Sparkling Hard Cider from Apple Juice

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5 from 1 review

This is a super simple recipe for DIY hard apple cider. You just need a few pieces of equipment, apple juice, yeast, and spices! This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes and ferments for about three weeks before aging and bottling.


  • 64 fl oz organic apple juice
  • 75 grams organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon chips (optional)
  • 1 small clove (optional)
  • 2 grams cider yeast


  1. Clean and sanitize all of your equipment. I like to wash the jug with soap and water, allow it to air dry a bit, then rinse the jug with cheap vodka, and allow it to fully air dry.
  2. Once your equipment is prepped, add 1 cup of boiling water to the 1/2 gallon jug.
  3. Add the brown sugar to the jug and swirl it around to dissolve. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add in the cider yeast and mix gently by swirling. Wait about 30 minutes for the yeast to get frothy and active.
  5. Carefully using a funnel, add the pasteurized apple juice to the jug leaving two inches of headspace (see pictures above)
  6. Add the cinnamon and clove (optional)
  7. Cap the jug and swirl it around for about a minute.
  8. Remove the cap and place the airlock and stopper in the jug (see pictures above).
  9. After a few hours, you should notice bubbling in the cider and activity in the airlock.
  10. Allow the cider to ferment for 7 to 14 days until the bubbling has completely stopped and you no longer see activity in the airlock. At this point, you should see sediment in the bottom of the jug.
  11. Remove the airlock and using a funnel, transfer the cider to a new, clean jug for aging. Be careful pouring, pour gently, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the original jug.
  12. Allow the cider to age at a cool room temperature or in the fridge in the fresh jug for four weeks. You can use the airlock stopper to seal the jug again or a regular cap.
  13. After aging, you can rack the cider again with more aging time or move on to bottling.
  14. To Bottle the cider with honey: Clean and sterilize two 1-liter carbonation-safe bottles. Add one tablespoon of honey to each 1 Liter bottle. Using a funnel, transfer the cider from the aging jug into the carbonation-safe bottles, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the jug. Cap the bottles and invert gently twice to mix the honey with the cider.
  15. Allow to ferment in the bottles at a cool room temperature for five days, then immediately store in the fridge. (check the carbonation by carefully opening a bottle over the sink, if it is not carbonated enough you can leave it at room temperature for seven days.)
  16. You can age the cider for 3 more weeks in the fridge before enjoying it chilled. Keep refrigerated.


  • Use a 1/2 gallon jug for this recipe (unless you are doubling the recipe)
  • You can use wild yeast in this recipe. You only need about two tablespoons of wild yeast starter in place of the packaged  yeast in the recipe. Click here to learn how to make a wild yeast starter.

Keywords: cider, apple, alcohol, hard cider