The 3-Phases of Natural Fermentation

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The phases of a wild/natural cider fermentation Apple juice fermented using its native microflora (yeast and bacteria) or what is sometimes called a wild fermentation, normally goes through three natural phases(1). Note that the length of each phase is impacted by temperature. The chart reflects a fermentation at temperatures of 14-22C (60-72F). The first phase … Continue reading The 3-Phases of Natural Fermentation

Natural Preservatives: Killer Factors

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Killer toxins to prevent Brettanomyces spoilage In my research on preservatives like Campden (potassium metabisulfite) and potassium sorbate that are commonly used in wine and cider to preserve the cider as well as prevent residual sugar from fermenting, I was always interested in finding alternative methods. Preserving hard cider is generally about stopping various bacteria … Continue reading Natural Preservatives: Killer Factors

Thai Chicken Soup and Cider

Thai Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles

Nothing does a better job of showcasing hard cider than food. My wife and I are hopeful that we can soon restart our cider parties. In the meantime, we continue to explore different food and cider pairings. One of my recent favorites was a spicy Thai chicken soup with rice noodles that my wife made. … Continue reading Thai Chicken Soup and Cider

Apple Tree Propagation: Scion and Bud Grafting

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Apple Tree Propagation: Scion and Bud Grafting Apple trees do not grow true from seeds. Just like people, they take genes from both parents and create a new apple. It may have characteristics of one or both or may end up being something completely different, like your blonde haired sibling in the family. To reproduce … Continue reading Apple Tree Propagation: Scion and Bud Grafting

Experiments in Sweetness: Sweet Hard Cider

Residual Sweetness: Hard Cider’s Elusive Objective

Being able to create a hard cider with some residual sweetness is often referred to as the holy grail of cider. The reason for this is because that sweetness can be used to balance the high acids often found in dessert apples and the tannins found in cider apples. This cider season I set about … Continue reading Experiments in Sweetness: Sweet Hard Cider

Apple Tree: The Pollination Impact of Ploidy

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The impact of ploidy on apple tree pollination. Apple trees are generally not self fertile and even those advertised as such will often be more productive if there is a second variety nearby(1). That doesn’t mean a second tree of the same variety. That means a second variety of apple: GoldRush, Arkansas Black, Dabinett, Yarlington … Continue reading Apple Tree: The Pollination Impact of Ploidy

Stop Killing Your Juice: The Argument Against Campden

Stop Killing Your Juice: The argument against Campden

Usually, my answer to a question about hard cider is “it depends”. I generally try not to be definitive because there are simply so many unknown factors that being definitive is almost always wrong. However, for this article, I’m going to argue a definitive. The definitive is that you should not use Campden tables in … Continue reading Stop Killing Your Juice: The Argument Against Campden

Sensory Impact of Various Compounds in Hard Cider

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Sensory Impact of Compounds in Hard Cider Have you ever wondered how the level of certain compounds can impact the sensory perception of others? Okay, we all know I’m an apple geek so stick with me. Hard cider is generally a balance of sweet, sour, astringency, and bitterness. You can add aroma and we can … Continue reading Sensory Impact of Various Compounds in Hard Cider

Nachos & Hard Cider: Burnt Ends

Burnt Ends BBQ Nachos

WARNING - THIS POST WILL MAKE YOU HUNGRY! We don’t eat a lot of red meat but there are a few holidays where it’s the center piece of the meal. Christmas dinner is one of those and it is built around me cooking a bone-in prime rib. How is this related whatsoever to nachos and … Continue reading Nachos & Hard Cider: Burnt Ends

Yeast Impact on Sugar and Acids

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Yeast impact on residual sugar and acid in cider. While the research by M. Lorenzini and associates was done to assess the impact of yeast on volatile compounds in hard cider(1), I found it interesting for another reason. As part of the study, they noted the amount of ethanol each yeast produced and the corresponding … Continue reading Yeast Impact on Sugar and Acids

Exploring the Colors of Hard Cider

Exploring the color of hard cider.

I’ve talked about the color of hard cider and how the process for making wine can be used as a reference. This is because like wine, cider color can be influenced by the fruit as well as the process. In another post on hard cider color, I explored how to make what I call silver … Continue reading Exploring the Colors of Hard Cider