Links to Online Retailers for Affordable Cider Brewing Supplies:
- www.midwestsupplies.com – Really nice folks, great prices and a good selection of products. Good shipping prices too, even if you are not in the midwest.
- OliveNation on Amazon.com – Add flavor to your cider. All natural and some are organic. All cider can benefit from adding a bit of apple flavor, because it tells your nose, “Hey! Apples!” Other recommended flavors are cinnamon (very aromatic, take it easy!), blackberry or raspberry (beyond these three you are out of my charted waters).
- www.whizbangcider.com – Ready to upgrade to making your own fresh pressed cider? This gent has a real nice blog and kits to make your own press for sale. I have not tried any of his products yet myself, but I hope to soon. Very interesting website to read.
- www.gemvintners.com – Great resource for good prices of all manner of brew and wine equipment I get all of my CellarCraft red wine kits here. Top notch.
- www.homebrew4less.com – Super nice folks and really personal service. Blaine the owner often signs the shipping invoice himself! Once he shipped me a limited release port wine kit that he was saving for himself because they sold out! Wow. Who does that? Fast shipping and great prices. They also have great insider sales if you sign up for their newsletter.
- http://www.carboycleaner.com/ – The CarboyCleaner: If you are making a 5 or 6 gallon batches of brew, you really need one of these awesome felt cleaners that attaches on the end of your drill! I have field tested this product and have nothing but praise. Cleaning gunk out of a carboy with a brush is a near impossible task, but the CarboyCleaner makes cleaning almost fun! Click the link for a very nice video overview of the CarboyCleaner in action.
Curious about the Amazon links all over this site?
Because of my remote location, I have been buying brew supplies on-line for close to 15 years. Amazon simply the best place to buy a wide selection of brew gear (most of the major vendors are now selling there), and they often offer free shipping. I extensively researched the prices on all of these products to get you the best deals, because hey, if you are making your own brew, you want to brag about how affordable it is, right? Buying on Amazon gets you the same products for less money. For situations where a more affordable option is available, you will find links directly to that vendor.
Also, this site is connected with Amazon affiliates, so when you click on one of the links, we get a small kickback from Amazon at absolutely no charge to you. If you’d like to say “thanks” for what you learned on this site, you can click into Amazon from one of these links and any purchase you make will also help support this site. Some folks have let me know they are bookmarking a link and using it whenever they shop on Amazon! Zowie! I so appreciate your kindness and support in keeping this site growing 🙂
If you want to be a success right off the bat, or you are making 5+ gallons, here are books I found useful:
- Cider – Hard and Sweet, by Ben Watson – Sep. 2013. Order it for $15 with free ship from Amazon – This is the book I recommend for anyone wanting to take it to the next level. Lots of practical tips for those of you who have access to fresh milled cider, or who are wanting to make 5+ gallons at a time. Nice overviews of yeast, apples, cider history, and also a chapter on making apple cider vinegar. This is the book I recommend to everyone who is a beginning cider brewer, or moving up into that 6 gallon carboy. I own the second edition, but I bet this newer one is top notch too.
- Craft Cider Making, by Andrew Lea – Feb 2011. $13 ships free from Amazon.com – A wealth of information by the modern godfather of cider brewing, Englishman and food chemist Dr. Andrew Lea. I don’t have this newest update of his book yet, but very much looking forward to getting it. My food science heritage makes me devour anything that Dr. Lea writes, and it you are interested in the “hows and whys” of cider making, then this book is for you. Dr. Lea is an excellent writer and I find his work interesting and entertaining, but if you are not into chemistry, you might find some of it a bit too detailed. Not to worry, this book is full of useful info for even the hobby brewer, and it will tell you everything you need to know to create delicious and repeatedly predictable hard cider. If you really want to hone your craft this is the book to get. His website www.cider.org.uk has an incredible amount of information as well, and is the inspiration for the creation of this website 🙂
Works sited, and info used in developing this site:
-  www.cidermillsupplies.com – Graphic of cider warning label.
-  www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-10-01/How-to-Make-Hard-Cider.aspx – 2007 article from Mother Earth News on hard cider making.
-  www.cider.org.uk/ – Andrew Lea website. Amazingly rich resource by a food chemist on cider pressing and hard cider making. In the UK. This gentleman is the modern godfather of cider in my eyes. Read his site and you will be rolling in cider knowledge. Be the star of your next party with your ready list of heirloom cider apple trees and their characteristics!
-  Photo of cider pressman Mother Earth News – AP photo/dispatch, Eric Albrecht.
-  www.bodensatz.com/ – Directions on starting a siphon without and auto siphon tool.
-  www.michiganappleorchard.com – Graphic of apple orchard.
-  www.istockphoto.com – Graphic of “wild yeast.”
-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_cider – Link to apple cider wikipedia page for history, and cider laws.
-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GravityTap.jpg -Cider on-tap photo, Wikipedia commons.
-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Soda_bubbles_macro.jpg – Bubbles photo, Wikipedia commons.
-  http://www.brewersfriend.com – Over carbonation photo
Have a technical question? Want to try something off-book? Is your cider batch doing something odd? Here are pros who can help you out, fast!
- www.homebrewtalk.com/ – Very nice forum with tips and help for cider makers.
- www.forum.northernbrewer.com/ – Click the link to go directly to Northern Brew’s hard cider forum. These folks seem very helpful to newcomers and cider-noobs!
We are the talk of the town! Here are some blogs and publications about this site:
- My personal interview with the fine folks at Bellevue: http://thebellevuescene.com/falling-hard-for-cider/5980/
- www.beermasters.co – This is a nice American Homebrew site that has mainly recipes for craft beer. They wrote in to say they were getting lots of requests for a cider recipe, and linked back to ‘howtomakehardcider.com.” Thanks, Michael!
Want to take your cider passion Pro? You can actually make a career out of hard cider:
- www.carlingpartnership.com – The UK’s only solely focused drink industry search and selection company offering jobs in the cider drink industry.
About the author of How to Make Hard Cider:
My name is Jessica Shabatura and I am hobby brewer of wine and cider. I have a BS degree in horticulture, and MEd. in Education, and a great love of chemistry, thanks to my father who is a Food Scientist. I created this site as a project for a grad school class I was taking in Educational Technology Media. I do hope you enjoyed it. Thanks so much and happy cidering! If you found this site useful, would like to be linked as a resource here, or have kind suggestions, you may email me at [email protected]. If you found this site useful and would like to send a donation to help us keep growing, I will drop everything and write you a personal note of thanks!