Last autumn, during apple season, we frequented a family-owned orchard located about 5 miles up the road in the Lake Champlain Islands. We've gone there since before our 5 yr-old daughter was born and returned every summer for weekly indulgences of cider donuts, utility apples, kiddie playground, and cider by the 5 gallon carboy. It's run by an lovely older couple, who are always working the register, cider press or tractor and are in such amazing shape that I'm convinced an apple a day may just keep the doctor away for good. They are also the most friendly and genuine people I've ever met. I'd like to be them one day. Not now, since I'm only half their age, but if I could live the remainder of my days the way they do, I would not complain. I've certainly never heard them complain for the amount of tedious, yet enjoyable, work that must possess their livelihood.
Last fall I would swing by with the girls for 10 gallons of fresh cider, which required a minimal amount of time to convert into hard cider. Recipe: take 5 gal cider, remove <1 gal to dissolve 2+ lbs of brown sugar, return to carboy and pitch in champagne yeast. Bottle when airlock is quiet ~2 weeks. One tip...check the sweetness before bottling. If it is dry, add some bottling sugar (1/2 c to 5 gal). But if your brew is still sweet, reconsider bottling it or don't add any sugar. We've had exploding bottles that had to be uncapped (for safety) and consumed immediately due to incomplete fermentation.