Ways & How

how to make homemade apple cider

how to make homemade apple cider

If you are into sugar-free or naturally-sweet apple juices, learn how to make homemade apple cider. Apple cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone filtration to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment, like commercial apple juice has.  Apple cider is simply raw, unfiltered apple juice. Health conscious individuals, who want to regulate their sugar intake, prefer to do this at home. Here are step-by-step directions for making apple cider:

  1. Gather all the ingredients and equipment needed: apples, jar grabber, lid lifter, jar funnel, one large pot with matching spoons and ladles, ball jars, colander, filter, jelly bag, cheesecloth, coffee filters and one water bath canner or another large pot.

  2. Select the apples based on their sweetness. Ripe apples will yield a great cider even if they are bruised. Just cut off the damaged part and they can still be utilized. Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji and Rome types are naturally sweet apples but they must be mixed together. The combination of Fuji's and Gala's will give it an aromatic flavor.

    Honeycrisp and Pink Lady will also give you a sweet and flavorful apple cider.

  3. Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse. Sanitize the jars by boiling them for 10 minutes. You can also use the dishwasher’s sanitize cycle if possible. Keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping the jars hot will prevent them from breaking when you fill them with the hot apple cider. Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water for five minutes. Use the magnetic lid lifter to pull them out.

  4. Wash and chop the apples! You can use an apple corer to make the cutting faster but do not peel the apples. You will need the entire apple cooked in the pot.

  5. Cook the apples by filling the pot with four inches of water using filtered tap water. A huge, thick-bottomed pot is ideal. Put the lid on. Turn the heat on high until the water boils, and then adjust to medium high until the apples are soft.

  6. Filter or sieve the cooked apples. Separate the liquid from the pulp, skins, seeds, stems and other unwanted residues. You can have it unfiltered to retain the natural cloudiness of the fruit particles in it. Just plop the cooked apples into a large metal or plastic sieve or colander. You can also refrigerate the juice for 24 to 48 hours and then decant it. To filter it, just put your sieve or colander in line with several layers of cheese cloth and let the juice drip through. Strain the juices through a paper coffee filter placed inside a sieve or colander for a clearer cider. Alternatively, use a jelly bag.

  7. Warm up the apple cider in a large pot. Add cinnamon to enhance the taste. No need to do further cooking. Maintain a low simmering boil to keep it hot until you have enough to fill up the jars in the canner. You will need to fill up at least seven jars.

  8. Fill the jars up to one-fourth an inch from the top and process them in the water bath. Wipe any spilled apple cider, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner and keep them covered with at least one or two inches of boiling water. If you are at sea level up to 1,000 feet, boil pint or quart jars for five minutes and half gallon jars for 10 minutes. This assumes you kept the juice hot until you filled the jars. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see the chart below:

    Recommended process time for Apple Cider in a boiling-water canner.
    Process Time at Altitudes of
    Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
    Hot Pints or Quarts 5 min 10 15
    Half-Gallons 10 min 15 20
  9. Remove and cool the jars. Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place overnight then remove the rings. Once the jars are cool, check that they are sealed, verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just gently press in the center with your finger. If it pops up and down, it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. If you reheat the contents, re-jar them with a new lid and process full time in the canner.

You may have to spend a bit of time learning how to make homemade apple cider, but you can create an enormous supply for a reasonable cost.


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