Hard Cider

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I've often thought about making alcohol, but in my mind it always seemed too complicated, and so was put off.  I recently read a magazine article describing how to make hard cider, and it seemed so simple that I thought I'd give it a try.  Simple is an understatement - TRY THIS!  I think that any regular wine or beer drinker will find that it is easy to acquire a taste for this, and it's much cheaper than wine or beer.

1 gallon of cider or apple juice (I used Mussleman's Cider (not made from concentrate)
1 packet white wine yeast
1 gallon glass jug (I used a gallon wine jug because my cider came in plastic)
1 airlock or plastic tubing, wax, and a small container of water

1)  Put the room temperature cider in the gallon jug;

2)  Dissolve half a packet of the yeast in a little warm water (blood warm, just like proofing yeast for bread).  You should be able to use less yeast, but this is what I did, and it worked well;

3)  Add the yeast and water to the cider;

4)  Put your airlock on top (I wrapped some aluminum foil around it to make a tighter seal); or punch a whole in the lid, run the tubing through the hole (seal it with a little wax) and into the cider and put the other end of the tubing into an open jar or bottle of water.  This will allow the expanding gas to escape without letting wild bacteria in;

5)  Leave it for a week.  It developed a little scum on top after the first day or so, which later disappeared and bubbles began rising to the surface;

6)  Siphon the cider into whatever containers you wish to keep it in (I used half gallon juice jugs).  I used some more of the aquarium tubing.

7)  This is extremely inexpensive - I bought the airlocks and yeast at an organic grocery store ($1.09 and $.89 respectively), the tubing was $1.33 for 8 feet), and the cider was $2.80.  A gallon of cheap wine is $12 or $13, and the same amount of cheap beer is at least $6, compared to a little over $3 for a gallon of good cider.

8)  The alcohol content on this will be less than wine, but can vary so be careful.  We drank this for Thanksgiving, and I discovered that I had somewhat underestimated the potency.