Any fruit juice will ferment over time if left to the elements. This thought process as well as an email thread on the Members of Barleyment mailing list led to my attempt to make my own cider.
Apple Juice: You need to use real apple juice. Ingredients should contain nothing other then apples, ideally. In my case, I chose Eden Organic Apple Juice which is definitely not the cheapest, but it is organic.
Yeast: Adding yeast instigates the fermentation process. I chose to use EC1118 which is also intended for cider. I also made a couple experimental bottles, one with Coopers brewing yeast, and another with Nottingham. I will update this page when I have the results.
I have a hydrometer for making beer, so I verified original gravity (OG) of 1.050. This is done simply by putting some apple juice in the hydrometer tube, spinning the hydrometer and measuring the OG when it settles. To make the cider is really simple:
- Open the bottle of Apple Juice
- Open the yeast packets, and pour in an appropriate amount. In my case the yeast packets were for minimum 4.5L liquid, so I only used 1/3 of a packet for my 1.82L juice jugs.
- Place the lid back on, but do NOT seal it -- it needs to breathe. Alternatively you could just place tinfoil loosely over the opening. Ideally you will have a bunghole airlock that fits the opening.
- Check on it daily until you see the "activity" settle.