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Fruit Juice Cider

Simple homemade fruit cider from fruit juice and yeast

5 from 1 reviews

It’s easy to make cider from a bottle of fruit juice. This simple recipe results in a sweet and sparkling hard cider that is so much better than Grandpa’s hooch. All you need is a bottle of juice and a packet of yeast!

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 gallon of 100% clear fruit juice (preservative-free)
  • 1/4 tsp champagne yeast (1/4 package)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (optional, see notes)

Instructions

  1. Pour 2 oz of juice out of the bottle (to prevent overflow during fermentation).
  2. Follow the instructions of the packet of yeast and add it to the juice jug. (Some require prehydrating, others can be added right away).
  3. Add the sugar, then top the bottle with an airlock. Agitate the bottle slightly to make sure the yeast is mixed in.
  4. Place the bottle somewhere dark to ferment for 3 to 5 days. A closet or a kitchen cupboard is perfect.
  5. After 5 days the bubbling in the airlock should have slowed down.
  6. Remove the airlock and replace the original cap. Alternatively, bottle the cider for proper carbonation. See the section above for more details.
  7. Store the jar in the fridge to finish fermenting.
  8. Every few days open the cap to release the build-up of pressure in the bottle. The cider is finished when it is sparkling. The cider will become less sweet and more alcoholic as time goes on. So taste it every 2-3 days, and enjoy it when the flavor is to your liking.

Notes

  • Choose clear fruit juices, like grape, apple, or pear. Don’t try this recipe with orange juice or pineapple juice because these juices cause the yeast to become stringy and unappetizing.
  • Without any added sugar, the maximum alcohol content of most juices is around 3%. Adding sugar increases the potential alcohol content. For example, adding 3 Tbsp of sugar will increase the alcohol levels to around 5%.  However, the original sugar content of your juice will also make a difference. The best way to determine how much sugar to add is to use a hydrometer to measure potential alcohol content.
  • If you don’t add sugar, cap the juice after 3 days to ensure you have enough natural sugars to carbonate the drink. Otherwise, let it ferment for 5 days.
  • If you want a dry, wine-like beverage, keep fermenting until the airlock stops bubbling. The resulting beverage won’t be sweet or carbonated. It also won’t be as alcoholic as wine.
  • See the section above for information on how to ferment using a balloon instead of an airlock.

Keywords: alcoholic, quick, easy, cider, wine, grape, cranberry, pear, apple, pomegranate, hooch, spring, summer, fall, vegan, gluten free, cheap, affordable