It can be tricky to figure out if beer, wine, and cider are soy-free. Beer is the most likely to contain soy, and while wine and cider seem to be okay (but since there is no way to know for certain) there is always some element of risk. Homebrewing is a great way to know the ingredients of your beverage, and it’s even kind of fun! Cider is the easiest, so we recommend starting with that if you are unsure. We’ve broken down different aspects of homebrewing below.
The big burden to homebrewing is having the right equipment. We purchased a small kit (from Brooklyn Brew Shop) that came with everything we need, including a 1-gallon jug for fermenting and a siphon for transferring liquid. Additionally, we also purchased some swing-top bottles to hold the cider once finished. We like the swing tops because they are re-usable! The brewing kit we have also came with instructions that were both comprehensive and easy to follow.
Feel free to press your own cider, but know that you don’t have to. We look for cider that is preservative-free (important for the yeast!) and buy it off the shelf. Most of the grocery stores around us carry cider that is 100% pressed apples with no additives, usually in the produce section. Different varieties of apples will have different flavors, so you can experiment here until you find a brand or taste that you like.
We use packets of wine yeast to brew cider. While you can use any type of yeast, we’ve found that wine yeast results in a flavor that we enjoy and doesn’t make the cider too weak or too strong. Again, this is a great place to experiment until you make a cider that you love!
Homebrewing is a fun hobby that also aligns with the general food intolerance principle of knowing what is in your food. If you are looking for a bit of an adventure, pick up a kit and make some homebrew cider this fall! Cheers!