Brewing a hard cider is pretty easy. You get some apple cider, add some yeast, and wait. The yeast does all of the work and eventually turns all of the sugars into alcohol, leaving you with a nice dry hard cider. Here’s a great primer on Cider for Beginners.
Luckily, getting my hands on some fresh cider is pretty easy. A local brew shop, Sound Homebrew, does an annual pre-sale of fresh-pressed, unpasteurized cider juice from a Washington farm. I just take in a clean carboy and they fill it up. Beyond that, all that’s needed is yeast and time.
Making semi-sweet cider is a little bit harder. I’ve done this twice, but never wrote up my notes. This time I’m writing up my old notes prior to making another batch this Fall.
The main questions for making semi-sweet cider are:
- What kind of yeast to use?
- How to make it semi-sweet?