Con Traas from The Apple Farm in Moorstown, Cahir, Co. Tipperary shows us How to make a cracking good cider:
This recipe will make about 5 litres of juice when home pressed.
This is probably a minimum quantity to try starting with. 25 litres would be even better, assuming you have 45-50kg of apples.
Ten kg of Apples (a mix of cooking and eating apples is best)
1 Campden tablet.
A campden tablet contains potassium metabisulphite and when added to juice pre-fermentation, helps to select the better yeasts, and suppresses organisms that might lead to off-flavours. Use one campden tablet per 5 litres juice.
A mill to chop up apples.
A press to extract juice.
A container to hold juice and ferment in.
An air-lock to prevent organisms entering the fermenting juice, but allow pressure release from the fermentation vessel.
Pipes, jugs etc.
Extract the juice from the apples
Crush up one campden tablet for each 5 litres of juice, dissolve in a little juice, and then add the dissolved tablet(s) to the juice container.
Put the air lock on the container.
Place in a cool place to ferment. Unheated garage or garden shed temperature is ideal.
It may take two weeks for fermentation to begin.
Fermentation can take 10 weeks or more.
Keep an eye out for when fermentation slows down. You will know this because the air-lock bubbles less often.
If you taste the cider there should not be much noticeable sweetness left.
If there is sediment in the fermentation vessel, siphon off the clear cider into a clean vessel, and add some fresh juice if you want to make up the full volume.
Place the air-lock onto the new vessel and leave for a few weeks more.
Bottle into plastic containers mixing in as little air as possible (e.g. 1.5 litre plastic Fanta bottles) and keep cool. If pressure builds up, release it by opening the cap carefully.
Do not bottle into glass unless you have a method to test that there is no residual sugar, as otherwise the bottles could begin re-fermenting and explode.
WARNING! Under no circumstances should fermenting juice be placed in a sealed container, as the pressure will cause an explosion which could cause severe damage.
Drink at you leisure.