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I'm looking for a way to create my own sparkling apple cider that's like the kind bought from the supermarket like Martinelli's sparkling cider as a cheaper alternative. I tried mixing apple cider and club soda together half and half after googling for this. But I find this approach tends to 'water down' the taste of it compared to the real one.

Is there a better way to go about approximating the real thing?

Thanks

Edit1: As I don't have any equipment atm for brewing beer or wine, I'm looking for something that allows me to do this with the 'typical' tools one would find in a home kitchen. This is also non-alcoholic.

Edit2: I'm not really familiar with brewing in general so some of the ideas and techniques might require more explaining for me to fully understand. Thanks :)

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What kinds of equipment do you have? Do you primarily brew beer? Wine? Neither? –  Room3 Dec 1 '10 at 16:15
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Please edit and clarify question to include desired (or not) alcohol content and Room3's question. –  TinCoyote Dec 1 '10 at 18:31
    
@Room3 neither. I don't have any equipment atm for brewing alcoholic beverages. –  greatwolf Dec 1 '10 at 22:03
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If you're happy to mix club soda with something, try mixing it with frozen apple juice concentrate. –  Kenster Dec 15 '10 at 21:59
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@Kenster ooh yeah, that's an interesting idea I haven't tried yet. It would keep things nice and simple. –  greatwolf Dec 15 '10 at 23:33
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yeast Carbonation Method

Not that I'm advocating using baker's yeast like Alton is, but his method sounds logical to me. Here are a few tweaks I made to his recipe to make it more shelf stable (his will just keep fermenting since the yeast is still alive):

2 Gallon Batch of Sparkling Cider

  • 4 2-liter soda bottles
  • bottling bucket
  • 2 gallons of your juice of choice (preferably preservative free)
  • 1 packet of Nottingham ale yeast
  • enough bottles for finished product (either beer, champaign, or sparkling cider bottles, but not wine bottles)

Pour the juice into the bottling bucket and combine with the yeast, giving a good shake or vigorous stir to oxygenate. Then pour into soda bottles and wait 24-48 hours, or until bottles are well carbonated (the bottle should have about as much give as a new 2-liter of soda). When a 2-liter is sufficiently carbonated to your liking, bottle it and wait ~ an hour to compensate for lost carbonation. Then submerge bottles in a pot of boiling water (be sure the pot has a false bottom of some sort) and let boil for 15 minutes to kill off yeast and stop fermentation.

The only thing I'm not sure on is how the boiling will affect the flavor. I believe there are additives used in wine making (like Potassium Sorbate) that can kill off the yeast, so perhaps those can be used instead. This will be a little alcoholic, but not very much since you'll be stopping the fermentation early on.

If you don't have access to all of the bottling equipment, just go the Alton Brown method, but using your juice of choice (preferably preservative free) a packet of Nottingham ale yeast, instead of the ingredients he listed.

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Martinelli's is just force carbonated apple juice, AFAIK.

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This could have been added as a comment to the original question or added as an edit. Not to be picky but the system is the system on this site right?? –  brewchez Dec 2 '10 at 17:08
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Buy a gallon of quality preservative free cider and carbonate it. Carbonation can either occur in a keg or with a carbonator cap in a 2L PET bottle.

I assume that you were meaning non alcoholic cider because you are mixing apple cider with club soda.

If you mean hard cider its only slightly different. Ferment the cider as normal. When done put it in bottles with priming sugar at the rate of 1.1oz per gallon of finished cider. (this assumes the cider is at 65F when done)

It seems pretty simple, but maybe I am missing something in the question.

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