Homebrewing a very Simple Apple (Juice) Cider

When I decided to try my hand at making a cider instead of a beer I had no idea it would be so easy. I almost feel silly making a post about it to be honest. I’ll even save you the trouble of reading below by saying it is really as simple as just combining yeast and apple juice :). All that said… was it a success?

Cider Specifications

Cider Name: Simple Apple Juice Cider
Cider Style: Apple Juice
Batch Size: 2.6 gallons / 10 litres
Estimated OG: 1.038
Estimated FG: 1.000
Estimated ABV: 5%

Grain Bill/Fermentables

Amount Fermentables
10 cans Allen’s Apple Juice (or equivalent)


# Yeast
1 SafAle US-05

Fermentation Schedule

21 days Primary
7-14 days Bottle Conditioning
Optimal Fermentation Temperature: 64-82°F / 18-28°C
Place fermenter in stable temperature, out of the light.


Pour apple juice from container into carboy and pitch yeast. Seriously, that’s it.

Other than it being so incredibly simple to make the only other surprising thing about this recipe is how long the cider was undergoing active fermentation. I have never seen constant airlock activity for two weeks straight!

Final product

So how did it turn out? Well to be honest kind of bland. The still cider, post fermentation, was actually quite dry and lacked almost any sweetness. To me this was somewhat surprising since I only pitched SafAle US-05 and not something like a wine yeast which I would have expected to create a more dry end result.

Normally the solution for something like this is to back-sweeten it, however because I was bottling the cider, and didn’t want to create bottle bombs, my options were pretty limited. So give that I think I would recommend throwing a little splash of fresh apple juice into the glass as well at serving time to compensate.

Held up to a light you can see how clear it came out. I only fermented for about 3.5 weeks and didn’t cold crash or use any fining agents.

The other thing I’m not too happy with around taste is the complete lack of tartness. I was hoping for just a little bit in the final product but the fermentation seems to have taken that away as well.

So with all that said would I make this again? I think if I were to make this cider again I would throw in some extra sugar up front to make it a bit more boozy and give it more body as well as use a different, more flavourful, starting juice or cider.

P.S. – we called this brew “Agent Orange”

UPDATE – After leaving it sit bottled for another week and a half the flavour has really come around. It’s still a bit subdued but significantly better than what it was before! Moral of the story: let your cider age a bit 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark M says:

    You know you can pasteurize bottles in order to get a carbonated cider with residual sweetness and bottles that won’t explode, right? I use preservative-free cloudy brown apple juice from Whole Foods, and add half a pound of light brown sugar per gallon, then an M2 cider yeast. After about 3 weeks, I bottle. I wait three days to allow them to continue fermenting and carbonating, then preheat the filled, capped bottles in hot sink water for a few minutes, then put them in 180 degree F water in a big pot on the stove. Letting them sit in that water for 10 minutes will get the internal temp high enough to kill off the yeast, then pull them out, let them cool, and you’re golden.

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