Please understand that this is not a typical, structured, exact recipe. I want to tell you how I made my Apple Peel Cider, roughly, and then let you have your own fun experiment with your apple scraps. It’s totally interesting, and not much work– why not have a go, right?
1. Start with organic, unwaxed apples. The best ones are not from the supermarket, but ones you know the origins of somewhat– a local orchard, your farmer’s market, or a neighborhood tree. This is the perfect project for doing after you have processed a bunch of apples for something else– apple sauce, pie fillings, preserves, etc. Save your peels (cores too, if they are not too funky– but avoid the big moldy patches you have to cut out of windfall apples.) Collect all of your peels.
2. Put them in a fermentation bucket, and pour boiling water over them. I used about equal parts water to peels by volume (not weight.) I added some chunks of peeled fresh ginger, and recommend it, if you like ginger too. (I had no trouble with developing the yeast this way, but you might want to keep a handful of peels out of the boiling water, and add them once the mix has cooled, to be 100% sure that you don’t kill all of the yeast with the hot water.)
3. Cover the apple peels and water with lid, and let everything sit for 3 – 4 days. This will allow the yeast to develop and begin fermenting the apples.
4. Strain the liquid from the peels and add sugar. I used organic natural sugar and added about 1 c to 1 gal of liquid. The formula for a stronger cider is more sugar + more time = higher alcohol content. I wasn’t going for a super strong drink, and the result has been really light, tart and fresh.
5. Pour the cider mix into sterilized demijohns, put the airlock on, and let it do its thing somewhere away from the cold for 2 weeks. You can of course taste after 1 week, and see where you’re at. If the cider is already drier than you want, then you can add some sugar. Again, this is very experimental and is a virtually free science project that will yield a fun home brew!
6. When it’s just slightly sweeter than what you want, it’s time to bottle. Be sure to use swing-top bottles, because it is a fizzy drink and will burst regular bottles if there isn’t a mechanism to release small amounts of CO2 when it builds up.
7. Open a bottle within a couple of days, and see what it’s doing. If you like where your cider’s at, then put the other bottles in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process, and drink sooner rather than later. This will continue to ferment, and you may get a more champagne-like product than you want it if you leave it for too long. The over-fermented version usually tastes awesome, but you are likely to lose most of it to the geyser-effect when you open the bottle.