its second fermentation in the bottles to give it some fizz. I’ll post the conclusion of the cider brew later in the week. If we have a really good night with it we’ll post the conclusion of the cider consumption in the near future.