Home Brewing – Set the hooch loose!

Something completely different than what i usually post about and perhaps not the homebrewing content you were expecting! Less GitHub and more GetLit my friend! Here is a simple recipe for a very delicious hard cider that any fool can make……even me! Let me know in the comments at the end if this is content you’d like to see more of. Happy to go more in depth if there is an interest………anyway, enjoy!

Homemade Summer Fruit Cider

ABV 7% approx.


1 x 5Litre Bottled Water

4 x 1Litre Apple Juice

½ Sachet Bulldog Cider Yeast Medium Sweet

750ml Vimto Cordial (No added sugar)

Small amount white sugar (optional)

The only thing better than a cold refreshing summer fruit cider is one that you’ve made yourself! Follow a few simple steps and you too could be enjoying a delicious beverage that packs a kick

I’ve tried to make the recipe as simple as possible and avoid using equipment. The end result should turn out both delicious and refreshing

Cleanliness is crucial when brewing. Be mindful of surface areas, your hands and anything that comes into contact with your brew. Everything needs to be scrubbed and sanitized to avoid spoiling the fermentation process. Keep that in mind and you really can’t go wrong!

Step 1

Take your 5 litre water bottle and pour it out! Drink it, shower with it, keep hydrated….whatever you want. We’re only interested in the empty 5 litre bottle! As it’s store bought and sealed, you know it’s already sanitized so that’s a bonus! This will be our new brewing vessel

Step 2

Pour your four cartons of apple juice into your 5L brewing vessel. Use a funnel if you need too but again be mindful that it’s scrubbed and sanitized before use. Then pour the 750ml Vimto cordial into the brewing vessel. Do make sure it’s the no added sugar version as this is purely for flavour.

Step 3

Add half a sachet of your yeast. This is the only ingredient you may have to order online. I do recommend it as it does the job and helps with flavour. If you can’t shop online then bread yeast can be used effectively but flavour might not be as good.

Step 4

Put the lid on tight and shake the life out of it!! Oxygen and circulation is great for the yeast at this early stage. (Don’t shake it at any stage after this point though)

Step 5

Loosen the lid completely and only slightly twist it close. Good way to test this is, you should be able to gently squeeze the bottle and the lid should lift up and down but not come off. This acts like a makeshift airlock, letting fermentation gas out but not letting air in. Never leave cap too tight as pressure will build within the bottle during fermentation

Step 6

You’re pretty much done! Stick the vessel in a warm dark place for 2 weeks. Closet or back of a press will do fine but do check on it daily to make sure it’s still fermenting

Note :

During fermentation, people experiences vary. Should be quite lively for the first few days with lots of bubbles and foaming. After that it should settle down. By day 14, all bubbles should have stopped. If not…just leave a bit longer, there’s no rush.

Step 7

Once fermentation is done…so are you (as long as you don’t want to carbonate your cider). You can stick it in a fridge and serve once cold. Be careful when moving bottle as there is lots of sediment at the bottom that you don’t want to disturb. If you’re careful and pour slowly, you can enjoy your delicious cider. But this isn’t ideal. I would recommend racking the finished product

Step 8 (optional)

To rack, you can just pour slowly and carefully from large vessel into smaller sanitized bottles. Being very careful not to disturb the sediment. However, the best method to move the cider from a large vessel into smaller bottles is to syphon it. Just a small piece of tubing and a syphoning method makes it easy to move the liquid without much air getting at it while also allowing for very little disturbance. Once you get near the bottom of the vessel….stop! You don’t want the sediment getting into your drinking bottles (it’s safe to drink but effects the taste)

Step 9 (optional)

Once in your new bottles you can chill and then drink whenever you like. If you want to be extra fancy though, you might decide to carbonate your cider! Very easy to do. Just add a heaped teaspoon of sugar into each drinking bottle (500ml bottles) and instead of sticking in the fridge, it’s back to the warm closet for another two weeks. The sugar gets broken down and becomes CO2 adding an amazing fizz to the end result. Just don’t use too much sugar or leave too long as they may over carbonate and fizz everywhere when opened!! Once the 14 days have past, stick in your fridge and you’re good to go!

That’s it, you’re done. Get some friends over and have a great time! Not sure the fruit counts as one of your five a day but who cares! Let me know below if you need are more guidance or want to learn more about home brewing in general.

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