How Long Does It Take To Make Hard Cider?

Hard cider is one of the easiest alcoholic beverages to make. The basic process is simple and does not require any special equipment. All you need is a clean, food-grade container, fresh cider, and something to ferment the cider with. So, how long does it take to make hard cider?

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How Long Does It Take To Make Hard Cider?

It takes about 2-4 weeks to make hard cider. This includes the time it takes to ferment the cider and then bottle it. The fermentation process can take anywhere from 2-14 days, depending on the temperature and type of yeast you use.

Also, the type of cider you use will affect the fermentation time. For example, using a sweeter cider will take longer to ferment than a drier cider. The sweeter the cider, the more sugar there is for the yeast to eat, and the longer it will take to ferment.

According to Beer Snobs, you can speed up the fermentation process by using a higher quality yeast, fermenting at a higher temperature, or adding more yeast to the cider. However, you will need to be careful not to let the cider get too warm, or the yeast will die. From start to finish, the entire process should take about 2-4 weeks. 

The Cider Making Process

Brewing cider is a simple process that anyone can do. You don't need any special equipment or ingredients, just some fresh cider and something to ferment it with. Here's a basic overview of how to make hard cider:

Choosing Your Apples

The first step is to choose the right apples. You want to use a sweet apple cider for this, as the sugars will be fermented by the yeast to create alcohol. Avoid using any cider that has been treated with chemicals or preservatives, as these can kill the yeast.

You can also make cider from scratch by juicing your own apples. If you do this, be sure to use a mix of sweet and tart apples for the best flavor.

The Primary Fermentation Process

Once you have your cider, it's time to start fermenting. This is done by adding yeast to the cider, which will eat the sugars and turn them into alcohol. You can use any type of yeast for this; however, wine or beer yeast is best.

To start fermentation, add the yeast to the cider and then seal the container. You can use a balloon or airlock to keep oxygen out or just cover the container with a clean cloth.

Allow the cider to ferment for 2-14 days, depending on the temperature and type of yeast you use. The warmer it is, the faster the fermentation process will be. You can speed up fermentation by using a higher quality yeast or by adding more yeast to the cider.

The Secondary Fermentation Process

Once fermentation is complete, it's time to bottle the cider. This is done by transferring the cider to another container, leaving the sediment behind. Be sure to use clean, sterilized bottles for this.

You can then add a bit of sugar to the cider, which will provide food for the yeast and create carbonation. Once the bottles are sealed, they should be stored in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks.

Packaging Time

After 2-4 weeks, your hard cider will be ready to drink. You can then transfer it to bottles or kegs for serving. Ensure that all of your bottles and kegs are clean and sterile before use.

Hard cider can be stored for up to 6 months, although it will be best if consumed within 2-3 months. This will ensure that the cider is at its peak flavor and carbonation.

So, there you have it! That's all there is to making the cider. Just remember to be patient, as fermentation can take some time. However, in the end, you'll be rewarded with a delicious, homemade beverage that's perfect for any occasion.

Factors that Affect Hard Cider Making Time

  • The type of yeast you use will have the biggest impact on fermentation time. A higher-quality yeast will ferment the cider more quickly than a lower-quality yeast.

  • Temperature is also a significant factor. The warmer it is, the faster fermentation will occur. For this reason, it's best to ferment cider in the fall or winter when temperatures are cooler.

  • The amount of sugar in the cider will also affect fermentation time. The sweeter the cider, the more sugar there is for the yeast to eat. This means that fermentation will take longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know When Hard Cider Is Done Fermenting?

You will know that hard cider is done fermenting when bubbles stop passing through the airlock. You can use a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of the cider. When it reaches 1.010 or lower, fermentation is complete.

What Happens If You Stop Fermentation Too Early?

If you stop fermentation too early, the cider will be sweet and will not have the alcohol content that you desire. It will also be more susceptible to spoilage.


Brewing your hard cider is a rewarding process that can be done in a relatively short amount of time. The key is to start with quality ingredients and have patience while the cider ferments. This way, you'll be able to enjoy a delicious and refreshing beverage that you made yourself!

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