Making Sparkling Hard Cider

Sparkling CiderAfter making quite a few batches of still cider I finally decided to make the jump into sparkling cider. I was reluctant at first, reading about force carbonation and the equipment required. But after further research I was able to get a good idea of what I would need to make it the old fashioned way.

Depending on your desired level of carbonation, this can be done in either beer bottles or champagne bottles. I wanted more carbonation, closer to the level of champagne, so I decided to go with thick champagne bottles with plastic stoppers and wire restraints.

The idea is pretty simple, dormant yeasts still exist in your cider, they just don’t have any thing to eat. Once you add sugar the yeast ‘wake up’ and get right back to work eating sugar and producing alcohol and co2 byproducts. In an air tight bottle there is no place for the co2 to escape, so it dissolves into the liquid; carbonation!

With all the supplies gathered, all that is needed is hard cider that has completed fermentation and has fully ‘cleared’, and a tiny bit of sugar (called primer in this case). I process one gallon of cider at a time, this makes five 750ml bottles.


adding priming sugar filled and capped champagne wire twisted

Links that helped in my research: