Welcome to Cider Culture’s new column about DIY cider making. Our intrepid cider reporter Samantha (also an at-home cider making experimenter) will share her tips, thoughts, frustrations, victories and insights into the DIY magic it takes to turn apples into a mind-bending beverage. Check out her first column for a proper introduction.
Cider has always been my first love when it comes to alcoholic beverages. With such an amazing resurgence of craft cider in the United States over the last decade, why bother to make it at home? Enjoying a well-balanced and tasty cider is as easy as running to the bottle shop and picking up a six-pack. Well, I decided to try making cider to challenge myself to recreate what I was drinking. I knew my first time would be full of fails, but I think that is often why people enjoy DIY projects—they are not afraid to make a few mistakes (even big ones) to achieve that feeling of accomplishment.
When I decided this, however, I had no idea where to begin. I’d dabbled in homebrewing, so I had a few basic supplies, but absolutely no knowledge of the cider-y task at hand. I had to do some research! Thankfully, the trusty internet was right at my fingertips, and I found a ton of great, credible sources to help me get started.
What I discovered was just how experimental people can be and how many ways there are to make this one beverage. Types of apples, tools, fermentation, yeast strains … the amount of information is endless, and I have so much yet that I need to learn.
The sheer volume of resources out there for first-time cider makers can be a bit overwhelming. Check out some of the sites, books and tools that I found particularly useful:
- The New Cider Maker’s Handbook
- United States Association of Cider Makers
- Northwest Cider Association
Why did you decide to make cider? What resources did you use to get started? Please join in on the conversation and let us know!