So let me first tell you what gear you need for making wine or cider. There are not actually many things and those should not be expensive.
4. Gravity meter
5. Corker, for wine wine bottle corker for cider crown cap corker and if soda bottles are used then the corker is not needed.
There you have it, those are the equipment. Sure there are a lot of things that you might want to have, but I've listed above the essentials, the things you will definitely need for making cider or wine.
Once the fermenting is ongoing the gravity of the cider needs to be checked. Once the gravity reaches 1.005 (5 on the white area in our meter) it means that there isn't much sugar left anymore for the yeast to feast. If the sugar goes down too much it will mean that the yeast will slowly start to die and we don't want that in this phase.
For cider you also need bottles and lots of them, I prefer to use small glass beer or soda bottles but PET soda bottles work too, they just aren't as nice looking. Only requirement there is to the bottle is that it must tolerate pressure. In cider carbon dioxide forms inside the bottle so regular wine bottles or juice bottles are a no no.
Every bottle needs to be washed and sterilized. That again is the dullest job in the bottling. I used the diswasher as a bottle stand to dry the bottles.
To all bottles a small amount of sugar is added. This sugar will be food for the yeast so the yeast will form the carbon dioxide in the bottle and make the drink sparkling once you open the bottle. After I added the sugar I siphon the juice into the bottles and cork them. Now the bottles are all ready and those should be left to mature for 6 months to year and a half. Depending how long you are able to wait, knowing us it will be closer to 6 months than year and a half.
Now I need to find a place for these bottles for the time they mature. A cellar temperature would be the best, but we don't have any place like that so room temperature will do.