What You'll Need to Make Cider

Making your own cider is easy and you can have a lot of fun doing it! You don't really need any specialist equipment either, however there are a few essentials that are required as well as a couple of items that will make life much easier. You can find a list of these below, with links to the relevant products on our site:

  • Fruit crusher and press (assuming you're pressing your own fruit and not using shop bought juice).
  • At least 2 fermentation containers - You'll always need a minimum of 1 additional fermentation vessel so you can siphon your cider off the sediment and lees that form during the fermentation.
  • Airlock and bung to fit your fermentation vessel - This is crucial to allow the carbon dioxide given off from the fermentation to escape without letting oxygen or outside contaminants into your cider.
  • Once finished, you'll need something to store your cider in! We prefer bottles or bag in boxes.

For the essentials, that's it! However, there are a few other things you may wish to consider that will make things easier and will result in a much better end product:

  • Yeast - Apple skins have natural yeast in them which will allow the juice to ferment if left for long enough. However, using a cultured yeast will almost always give faster and much more predictable results. If you're using shop bought juice then you will need to add yeast as it will have been pasteurised to preserve it so there will be no active natural yeast left in the juice.
  • Campden tablets - Used for sterilising your equipment prior to and after use. Can also be used to neutralise the natural yeast in your juice if you want to rely solely on added yeast for the most stable and predictable results.
  • Hydrometer and hydrometer jar - These are important bits of kit if you want to know the amount of alcohol in your cider.
  • Siphon tube - Useful for transferring your cider between storage containers. They make the process less messy and minimise the contact your cider has with the air, keeping it fresher.
  • Pasteuriser - Vital if you are going to sweeten your cider. Pasteurising kills off the yeast in your cider and prevents additional fermentation from occurring. If you are bottling your cider then it must be pasteurised or your bottles are likely to explode from the pressure that builds up in them.