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Fruit Juice Cider

Simple homemade fruit cider from fruit juice and yeast

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 for this type of homemade alcohol.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 gallon of 100% 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. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the juice bottle. The yeast should start to hydrate and activate immediately.
  3. 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, remove the airlock and replace the original cap. Alternatively, bottle the cider for proper carbonation. See the section above for more details.
  6. Store the jar in the fridge to finish fermenting.
  7. Every few days open the cap to release the build-up of pressure in the bottle. The cider is finished when it is sparkling and tastes good. This is really a matter of personal preference, so taste it every 2-3 days. It will become less sweet and more alcoholic as time goes on.

Notes

  • Choose clear fruit juices, like grape, apple or pear. Don’t try this recipe with orange juice or pineapple juice because it causes the yeast to become stringy and it won’t ferment as well.
  • 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. Here is my post on how to use a hydrometer to accurately measure alcohol content.
  • If you don’t add sugar, cap the juice after 3 days to ensure you have enough sugar to carbonate the drink. Otherwise, let it ferment for 5 days.
  • If you want a dry, wine-like hooch, keep fermenting until the airlock stops bubbling. The resulting hooch won’t be sweet or carbonated.
  • 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