Beat the lockdown ban on alcohol with this easy cider recipe, using 100%, preservative-free fruit juice and wine yeast.
- 4l 100%, preservative-free fruit juice (just in bottles or cartons from the supermarket)
- 200ml extra-strong green tea (4 bags, leave them to steep until the water has cooled)
- A generous squirt of lemon or lime juice
- 800g refined white table sugar (or 600g if using grape juice)
- 1 flat teaspoon high alcohol tolerance wine yeast
- 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient (for faster fermentation)- 1 teaspoon of pectolase (for a clearer wine)
- 1 teaspoon of bentonite (food grade clay for a clearer wine)- 3 teaspoons of food grade vegetable glycerine (for body and sweetness)
1. Thoroughly sterilise a 5l fermentation vessel (a large mineral water bottle will do).
2. Put all ingredients into the bottle, and shake until all the sugar is dissolved.
3. Insert a bung with a bubbler airlock into the top of the fermentation vessel (fill the airlock with water to allow CO² to escape without allowing bacteria into your wine). NB. A balloon or condom with a single pinprick, stretched over the top of the bottle may be a viable alternative, in a pinch.
4. Put the fermentation vessel in a bucket in case there is an active fermentation and the wine foams out of the airlock (if this happens removed the airlock, clean, and replace it). At some points in the fermentation process it may look revolting, but don’t worry unless you see mold forming, in which case you may need to throw out the wine and start again.
5. After a few weeks all the bubbling will have stopped and the yeast and any fruit pulp will drop to the bottom of the fermentation vessel; it is now ready to bottle. At this point, you could optionally add a Campden tablet and/or wine stabiliser (if you do this wait a couple of days before the next step).
6. Use a hose to siphon the wine from your fermentation vessel into clean bottles, which you should seal and store in a cool place. *Do not* disturb or suck up any of the sediment from the bottom of the fermentation vessel into your bottles. (NB. If you have deactivated your yeast with a Campden tablet, you could sweeten your wine at this point with the addition of some filtered pineapple juice or sugar syrup, but if there is still active yeast in your wine this will be fermented, and could cause your bottle to explode). It may taste better if you leave it to age for a few months.