Make your own Cider

If like me you have an apple tree in your garden, and if like me you haven’t touched it in a decade except to pick apples in autumn, then by default you have organic apples. Hooray!

The very best thing you can do with organic apples is to ferment them and produce your own scrumpy cider. Free booze! Hooray again!

Now be careful, because the alcoholic stuff that comes off apples can be potent so if you follow the traditional method of cider making that we advocate you should be in for some pretty amazing, knock-your-socks-off, pink elephants on parade results.

And what is the best method for making organic cider?

Simplicity itself. First sort out good apples from bad and pulp the good ones. A food processor is good and a cheese grater is better than nothing, but the basic requirement is to chop up the apples very small so that you can press the juice out of them.

The press can be nothing more sophisticated than a cheesecloth full of mashed apple beneath a heavy board in your first year. Later on you will want to buy or build a press to extract more juice.

Take your organic apple juice and some cider yeast (or beer yeast or wine yeast or leave it in the garden with the lid off and hope for the best) and mix together in a big lidded bucket. After 4 or 5 days transfer to a demijohn with an airlock and allow to ferment for a week or two till the airlock is still.

Transfer to sterilised bottles and allow your cider to mature for a few months before cracking open a bottle.