A HUGE shout over to Ed Wort over at homebrewtalk.com for have the best and simplest recipe for a german cider. With how easy this is and how cheap it is to make so much of it, this has become a permanent tap in my kegerator. The entire recipe is just apple juice, sugar, and yeast. I would say what comes out of it all is a very dry white wine that you can do just about anything with. We like to slightly carb it up and drink it without any sweeteners. You can also mix it with some Sprite, or just a Splenda packet to give it a little sweetness. We’ve also followed the directions to make a really good grog for the cold days. Mix about 4 ounces of it with a cinnamon stick and a couple cloves, let it boil then steep for about a half hour. Pitch in some more fresh apfelwein just to warm it up a bit and add a couple splashes of rum. Will warm you up from the inside out 🙂
Here is a link to the actual page, though because the directions are so short, I’ll just paste them below. I personally like to age it 3 months or longer, which is why I try to always have one fermenting while one is on tap.
5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (No preservatives or additives) I use Tree Top Apple Juice
2 pounds of dextrose (corn sugar) in one pound bags
1 five gram packet of Montrachet Wine Yeast
At least 5 Gallon Carboy (I use a Better Bottle)
Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock
First sanitize the carboy, airlock, funnel, stopper or carboy cap.
Open one gallon bottle of apple juice and pour half of it into the carboy using the funnel.
Pour in the mixture of Apple Juice and Dextrose from both bottles into the carboy.
Add all but 1 quart of remaining 3 gallons of apple juice to the carboy.
I am able to fit all but 3 ounces of apple juice into a 5 gallon Better Bottle. You may need to be patient to let the foam die down from all shaking and pouring.
Put your stopper or carboy cap on with an airlock and fill the airlock with cheap vodka.
Ferment at room temperature. It will become cloudy in a couple of days and remain so for a few weeks. In the 4th week, the yeast will begin to drop out and it will become clear. Racking to a secondary is not necessary. It ferments out very dry (less than 0.999)
Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer.