Peach Hard Cider

peach hard cider recipe

Many people love the combination of peach and apple juices, so making peach hard cider is a great choice!  

While peach juice is not something you can easily buy, there are many alternatives in most grocery stores such as peach nectar, frozen peach segments, or canned peaches.

If you are more ambitious and have access to fresh peaches, you can use them as well (either juicing first or simply segmenting).

Peaches also have the flexibility to be added to primary fermentation as juice or puree, or in secondary fermentation as juice, concentrate, puree, or in chunks.

If you like peaches, you may want to experiment with a variety of options to find the perfect combination for you!  You could also use peaches with a hard cider kit.

This page has 2 great peach cider recipes:

Both hard cider recipes assume you know the basics of making your own hard cider.  If you don’t (or want a refresher), review the main guide to making hard cider.

The goal of the peach hard cider recipes is the make a still, dry cider with noticeable peach taste.  Optionally, you could make adjustments for a sweet and carbonated cider as well.

1-Gallon Peach Hard Cider Recipe

This peach cider recipe will start with a standard fermentation of apple juice, with peaches added during secondary fermentation.  Adding peaches later in the process retains more peach flavor.  I hope you enjoy making hard cider with peaches!

What do you need?

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon apple juice or cider
  • 1 packet Nottingham ale yeast.  See the yeast page for more options.
  • 1-2 pounds fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 campden tablet (if using fresh peaches)
  • (optional) sugar substitute such as xylitoltruvia, or stevia.  Check out my reviews and recommendations for artificial sweeteners.
  • (optional) artificial peach flavoring

Equipment

  • Sanitizing solution
  • 2, 1-gallon glass carboys with rubber stopper and airlock
  • 2, 64-ounce growlers for bottling
  • (optional) Funnel

Instructions

Primary Fermentation

After sanitizing the equipment, pour the apple juice into the carboy.  Add the yeast and attach the stopper and air lock (again, for a much more detailed look at these steps, review the how-to guide or standard recipes).

Secondary Fermentation

Once primary fermentation is complete (either estimated by several days with no bubbling or confirmed via consistent hydrometer readings), you’ll need to prepare the peaches.

  • If you are using fresh peaches, wash and cut them into chunks. Then sanitize by crushing one campden tablet and dissolving in 1/4 cup boiling water and pouring over the fruit. Cover and let sit for 24 hours before using the fruit and juice.
  • If you are using frozen peach segments, freeze and thaw them several times to prepare them to release their juices.  
  • You could use peach nectar or peach concentrate.  You don’t need any preparation in this case.
  • Another option is pre-made peach puree (or make your own from frozen or fresh peaches).  If you do that, use a muslin bag (also called a ‘hop’ bag) to contain some of the solids.  Not using a bag will result in a heavy sediment that may not settle for a very long time.

Put the prepared peaches into the second 1-gallon carboy (after sanitizing).  Pour or siphon the (now hard) cider over the peaches.  You won’t be able to fit all the cider, so you may have to drink some (darn 😉 )

Attach an airlock and leave it in secondary fermentation for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Adjustments and Bottling

When you’ve waited as long as you can stand, open the carboy and taste your peach hard cider.

  • If you still want more peach flavor, you can add artificial peach flavoring.  It’s potent stuff, so be careful and add it a little at a time, tasting often.
  • If you want it sweet, mix in 3 Tbs sugar substitute prior to bottling.  See the page on hard cider sugar substitutes for more information.
  • If you want it carbonated, add priming sugar prior to bottling (1/4 cup apple juice concentrate or 1/8 cup brown or white sugar).

When you are ready, pour or siphon into sanitized bottles, cap, and continue conditioning for a minimum of 2 weeks.  Drink when ready! 

5-Gallon Peach Hard Cider Recipe

This peach cider recipe is more advanced and primarily intended for a person with access to fresh peaches.  Peaches are used heavily in primary and secondary fermentation.  It may be more work, but the final product is delicious!

What do you need?

Ingredients

  • 3 gallons apple juice or cider
  • 3 gallons peach juice (made or bought)
  • 5-7 pounds fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 packet Nottingham ale yeast
  • 3-4 campden tablets (if using fresh peaches)
  • (optional) sugar substitute
  • (optional) artificial peach flavoring

Equipment

  • Sanitizing solution
  • 6.5-gallon fermentation bucket with lid
  • 5-gallon glass carboys
  • 2 airlocks and rubber stoppers
  • Auto-siphon and tubing
  • Bottle filler
  • Hinge-top bottles

If you need to get several pieces of equipment, I would highly recommend you get an cider making equipment kit to get started.

Instructions

Make or Buy 3 Gallons Peach Juice

It’s likely you’ll have to make the peach juice yourself by juicing or pressing fresh peaches. If you do this, make sure to sanitize the juice before using it.  To sanitize, crush and add campden tablets (1 per gallon) to the peach juice to kill the wild yeast on the peaches. Let the peach juice sit for 24 hours after adding the campden tablets.

Alternatively, you could add peach nectar or peach concentrate. If you go this route, there is no need for campden tables as they will have been pasteurized already, as no wild yeast will be present.

Primary Fermentation

After sanitizing the equipment, pour the apple and peach juices into the fermentation bucket.  Add the yeast and attach the stopper and air lock (again, for a much more detailed look at these steps, review the how-to guide or standard recipes.

Secondary Fermentation

After primary fermentation is complete, secondary fermentation can begin.  Start by tasting the cider to determine how much peach flavor remains.  It’s likely that the taste will be subtle and subdued and that you will want to add more peaches into secondary to strengthen the peach notes.  

Add 5-7 pounds of peaches to 5-gallon carboy or fermentation bucket.

  • If you are using fresh peaches, wash and cut them into chunks. Then sanitize by crushing one campden tablet and dissolving in 1 cup boiling water and pouring over the fruit. Cover and let sit for 24 hours before using the fruit and juice.
  • If you are using frozen peach segments, freeze and thaw them several times to prepare them to release their juices.  
  • You could use peach nectar or peach concentrate.  You don’t need any preparation in this case.
  • Another option is pre-made peach puree (or make your own from frozen or fresh peaches).  If you do that, use a muslin bag (also called a ‘hop’ bag) to contain some of the solids.  Not using a bag will result in a heavy sediment that may not settle for a very long time.

Next, rack the peach cider into the container over the fruit (being sure you have excess free head space as the peach chunks could swell and expand).  You may not be able to fit all the cider if you are using a 5-gallon carboy (you may have to drink the excess… darn! 🙂 ).

Attach an airlock and leave it in secondary fermentation for a minimum of 3 weeks. 

Adjustments and Bottling

When you’ve waited as long as you can stand, open the carboy and taste your peach hard cider.

  • If you still want more peach flavor, you can add artificial peach flavoring.  It’s potent stuff, so be careful and add it a little at a time, tasting often.
  • If you want it sweet, mix in 3 Tbs sugar substitute per gallon prior to bottling.  See the page on hard cider sugar substitutes for more information.
  • If you want it carbonated, add priming sugar prior to bottling (1/4 cup apple juice concentrate or 1/8 cup brown or white sugar per gallon).

When you are ready, pour or siphon into sanitized bottles, cap, and continue conditioning for a minimum of 2 weeks.  Drink when ready! 

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