We have an orchard up the street from us that presses some pretty tasty cider. They do pasteurize it (they "flash pasteurize" by passing the cider through a "hot spot" momentarily) but will set aside batches of unpasteurized cider if someone asks for it.
I'd like to make some hard cider but haven't done it before. When I was about 20, my buddy and I tried to make some watermelon wine and that was a disaster! He and I did make beer many years ago, but I've long forgotten all of the particulars. I figure there's no better place to turn than the fine folks here at GTT (even if some of us are boxed wine drinkers! ) to get some instruction on turning out some great hard cider.
I wouldn't mind making a few smaller batches of stuff if it's not a lot of trouble to do. Can I make the hard cider right in the plastic jugs that the cider comes in? Or should I do this in 5 gallon batches?
I am also looking for specifics on what kind of yeast to use. Someone in another thread mentioned champagne yeast makes a dryer cider. I wouldn't mind some of that, but would also like some traditional hard cider as well.
What about bottling? Do I need to start saving wine bottles (instead of drinking out of the box!) or can I use canning jars?
Sorry for the dumb questions, but like I said, it's been years since I've done any of this. So, let's let the learnin' commence!!