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Okay, tomorrow is the day I am making my first batch of cider. I have 21kg of late season, fairly sharp dessert apples and will be following the following todo list. Is there anything obviously wrong with this method?

Sterilize Demijohns, tubing and a large bucket

Mash Apples

Press Apples into large bucket

Add Yeast

Syphon into demijohns

Air lock

1 WEEK LATER

Check acidity, add calcium carbonate if required

1 MONTH LATER

Bottling. Add sugar to bottless. (Airing cupboard for 3-5 days, then garage)

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Well you will probably get some wild yeast if you don't pasteurize the cider but it probably won't be a huge deal. What might be more of an issue is if there is any other source of infection, like acetobacter, already on the apples. Then you'll get a whole bunch of vinegar. –  pjreddie Nov 23 '13 at 22:59
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i would add the yeast after you siphon, but that's not a huge issue, i think –  dax Nov 24 '13 at 7:48
    
@dax I'm adding the yeast first as the volume will be greater than two demijohns I have. I have one sachet of yeast. –  Mild Fuzz Nov 24 '13 at 8:55
    
@pjreddie not sure about pasteurisation. Won't that inhibit the alcohol production of the yeast? –  Mild Fuzz Nov 24 '13 at 8:56
    
How much juice are you expecting to get? One sachet of yeast should be fine, but I doubt 21 kg of apples will really get you that much juice, will it? How big are your demijons? –  dax Nov 24 '13 at 10:21

2 Answers 2

You are too optimistic regarding your schedule. It's unlikely that fermentation will be finished in a week. Let the cider make the schedule, not the calendar.

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Yeah, I know that now. It took 6 weeks to get to bottled, then left it there until February. Bloody tasty though, can't wait for apple season again. –  Mild Fuzz Mar 23 at 17:15

In traditional Cider production in Hardander in Norway only wild yeast from fruit are used alone. This will not hurt the taste as long as you are a pedantic regarding cleanliness.

An advantage to using commercial yeast is that they will often suppress wild yeast from impurities as well and give a better, faster result. By increasing the alcohol level faster the commercial yeast will also kill off more bacteria and such than can pollute you cider.

Pasteurisation of the fruit is seldom necessary. If you are using wild fermentation pasteurisation will effectieely kill your yeast.

Good luck

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