How to make your own scrumpy

Making your own cider is something you can do even if you don’t have an orchard or an apple crusher. Here's how to make scrumpy in three simple steps.

Bottle of scrumpy cider surrounded by apples

Making your own cider is something you can do even if you don’t have an orchard or an apple crusher – though you will need a press.

Ask around your neighbourhood for any surplus fruit, then follow our tips below to make this mellow and aromatic drink.

A sure sign of the seasons changing harvest time and the crab apples are abundant this year.
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Step 1

Crush

Leave your apples in a heap for a couple of days to soften, or collect juicy windfallen ones, and then put them through an electric crusher. Alternatively, put the apples in a strong wooden box and use a clean, sharp spade to chop them into small pieces before laying them on a fruit press. Apples vary greatly in the amount of juice they create, but on average 4.5kg (10lb) of apples makes about 4.5l (1 gall) of cider.

Step 2

Press

Check online to get your hands on a cheap second-hand apple press, or see if you can borrow one from a friend. Lay your crushed apples out evenly in layers covered with muslin, then start pressing them so that the juice runs straight into a demijohn or fermenting bin. You can compost the pulp and taste the fresh apple juice at this stage.

Step 3

Ferment

Once the juice is stored, the natural yeasts from the apple skins will work their magic, but if you want to ensure success then add a few teaspoons of yeast to the mix. Fermentation will take anything from 10 days to a month, and then you can sample your beverage or syphon the cider straight into bottles for storage.

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