Make Your Own Homemade Cider

Why not have some fun making your own homemade cider with our quick and easy step-by-step guide. It’s the perfect way to make the most of your bumper apple and pear harvests.

apple crusher cider fruit pressing cider fermentation fruit cider


Making your own is as easy as apple pie (excuse the pun!). We had lots of fun making cider with our founder, John M. After a huge harvest of apples they were all crushed, pressed and made into some fabulous cider. Our Gardening Angels were queuing up for refills!

Fruit Tree Picker Harvest Apples Cider

Step 1: Harvesting
You can use any fully ripe apples to make cider, but we recommend a nice mixture of sweet, eating and sour.

You can tell if they are ripe by looking at the colour of the pips. They will be black if fully ripe, however do not harvest apples if their pips are a very light brown.

Pears should be harvested five to seven days before pressing to increase their flavour.

You will need four times the volume of apples and pears for the volume of cider you hope to make.

You can have lots of fun harvesting apples and pears with our ingenious Fruit Tree Picker. Say goodbye to those unsafe wobbly ladders and make light work of picking hard to reach fruits. The grabbing prongs pull the fruit off the branches and the cushioned basket prevents bruising.

Apples CiderStep 2: Preparing Your Fruit
There’s no need to worry about bruises which put you off eating them fresh, but it is a good idea to remove any discard fruit from your harvest.

Give your apples and pears a good wash to remove any soil, dirt or slime – you don’t want any of this going in your delicious cider!

Next slice your fruit into quarters.

Apple Pear Crusher Cider Pulp

Step 3: Crush & Pulp
There are a few different ways you can crush your fruit. If you like to do things the traditional way, use a 10-12 cm square wooden beam about 2 metres in length to batter the fruit in a bucket. Be careful though, as it is easy to get carried away!

If you like to do things the easy way, pulp your fruit using an Apple & Pear Crusher. Its a simple tool that attaches to a drill so you can easily crush fruit in the provided bucket so it’s ready to be pressed.

Simply pop your prepared fruit into the bucket, apply the lid and secure the spindle in the chuck of drill and start crushing.

If you want to increase the scale of your cider-making operation, we recommend our Classic Apple & Pear Crusher, which has even been featured on BBC Gardener’s World! The steel cutters chop the fruit and the rollers crush it to a great quality pulp ready for pressing. This beautiful-looking crusher is designed with a cast iron hand-wheel that builds up momentum for easier fruit crushing. It also connects directly to our 12 Litre Fruit Press.

Step 4: Pressing Your Fruit
If you own a juicer you can skip this step and make light work of juicing apples and pears. Simply wiz your fruit through the juicer and collect.

Building your own fruit press is an option with several extensive guides available online. However, if you’d rather skip the DIY task we have a great selection of fruit presses we think you’ll love.

A Worktop Fruit Press is ideal for pressing smaller amounts of crushed fruit, producing up to three pints of juice. They’re even small and light enough to be used on a table or worktop.

Add a Straining Bag, drop your fruit into your press and turn the handle. The juice will go straight into a tray which includes an outlet tube so you can easily transfer the juice into a container. 

If you’re pressing larger amounts of fruit then try a 9 Litre Fruit Press or 12 Litre Fruit Press - these bigger presses make light work of large amounts of fruit.

Turn the press down onto the fruit until you feel real tension, and leave in this position for a few minutes. You will see the juice start to run. When the juice stops, go ahead and repeat the process.

In order to keep things healthy you should add a campden tablet for every 4.5 litres of fruit pressed. Campden tablets are a sulfur-based product that is used primarily in wine, cider and beer making to kill bacteria and to inhibit the growth of most wild yeast. Place one at the bottom of the container you are collecting your juice in. You can use a bucket, but make sure it is sterilised.

Cider pH test

Step 5: Adjust The Taste
You may need to adjust the flavour of your pressed fruit based on its acidity levels. Ideally, you should be looking at a reading between 3.6 pH and 4.2 pH.

If the reading is above 4.2 pH then you need to add one level teaspoon per 5 litres of malic acid (natural acid found in apples).

If the reading is below 3.6 pH then you need to add one level teaspoon per 5 of Precipitated Chalk. Mix in either adjustment very well and leave for 15 minutes.

Repeat the process if necessary.

Cider Pressing Apples FermentationStep 6: Fermentation
Once you have collected all your juice it’s time to move it into a container for the fermentation process. We recommend using a demijohn (a large glass bottle with a narrow neck used for brewing). Leave it with the lid loosely off for about 10 – 14 days to ferment. The ideal temperature for this is about between 20-27°C. The natural yeast in the air means you will have a frothing mixture, which will eventually slow down, meaning your cider is ready.

Cider storage wine box

Top Tips
Now that you have finished making your delicious cider, you can store it in our handy 5 Litre Bag In Box. The bag doesn't let air in, helping to preserve your beverage. Cider can turn vinegary if exposed to air, so this is perfect for storage.

Alternatively, you could store your cider in some empty glass bottles, sealing them using a capper.

Need further help?

Our Gardening Angels are here to help you grow strong, healthy plants with bumper harvests. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email at We’re always here to help!

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