A Day at the Orchard: Exploring New Apples

Exploring New Apple Varieties

I love apples but since I love hard cider, that probably doesn’t surprise many people. However, two of my favorite things in life are finding new hard ciders and new apples that I have never tried. For 2020, I have been exploring some new orchards and that means new apples and ultimately, it will mean … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Exploring New Apples

Cider and Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes & Cider

I try to showcase how hard cider can pair with anything: seafood, pizza, vegetarian, spicy, and even dessert. However, sometimes you just want a nice hearty meal. Something that warms you not just from the food but from the memories or emotions. For me, that is food like macaroni and cheese and hamburgers but it … Continue reading Cider and Sloppy Joes

Earigold: Sauce, Butter, and Cider

Earligold: Sauce, Butter, Juice

How many apples fit in a 5 gallon (19L) bucket? About 20 pounds (9kg). What about my totes? About 45 pounds (20.5kg) if you don’t heap them too high. I’ve filled them so many times, I don’t even really need to weigh them anymore. I can just tell by looking at them. We picked two … Continue reading Earigold: Sauce, Butter, and Cider

Harvesting Prickly Pears: Dangers and Rewards

Prickly Pear Harvesting

In my book, The Art & Science of Cider, I advocate for making hard cider that represents where you live. Almost every place in the world does or can grow apple trees. However, they also grow many other great fruits, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Hard Cider is the perfect method to include and highlight these … Continue reading Harvesting Prickly Pears: Dangers and Rewards

Hard Cider Tip #21: Refractometers

Refractometer & Hard Cider

I have used a refractometer since I started making hard cider. To me, it seemed like it would be much easier to use than a standard hydrometer. I have since started using a Tilt Hydrometer, but it is completely different from how you use a standard hydrometer. I will spend a little time at the … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #21: Refractometers

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

It might have been a touch early but I was itching to get to the orchard and pick some apples. Here in Arizona, we tend to get our first apples in late July. These are usually a small variety called Earligold. They are a green apple and turns gold as it ripens. The problem is … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

Seafood, Salad, and Cider

Seafood Salad Cider

Grocery shopping during a pandemic requires some meal planning flexibility. However, my wife was determined to find ingredients she needed for her scallops au gratin recipe. The problem was she would get one item but not find another before the one she did find needed to be used. It was becoming quite the scavenger hunt. … Continue reading Seafood, Salad, and Cider

Hard Cider Tip #20: Bottle Cappers

Winged Capper: Bell & Clamping Plate

As a home hard cider maker, there are a variety of ways you can package your cider. By package, I mean putting it in a container from which you intend to serve it. Surprisingly, there are a number of ways to actually package your hard cider. They have canning machines now. You can also package … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #20: Bottle Cappers

Grafting: Lessons Learned

Grafting Lessons

Whether you are making your first hard cider or grafting your first scion to a rootstock, everyone who has done it hundreds or even thousands of times had their first attempt at some point. Maybe that attempt resulted in a great outcome but my guess is that nobody, success or failure, is using the same … Continue reading Grafting: Lessons Learned

Hard Cider: Think Local

In the US, there is a small but growing trend called Farm-to-Table. It could also be called eat local or know your farmer. Personally, it speaks to me, and the way it speaks the loudest is through the hard cider that I make. My wife and I love to cook and try new foods and … Continue reading Hard Cider: Think Local