I make hard cider every once in a while. But my method is a bit simpler, and requires less washing of various stuff.
I take a gallon of apple juice. I dump in a small amount of champagne yeast. I leave the lid loose, and sit it on the kitchen floor for 5-6 days. Then I put it in the fridge and tighten the lid. Next day I drink it. Its carbonated from the yeast continuing to work for a while in the fridge with the lid tightened, subjectively id say it has about the same alchohol content as beer, tastes really good, etc.
Been making it like this for years, ever since Rippetoe and I were drinking a hard cider at a local bar (which closed down a while back) and I commented that the stuff was really great but at $4 a glass I wasnt going to be drinking it often, and he said, "well why in the hell dont you just make it yourself?". Which led to him giving me a little packet of champagne yeast from his stash, and directions, and I was off to the races.
Id estimate that home-made, it costs about 50 cents a glass, tasts about the same, and since I usually pair alchohol consumption with reading, being able to drink it at home makes that much easier than drinking it at a bar.