10 February 2021

Beer, Wine or Cider?

Let's suppose you are a complete beginner. You've decided you would like to make your own plonk but you're not sure where to start. Well, there are several good reasons for starting off by making a batch of cider. Here's a table that illustrates the main points:


Beer

Wine

Cider

Skill level

quite high

moderate

almost none

Processes

several

several

very few

Success?

quite high

high

guaranteed

Equipment

necessary

advisable

none

Time 

1 week

4 weeks

1 week


Of course, it's an oversimplification, and I'm comparing entry level methods using the easiest ingredients and processes. At a higher level, using fresh ingredients instead of commercial juices, the skill level and equipment demands must increase. But by that time, you'll have a few successes behind you and will have acquired the confidence to take on new challenges.

Beer is the most difficult because it requires boiling. Wine is easier but still needs sugar addition so that it can't be made in its original container. Cider only requires you to open the flagon of apple juice and add a little yeast - not difficult! But even if your heart is set on making wine, it makes sense to make some cider first so you'll have something to drink while you're waiting for the wine to finish.


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