This is my recipe for what is known as turbo cider.
Turbo cider should be fairly quick and very easy to make.
I come from Somerset and I enjoy good Somerset farmhouse cider. My particular taste is for it to be a bit cloudy and very dry.
This recipe provides this for me for about half the price I can buy it. The proportion of alcohol in the final cider should be about 5.5%
If you don’t like your cider dry, then there are ways to sweeten it, but I have never tried any of these.
I have been known to press my own apples and add the juice amongst this recipe – this turned out well.
Some people experiment with different types of yeast (e.g. wine yeast, champagne yeast, ale yeast, brewers’ yeast). I have only ever used cider yeast and that works for me, but you are welcome to try something that you might already have around.
Other people have been known to experiment with flavouring using different fruit juices. I have never tried this as I believe cider is made from apples and only apples. However, if that is what you fancy, then feel free to try it!
- Water cooler bottle (18.9 litres, I believe)
- 2 litre jug
- 9 two-litre plastic pop bottles
- Siphon tube
- Kitchen paper
- Rubber band
- Sanitising solution (I use unscented thin bleach)
- 20 litres of apple juice (cartons of cheap stuff from concentrate – don’t use “apple juice drink”)
- 1 sachet of cider yeast
- 4 tea bags
- 150 grams of sugar
- Some more sugar
- Sanitise all your equipment (except for the pop bottles and siphon tube) and rinse if necessary.
- Boil the kettle and make 1 litre of tea in the 2 litre jug using the 4 tea bags.
- After about 15 minutes of brewing the tea, wring out the teabags and discard (or use for compost).
- Add the 150 grams of sugar to the tea and stir until dissolved.
- Empty the tea into the water cooler bottle via the funnel.
- Empty 14 litres of apple juice into the water cooler bottle (use scissors to open the cartons).
- Add the contents of the yeast sachet into the water cooler bottle.
- Add one more litre of apple juice to the water cooler bottle (to rinse the yeast through the funnel). The level should be somewhere around the shoulder of the water cooler bottle, not at the top.
- Cover the top of the water cooler bottle with a piece of kitchen paper (folded into quarters) and secure with the rubber band.
- Keep at room temperature.
- After a day or so, the brew should be foaming quite well.
- After a few more days, the brew should calm down and when there is minimal foam, add apple juice to about an inch from the top of the water cooler bottle and recover with the kitchen paper.
- After a few weeks, all signs of activity should have stopped and the brew should be beginning to clear.
- Sanitise (and rinse if necessary) the pop bottles and siphon tube.
- Add one heaped teaspoon of sugar to each bottle.
- Siphon the brew from the water cooler bottle into the pop bottles taking care not to disturb any sediment.
- Cap the pop bottles and shake them to dissolve the sugar.
- Store the pop bottles for a week at room temperature.
- After a week store the bottle somewhere cool for another week.
- You can probably drink the cider after this other week, but it does improve with age.
- There are plenty of resources on the web to describe how to sanitise your equipment so I won’t go into that now.
- The apples used for apple juice in cartons lack the natural tannin that can be found in proper cider apples. The tea attempts to replace this missing tannin and the extra sugar makes up for any missing sugar.
- The fermenting apple juice can produce quite a lot of foam at first. This is why it is important not to fill the fermenting vessel to high at the beginning.
- I tried to make this process as inexpensive as possible, so I used a reclaimed water cooler bottle and closed it with kitchen paper. You can, of course use a proper fermenting vessel with a proper airlock, but my way seems to produce a perfectly fine cider.
- Again, for cheapness, I use old pop bottles for storing the cider. My family get through a lot of fizzy drinks so we always have load on hand.
- I am unable to tell you the storage life of the finished cider, as it is usually all gone in about two months! May be you can experiment if you have more patience.