On a whim I just ran out and bought everything i need to make a batch of hard cider. My recipe is definitely not the most complicated, but I have often heard that simple can be better. It also didnt hurt that I just listened to the Basic Brewing Radio podcast from September 14, 2006 when James Spencer interviewed Ben Watson, author of Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own. The interview got me excited about the prospect of hard cider so I wanted to give it a go.
In order to make it I went out and purchased:
1 - 3 gallon carboy
1 - packet of Danstar Nottingham Ale Dry Yeast (they recommended it at my local home brew store)
1 - tube of Wyeast Vitner's Choice Nutrient Blend
3 - gallons of local apple cider.
7 - tbsp organic cane sugar
Originally I wanted to try to make an organic hard cider, but then i realized that organic sweet cider costs $8.50 a gallon. That quickly put an end to that prospect. I ended up only using about 2.5 gallons of the apple cider because I wanted to leave ample room for fermentation.
So now my full carboy is sitting next to my primary fermentation bucket full of my Williams Weizenbeer. I will check on it periodically although I have heard that cider takes at least 3-9 months to fully develop so it could be a long wait.