An annual rite of autumn for many apple growers is to turn part of their apple harvest into cider. Making apple cider is a process that takes several days from start to finish, but the apple cider you create will be worth the work and time. Use any kind of apple, as long as they are free of decay or bruises.
Sanitize all of the bottles and equipment you will be using to make the apple cider by washing them in hot, soapy water. Rinse the equipment. Fill the sink with warm water and add 1 tbsp. of chlorine bleach to the water. Soak all equipment and bottles in the bleach water for one minute. Remove the equipment and drain before using,
Wash the apples and cut away any bruises or spoiled areas. Core the apples and process the apples through a juicer for best results. If you do not have a juicer, process the cored apples in the food processor.
Pour out the apple juice you get from the juicer into sanitized glass bottles, filling them to just below the rim. If you used a food processor to process the apples, pour the apple puree into the cheesecloth and squeeze the apple juice from the puree through the cheesecloth into the sanitized glass bottles.
Place the cotton plugs onto the filled glass bottles and allow the apple juice to sit at a temperature of 72 degrees for between three and four days. During this time, apple sediment will settle on the bottom of the bottles and bubbles will rise to the tops of the bottles. The apple cider is finished when you see the sediment on the bottom of the bottles and bubbles at the tops of the bottles.
Remove the cotton plugs from the bottles and siphon the cider. Insert one end of the rubber tube into the bottle and suck the other end of the tube like a straw with your mouth. Suck until you draw cider into your mouth and then pinch the tubing securely between your thumb and index finger.
Transfer the tube to another sanitized bottle that is approximately 6 inches lower than the first bottle. This will force the liquid from the first bottle through the tube into the second bottle. Allow the liquid to flow from the first bottle to the second bottle until nothing is left except sediment.
Pour the cider into the large pot and heat it to a temperature of 160 degrees to pasteurize it. Remove the cider from the heat source when it reaches 160 degrees and allow it to cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled cider into sterilized glass bottles and store at 40 degrees. Drink the cider within five days.