I've always wanted to make home brew, but I don't want to do a lot of work, so I became really interested when I came upon Sandor Katz's recipe for quick and easy hard apple cider in his book, Wild Fermentation. I bought a gallon of apple cider from the Libertyville farmers market. I made sure that the cider had no preservatives. I put the plastic jug on my kitchen counter, took the lid off, and covered the top with a single layer of cheesecloth, which I held down with a rubber band. Then I waited. Since I capture yeast for my sourdough bread starter from the air in my kitchen, I figured that the same good guy yeasts would start to grow in the cider. I took a taste of the cider every day to monitor the progress. During the first few days the cider was still sweet, but definitely had some alcohol and some fizz. I knew that the yeast was alive and well, eating the sugars in the cider and creating alcohol and carbon dioxide. As the days went on, the cider became more alcoholic and less sweet. On the sixth day I capped the cider and stopped fermentation by putting it in the fridge, where the cold temperature stops the yeast from working. It's important not to let the fermentation go too long, because if you do, the cider will turn sour.
Is the cider good? Take a look at the photo. I started with the full gallon, and now it's about one half gone, so it's obvious that I like it.