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Cheats Cider

  • 3lt bottle apple juice, preservative free
  • 1 t bread yeast
  • *Optional: 1 tsp (for a standard 375mL beer bottle – 2 tsp for 750mL etc.) sugar per bottle when bottling
  • Balloon with pin prick in it to let out a bit of gas, or airlock if you want to be fancy.

Pour out some apple juice from the bottle to create ‘headspace’.  Add teaspoon of yeast, put on lid and shake to mix.  Replace lid with balloon with a pin hole in it to act as an airlock.  Leave to ferment.  Rack into bottles.

To make fizzy cider if it isn’t already, add a teaspoon of sugar to the bottles before sealing tightly.  Wait at least 2 weeks before drinking.

It improves with cellaring.

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Apple pulp or scraps (cores, skins)
  • Water
  • Cloth, string and vessel

Use the pulp from apples you’ve made into cider, or cores and skins from other dishes.  Put in a jar, add water (up to 70% water, but more pulp to water is better), cover and leave to steep a few days/weeks.   Strain off pulp reserving the liquid.  Open ferment the liquid – open container covered with a cloth (tie it on tightly to keep bugs out), until it smells and tastes ‘vinegary’ – this could be months.  Optional: give it a boost by adding some “Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother” to the mix – this gives it ready made acetobacter to kickstart the right kind of fermentation.  This isn’t essential though, as the right yeast is all around us.  Bottle, and use for a health drink (yum!) straight or diluted, hair rinse, sting treatment, skin toner, in salads etc.  ACV has millions of uses.

If it gets a white film on top, don’t worry, it’s a harmless yeast.  Scoop it off and keep going.

Sweet Fruit Wine

  • 2 kg Seasonal fruit eg Kiwifruit, feijoa, plums, apricots, blueberries
  • *Optional: Pectinase for ‘jammy’ fruits (e.g. plum) to stop gelling.
  • 1.5 kg sugar
  • Water to make up to 5 litres
  • Yeast – e.g. SN9 or VR21
  • Airlock and vessel

Juice and strain fruit.  Optional: add pectinase and leave overnight.  Bring fruit juice to boil to sterilise, add sugar and stir to dissolve, add boiled water to bring to 5lts, put in fermentation vessel (if it is over 80 C it will sterilise the fermentation vessel), cool to room temperature, add yeast & stir to oxygenate, put on airlock, allow to ferment until bubbling stops, rack off wine into sterilised bottles leaving sediment (lees) behind.

Real Easy Wild Yeast Apple Cider

  • Apples – 8kg makes about 5 litres.
  • Airlock and vessel


Juice whole, unwashed (minus bird poop), apples, strain off any pulp or froth.  Put into a sterilised fermentation vessel and insert an airlock.

Don’t add water.  No yeast is needed, as wild yeasts on skin of apples will start the fermentation – it could take a couple of weeks to start, depending on whether your apples were washed at some point.

Leave to ferment.  Bottle when fermentation stops (1-3 months), being careful to exclude sediment.

Cider gets better the longer you leave it.  Try some at 6 monthly intervals until it is irresistible.  Experiment with different apples and apple combos – the taste will change with the fruit.  Can also work with pears, or mix.