Original hypothesis formed August, 2018
The Layger Brewhaus Super Simple Infinite Cider Theorem Recipe takes longer to read than it does to make!
Our simple cider recipe requires just three ingredients, no sanitizer, and no special gear.
Best of all, our recipe makes an infinite amount of still (uncarbonated) hard cider at a rate of about 3 quarts per week.
Juice/Cider: Buy two, 3 qt jugs of Santa Cruz organic apple juice or similar big jug of any apple cider or apple juice that is cloudy and not clear. Make sure it was pasteurized but has no preservatives (like benzoates, sulfates, etc.) Ascorbic acid is okay. You want 100% juice.
Yeast: Buy a brewing or winemaking yeast from your local homebrew store. For drier, winelike flavors (and higher alcohol content), use champagne yeasts. For more fruity, sweeter, or appley flavors, try White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast, Wyeast 4766 Cider, or Nottingham Ale Yeast.
- Pour about 2 cups cider from the jug into a pot, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Add half a yeast packet to the jug, cap, and shake vigorously.
- Once the cider has reached a boil, remove from heat and add about 1 cup brown sugar. Mix.
- Flavor time! Add any flavoring agents to your cider now. Consider oak chips, hops, maple syrup, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, berrie, etc.. After adding them, ensure the cider stays over 160 for about 5 minutes to ensure pasteurization. If you want to make a hopped cider, add ½ oz hops now and simmer for 20 minutes. For aroma hops, add ¼ oz with 2 min left in the boil. After the boil time is reached, remove all hops.
- Let the hot cider cool for a few minutes then pour as much as you can back into your cider jug. (Leave about an inch of headspace in the jug.) Recap and shake for 1-2 minutes to mix and aerate the cider.
- Uncap the jug and place it into a boil kettle or 5 gal bucket and add the lid to cover. (Or, if you’re a scaredy cat, cap with a sanitized homebrewing airlock.)
- Ferment around room temp. For sweeter cider, ferment 4-5 days. For drier cider, ferment up to 10 days. Mess with the fermentation temp and timing to see what happens!
- Whenever you decide to stop fermenting, cover your jug’s mouth with foil and transfer it to your fridge. This will put the yeast to sleep and settle them to the bottom of the jug.
- Wait 2 days for the yeast to settle at to the bottom of the jug then pour your cider into a clean serving vessel, taking care to keep the yeast cake inside the jug.
- Keep the hard cider refrigerated and away from kids. Enjoy!
- If your ciders tend to turn out too dry, save some of the original juice or cider in the fridge to mix later with the fermented cider to add back some sweetness, apple flavor, and cider spices.
The Infinite Cider Part
- If you like the cider’s flavor, reuse your settled yeast! Just get a new jug of cider and repeat steps 1-4 above, then pour your fresh cider into your original jug that contains the yeast layer. Use the new jug’s cap as needed.
- If fermentation seems slow or slow to start on second and later batches, consider adding half a gram (a little less than 1/8th teaspoon) of yeast nutrient at the beginning of step 3.
- If you don’t like the cider’s flavor, consider adding flavoring ingredients at step 5 or starting with new or different yeast.
Proofs of the Infinite Cider Theorem
The Nottingham ale yeast strain begun August 12, 2018:
- The First Batch started Aug 12, 2018. 5 day ferm. Too sweet, good apple flavor.
- The Cinnamon Batch started 8/19/18. Crushed cinnamon sticks, pasteurized. 7 day ferm. Convincing cinnamon aroma. Bitterly dry (started this batch with way more active yeast!) Warms the throat.
- Hops Batch started 8/28/18. Boiled ½ oz UK Fuggles 20 min. 6 day ferm. Sweet, a little toothpasty? Not good!
New Nottingham ale yeast half packet begun Sep 5, 2018:
- Bob’s Big B Farm Apple Cider started 9/5/18. No sugar or adjuncts added. One of the best batches so far. Unfortunately, this cider is hard to find!
- Santa Cruz started Sep 16. No adjuncts. Took it to Brandon’s for dinner Sep 22!
- Martinelli’s Apple Juice started Sep 23. Pretty dry, not much apple flavor.
- Tree House 100% Pure Pressed Honeycrisp 100% Apple Juice with 1/2 Cup brown sugar begun Oct 3 and fermented 5-6 days. This was my favorite cider so far! This juice retained much more of its apple flavor and sweetness and the unfiltered juice had a creamy mouthfeel. The yeast added a slight and pleasant bready flavor.
- Tree House 100% Pure Pressed Honeycrisp 100% Apple Juice with 1/2 Cup brown sugar begun Oct 23. I started this batch with the same yeast (the Sep 5 batch) from the prior batch that had been hanging out in the fridge in a foil-topped glass jar for nearly 2 weeks. Let’s see how this goes… (After just 12 hours, the yeast were actively fermenting.) I stopped ferm on Oct 29 (6 days), chilled 24 hours, and decanted. This cider is a little too dry and not quite as tasty. I think a 5 day ferm might be ideal.
- The Steph B. Batch: Big B’s Fabulous Organic Spiced Apple Cider with 1/2 Cup brown sugar started Tues, Nov 6. Ferment it 4 ½ days til morning of Sunday Nov 11, then chill to serve to Steph B. Sunday afternoon. This is the best batch so far! The sweetness was just right and the spices from the cider rang out loud and clear.
- “The Nick”: Started Nov 11, chilled Nov 16. This was was Trader Joe’s Apple Cider with no brown sugar added.