Crabapples: The Native Apple

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Crabapples: The only types of apple native to North America and Europe. The only apples native to North America and Europe are crabapples. Modern apples, Malus domestica, are genetically linked to Malus sieversii of Central Asia. However, the European crabapple, Malus sylvestris is also prevalent in many modern apple varieties. You can find North American … Continue reading Crabapples: The Native Apple

Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

Flamin’ Hops Cider Label This year, I embraced the organic Carolina Reaper pepper as part of my cider ingredients. I have used chipotle peppers before but when I saw the World’s Hottest Pepper was available as organic, I had to try it. My first plan was for my Ruby Reaper cider mistelle but since I … Continue reading Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

The Origin of the Apple

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Welcome to the new weekly feature, Mālus Trivium, a visual presentation in apple and cider information. The modern apple originated on the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains in Asia. Genetic research has shown that all our modern day apples, including cider apples can trace their DNA back to the wild apples on the Tien … Continue reading The Origin of the Apple

Hard Cider Tip #30: Pressing apples into cider

Methods for pressing apples

Maybe you realized those apple trees you planted a few years ago can actually produce quite a bit of fruit. Or, maybe your neighbor has a tree. Maybe you joined a social media group and have listened to enough people talking about pressing apples that you want to have a go at it yourself. If … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #30: Pressing apples into cider

Making Ruby Reaper Cider Mistelle

Making Ruby Reaper Cider Mistelle

Ruby Reaper label There are many different types of fortified wines. The process consists of adding spirits to wine often during fermentation to stop the process by raising the alcohol level. In my book, I talk about three main style categories for hard cider: Traditional, Adjunct, and Dessert. This last category is where this recipe … Continue reading Making Ruby Reaper Cider Mistelle

Hard Cider Tip #29: Aging on Lees (Sur Lies)

Aging on Lees

Aging on lees, also called ‘sur lies’, is a traditional practice for many wines and hard ciders. In Burgundy, France, there is a saying that translates something like ‘lees for wine is like a mother for a child’. The concept being that just like a mother nurtures their child, so to do lees nurture a … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #29: Aging on Lees (Sur Lies)

My Favorite Apples of 2020

Best Apples of 2020

Something good needs to come from 2020. For me, its all about the apples. I got to try some great new apples along with my usual favorites this year. While my main focus is always on hard cider, better understanding apples helps me choose the best ones to use for my cider. Part of understanding … Continue reading My Favorite Apples of 2020

Hard Cider Tip #28: Malolactic Fermentation

Malolactic Fermentation

There is an often referenced but just as often confusing process in hard cider making called malolactic fermentation. You might see it abbreviated by the acronym MLF and sometimes referenced as LAB. In reality, it’s not actually a fermentation process at all but is a bacteria reaction that converts malic acid to lactic acid (1). … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #28: Malolactic Fermentation

Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

Not Fermenting

Fresh pressed apple and pear juice will naturally have the microflora (yeast and bacteria) to ferment into hard cider. For many people, they use these natural organisms to create great hard cider. For others, they want to control the flavors and process and will use commercial yeast. In both cases some people use Campden tablets, … Continue reading Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

Popcorn and Hard Cider

Popcorn and Cider

While I really like pizza and hard cider, there is another pairing I thoroughly enjoy. That is popcorn and hard cider. One of the reasons I really enjoy pairing these together is because of the diversity you can achieve with both products. Popcorn can be made savory or sweet. You can veer it towards salty … Continue reading Popcorn and Hard Cider