121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
A very useful book,
This review is from: Real Cider Making on a Small Scale (Paperback)
I wrote the review below four years ago, but nothing's changed other than I still refer to the book and I still make good cider. Well worth buying
Real cidermaking is an excellent book for a newcomer to cider making. I bought it last year and followed what it said, and this year we are drinking lovely dry sparkling cider from our two apple trees. It was our first time ever trying to make cider, and the results are truly fantastic.
It is very much geared to the home cider maker who has tree with a lot of apples and wants to use them.
It usefully tells you why you should do something - eg sterilising properly - and what happens when you don't. This type of approach ensures that you don't cut corners because you know the consequences of doing so.
By and large the book is clear but I found that because you are making cider from real apples, and not using a kit, it pays to read it several times before trying to make cider. We found that for two trees-worth of apples, it took us a whole day just to press the apples, so it's not something you can do in an afternoon - you need to plan ahead.
It also has a useful diagram of how to make a cider press, which I intend to follow this year.
I recommend this book whole heartedly, and I would also recommend that anyone attempting to make cider should try to get two presses, as this is the time consuming part. 2011 update: two presses is a good investment as this really speeds the process up.
The book mentions pounding up apples in a bucket (much to the annoyance, it seems, of another reviewer), but we were lucky enough to borrow a scratter and this does make pulping the apples much easier. That said, scratters aren't cheap - around £200 or so. I recommend trying to borrow and press and scratter if you are making the first time.
But back to the book - it's a great guide.