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Mike's Cider Press

I have made my own beer, mead and cider so naturally I figured I would look into what it takes to crush apples and make my own juice to ferment. The links below summarize the best of what I have found. My conclusion is ... it is still cheaper to buy jugs of apple juice at costco and toss in yeast for the couple of gallons a year that I make. Then again, I don't have an apple orchard and would have to pay seconds price fo any apples I bought.

Happy Valley Ranch makes cider and wine presses of what appear to be good quality. Pleasant Hill Grain also sells an interesting looking press.

Mike's cider recipie

Here is the recipie I use for making apple cider. Use it in good health.


  • Boil 1/4 cup of water in pyrex measuring cup in microwave. Wait till it is cool enough to hold in your hand. Add yeast to water, stir till it desolves, cover with a clean cloth for about an hour. Open room temperature gallon of juice. Pour out about 1/4 cup into a glass. Taste it. Stop here if it doesn't taste good. Bad juice will make even worse cider. Assuming it tastes good, add the yeast to the apple juice, put some clean water in the fermentation lock, and cork the jug with the fermentation lock in the rubber cork. Keep the jug covered out of direct sunlight in a warm place. You should notice vigorous activitiy within a few days. It may be so vigorous that you get foam coming out the fermentation lock. This is normal, just remove the lock, rinse it, refill with clean water, and replace. Wait a few months till it stops bubbling. Then rack (ohhh, technical term) it into your clean jug that you have cleaned. You can use fancy racking equipment or you can just CAREFULLY pour it being careful to leave as much of the gunk in the bottom of the old jar as you can. Clean your fermentation lock, replace with clean water and move plug and all to new jug. Wait a few months checking lock occasionally to add more water to make up for evaporation. Cider should be drinkable after a couple of months and improves with age.

    You can bottle it after a couple months of clearing but I normally just rack it back into another clean jug and toss it in the fridge for drinking. Adding sugar to the jug (or some fresh apple juice) before bottling will give you naturally carbonated sparkling cider. Cap your bottles tightly after adding the 'priming' sugar. You will need to experiment with the amount of additional sugar to add. Be careful your first few tries as too much sugar can be a messy situation when your bottles start to explode. Some people have suggested that you can use what you take out of a new bottle to 'prime' the old batch. That way you are putting up a finished batch at the same time as you are starting a new one.

    Last modified: 26-Sep-2001 by Michael Spann