Black Magic Hard Cider Recipe By Prickly Apple Cider™️

Here’s my hard cider recipe for making one gallon of my Black Magic Hard Cider. The Magic is using the peels to add tannins and color.



  • 16 Pounds Organic Arkansas Black Apples
  • Pectic Enzyme
  • SafAle S-04 Yeast


  • Fermenter
  • Airlock & Drilled Stopper
  • Apple Peeler (Corer/Slicer Removed)
  • Juicer (Masticating Preferred)
  • Sanitizer


REMEMBER: Sanitize Everything!

  • Peel the apples and place the skins in the fermenter.
  • Add the Pectic Enzyme to the fermenter.
  • Juice the peeled apples and strain the juice into the fermenter.
  • Add 2.5-3.0 grams of SafAle S-04 Yeast (or the entire packet)
  • Install the airlock and fill it with inexpensive vodka.
  • Let it ferment for 2-3 weeks out of the sun and in a spot between 60-74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Racking & Aging


  • 1-2 Gallon Keg
  • Auto-Siphon
  • CO2 Cylinder
  • Sanitizer


Rack the cider once the airlock stops bubbling regularly, the lees settle to the bottom, and the cider starts to clarify. You can see how the cider and peels have changed as they fermented. I stitched a pre/post photo together. See how the peels changed color.
  • Remember to Sanitize!
  • Use the Auto-Siphon to move or rack the cider into the keg.
  • Avoid siphoning up the lees.
  • Purge your keg of air and pressurize it to 10 psi.
  • Age the cider for at least 4 weeks or up to 8 weeks.

Filtering & Carbonating


1-2 Gallon Keg

  • Filter System (Adapted Water Type Shown)
  • 1 Micron Filter

CO2 Cylinder


  • Yes, Sanitize Everything!
  • Connect your filter system.
  • Filter the cider to at least 1 micron (I want it to be crystal clear. You can age it longer if you don’t have a filter system and you can also filter using a 0.5 micron filter).
  • Purge the keg of air and pressurize it to 20 psi.
  • Agitate the keg with the CO2 cylinder attached.
  • Place the keg with the CO2 cylinder attached in a spot out of the sun and where the temperature will be 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 week. This should force-carbonate the cider to around 2.0 Volumes of CO2.



  • Counter Pressure Bottle Filler
  • CO2 Cylinder
  • 10-12 Clean 12 oz Beer Bottles
  • 15 Bottle Caps
  • Manual Bottle Capper
  • Sanitizer
Packaging Equipment


  • Place your keg in the refrigerator the night before you plan to bottle or longer if you have the space.
  • One last time... Sanitize Everything!
  • Connect the counter-pressure bottle filling system.
  • Ideally, grab a friend and have them cap each bottle as it’s filled.
  • Set your CO2 pressure to around 6 PSI.
  • Insert the counter-pressure fill tube in your bottle.
  • Open the CO2 valve and ensure the bottle is sealed.
  • Open the leakage valve slightly on the counter-pressure system.
  • Open the cider valve on the counter-pressure system.
  • Monitor the cider for foaming. Reduce the leakage if the cider is foaming or increase if it’s not filling fast enough.
  • Fill the bottle to about 1.5 inches below the top.
  • Remove the filler tube and cap.
  • Repeat until all the cider is bottled.

Refrigerate and Enjoy!

Want to learn more or need more details? Read my book.

Want more hard cider recipes, tips for making hard cider, or ideas on experiencing hard cider, check out Prickly Apple Cider.

Created By
Prickly Cider


All images are the property of Thomas J. Chezem and protected under copyright laws.