Our store and recipes

We are located in beautilful West Melton which is just 25 minutes from Christchurch and a great location for all of those in the Selwyn District.

 

RECIPE COLLECTION

 

Cider Recipe

How many apples do we need?

As a general rule you will need in the region of 9 kg apples to produce 4.5 litres of juice.

Before you start it’s a good idea to try and secure a good mix of different apples.

Balance of the Fruit

The balance of the fruit is important especially the acidity. Ideally about 70% dessert apples (this gives the sweetness) and 30% cooking apples (this gives the acidity).

Preparing the Fruit

Firstly remove soil and surface slim by giving the apples a jolly good washing. Cut out any bad areas and remove any rotten or heavily browned ones. Thirdly quarter the apples, again removing any bad bits. Don’t be too fussy and don’t worry about the core and pips.

  • Leave to soften for a few days then chop up fruit into small chunks and crush and pound, strain crushed fruit through straining bag to get as much juice as you can.

or

  • freeze them, thawed they will be soft and mushy, crush and strain.

or

  • Put through a juicer to extract as much juice as you can.


Pectinase Powder

If Pectinase is added at the start it will improve the taste in the cider as they help to bring out flavors and without this addition you won’t have clear cider. Add one teaspoon per 5 litres..

Alcohol Levels

The first thing we need to do before the start of fermentation is to take a hydrometer reading of the juice. To do this, place the hydrometer in the juice and we will see a reading where the hydrometer is level with the liquid. We can then use this reading to work out how much alcohol will be present after fermentation. See the table below for reference.

SG Reading Final Reading (end of fermentation) Approx. ABV (Alcohol by Volume)

1060

1000 or less

8%

1055

1000 or less

7.5%

1050

1000 or less

6.5%

1045

1000 or less

6%

1040

1000 or less

5.5%

1035

1000 or less

4.5%

To increase the start gravity add caster sugar (or white granulated sugar) and dissolve well. For cider we are looking ideally for start gravity in the region of 1040 to 1045. Any more alcohol than this will spoil the balance. Do not get carried away trying to make it to strong. To reduce the SG add water.

Fermentation

Start the fermentation as soon as possible but no longer than 24 hours after pressing the juice. Use food grade plastic buckets, fermenters or glass jars. They must be clean and sterile.

Add the yeast and 2 grams per 5 litres of wine Nutrient to the fermenter and be sure to use good quality cider/apple yeast... Don’t get carried away by the idea of natural yeast & bread yeast. This does not produce good cider.

Leave to ferment at a temperature between 20-27°C for about 5 to 14 days or until your hydrometer is showing the fermentation has finished. A constant cool temperature is much better than one that fluctuates. The fermentation time will depend on the room temperature and the initial starting gravity. 5 to 14 days is just a guide. The slower the fermentation the better the cider will taste. It is really important not to exceed 27°C.

When the fermentation has finished (the gravity reading on the hydrometer will be the same for a few days and will be under 1000 SG) siphon off from the yeast sediment into another clean sterilized container.

For Flat Cider: Adding Stabilizer/Preservative and Clearing

When the fermentation has finished we recommend that you add one Campden Tablet per 5 litres. This will help prevent infection and from restarting to ferment.

The cider should then be degassed (stirred vigorously to remove the carbon dioxide given off during fermentation). Adding Kwik Clear (two part wine finings)will help to clear the cider. Once clear, siphon off the sediment, and leave in glass containers. Make sure the containers are full and have no air space at the top which can cause infection. Taste it and if it’s young and a bit sharp then leave it to mature. Ideally you should fit an airlock to the container to allow for any breathing. After one month we suggest you have a taste. If the cider is maturing well then leave (if it’s thrown sediment, which is likely you might want to rack the sediment into a clean sterilized container and top up with cold water). At this stage it might be a good idea to sweeten the cider with a non-fermentable sweetener, such as Sucralose.

Some people like to keep the cider as natural as possible so don’t like to add stabilizer, camp dens and finings but from our experiences this will help protect the cider from oxidizing and prevent any refermenting. It will also allow you to add sugar to sweeten.it.

For Sparkling Cider: After Fermentation

We would recommend that you siphon the cider into a clean, sterilized container. You can now add any necessary adjustments like extra acid or sweetener. Use malic acid to increase the acidity (will give the cider a sharper taste), and use a sweetener, that is non fermentable. Alternatively you can purchase sucralose from supermarkets. Don’t add more sugar as this will ferment.

Once you are happy with the taste you can bottle your cider. If this is a short term (say you are keeping these 4-6 weeks) then clear PET plastic bottles (the type lemonade, coke etc. comes in) are fine. If it’s more than this then use green or brown PET bottles, beer bottles or Groesch style bottles. This is essential as the green/brown lining prevents the transmission of UV light which will ruin your cider over time.

Transfer the cider into the bottle and add one rounded teaspoon of sugar per litre for a slight sparkle and two rounded teaspoons per litre for a more heavily carbonated drink. Seal the bottles and transfer to a warm place for 3 to 4 days (this will give you a secondary fermentation) and then move to a cool place for storage. Enjoy your cider!

Perry

The Pears should be dealt with in very much the same way as the apples. They do ripen earlier and once they have they have no keeping qualities.

Apple Juice for Drinking

For a good balance a 70% sweet apple and 30% cooking apple works well. Once you have pressed the juice this will keep for 4-5 days in a fridge. For longer keeping then either add preservative, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) which will allow keeping times of up to 3 weeks (this is such a shame), or better still store in plastic cartons  and freeze immediately after pressing. This juice just tastes so good.