How to Brew Apple Pie Hard Cider

Making cider is a great way for beginners to get started with homebrewing. It only takes a few ingredients, apple juice, yeast, and the flavor. In shit case cinnamon and vanilla to give us those notes of freshly baked apple pie.

If you want to try another interesting recipe try our How to brew Maple Brown Ale.

The recipe

A cup of apple cider and stick of cinnamon, cloves and red apples on the table.
Credit: https://www.tannersorchard.com/apple-cider/

This recipe calls for 2 gallons of apple juice and will yield about 1.75 gallons once completed. As a reminder for store-bought juice make sure it has no preservatives seen on labels as sorbate, sulfate, or benzoates. These preservatives will inhibit the yeast from fermenting.

For a fermenter, we are using a 2-gallon food-safe bucket. But you can use whatever fermenter you have at home. As always make sure your fermenter and anything else that comes into contact with your cider are clean and sanitized.

Next, we add the yeast nutrient (2 tsp). These nutrients feed the yeast so they are happy and healthy. And we can limit any off-flavors that come from poor yeast health. It will also ensure a fast start to fermentation. For yeast, we are using Safale US-05 American ale yeast. It has a clean flavor and lets the apple and additional ingredients shine.

Apple pie flavors

A bottle and two glass mugs of apple cider with a bowl of fresh apples on a wooden table.
Credit: https://www.countryfile.com/how-to/food-recipes/seasonal-recipes/how-to-make-cider/

Now we give things a good stir to mix in the nutrient and pop on an airlock. A goof mix incorporates the oxygen. Oxygen is important as fermentation starts. We set the fermenter in a cool dark place at 68 F for 1 week.

After 1 week it’s time to add apple pie flavorings. Were going to use 2 cinnamon sticks. We also add 1/2 tsp of vanilla. In addition, you can also add cloves or ginger. We let it sit again in a cool dark place for 5 to 7 days. Once the cider is at your preferred taste it’s time to bottle or keg.

This apple cider is crisp. It has the perfect level of tartness and dryness that we like. The n=hints of cinnamon and vanilla come through strong on the nose but just lightly on the palate. Giving you that subtle apple pie flavor without hitting you over the head with spice.

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