Tag Archives: Hard Cider Making

My FIRST Hard Cider Brew (UPDATED 12/27/2022!)

Alright, ya’ll. If there’s one thing I love, hard cider is definitely in my top ten. So I said, FUCK IT! I wanna start brewing my own cider and other alcoholic beverages. Fun way to learn about something I enjoy and try my hand at creating my own unique drinks! Cider is pretty easy, or so it seems. So this is where we begin our story.

12/26/2022, the day after Christmas. My grandma gives me $50. Cool. Love my Grandma. So I know exactly what I wanna do with it. I wanna make my own damn cider. I’ve been thinking about this for months, honestly. I wanna jump right in, so I go to my local beer store where I’ve seen the Northern Brewer hard cider brewing kit. I’m thinking I’m going to drop $100 and walk in & out with everything I need to make my first batch. Mind you, I have absolutely no clue how to brew cider. I planned to grab that essential kit & one of Northern Brewer’s recipe kits to start off and learn what I need. But this is the day Christmas. There is absolutely no more of those kits left in stock. So I shake my head and grab a couple ales & hit the door.

The kit I could of cried over that day. The Northern Brewer Hard Cider Making Kit – Essential Equipment Kit

I run home eager to order this kit online, however I decide, fuck it. I’m jumping in head first, I’ll do this on my own. I order the kit & some salts to carbonate my ciders instead of the $40 recipe kit (so I could get free shipping to be honest.) And now here we are. I’m so excited to start my first batch! There’s only one problem… My kit won’t be here for another week or so. So I jump into YouTube and attempt to digest as much information as possible while consuming my ales.

Which brings us to today, 12/27/2022. Now, I feel I can begin to learn and develop skills at a somewhat increased rate than others. And that’s not me being cocky, that’s me acknowledging that I will never just have that “one thing” that fulfils me and instead I require multiple avenues to dedicate my attention & time to. Now, over the past two days I’ve been learning about cider like there’s no tomorrow! Which sparks my impulsivity in saying “FUCK IT! I’m going to the Home Brew store up the road & grabbing two Carboys and starting my cidermaking journey TODAY!”

Realistically, this gives me a chance to play around with some smaller batches, before making a 5-6 gallon batch of a cider that could potentially taste like dog shit. So with that being said, allow me to present to you….

Wegmans & Walmart or as they’re CURRENTLY named: #1 & #2! Please give these two bastards a WARM welcome into your hearts and minds. Hopefully in two – three weeks these bad boys gone be ALCOHOLIC. Let me give you the scoop on what I’ve used for each of these gallons of cider.

Ingredients so far:
-1 Gallon of Wegmans 100% Apple Juice
-1/2 Packet of Cider House Select Yeast

Ingredients so far:
-96oz of Walmart 100% Apple Juice from Concentrate
A little big of Wegmans 100% Apple Juice
-1/2 Packet of Cider House Select Yeast

So let’s quickly recap before we conclude this day’s update.
These are the things I bought to BEGIN brewing hard ciders today, before more of my equipment arrives.

2x 1 Gallon Carboys =  $21.38
2x Stoppers = $1.98
2x Air Locks = $1.98
2x Packets of Cider House Select Yeast = $10.18
2x Gallons of Wegmans Apple Juice (I only used one of these 😉 = $12.58

SO. We are at $48.10 to get two gallons of hard cider started. Not too bad, honestly.
BUT, I did grab some spices to try out when bottling my work!

McCormick Cinnamon Sticks = $7.49
McCormick Apple Pie Spice = $5.79

I think it will be fun to log & track how much I spend on each of my brews, considering I have equipment currently to brew 2 more gallons of cider! Cheers, guys!