Making Simple Cider

Hard Cider Made Simply

A Simple Recipe for Making Hard Cider I’m frequently asked for a simple hard cider recipe. I published “My First Cider” recipe several years ago, which was intended to help guide the first time cider maker. However, I recognize that it may not be considered the simplest or easiest recipe. In fact, it’s less recipe … Continue reading Making Simple Cider

Aroma Faults: Diacetyl

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Cider Aroma Faults: Butter Sometimes too much of a compound is the cause of a fault. Other times, the definition of whether its a fault depends on the beverage. Diacetyl (C4H6O2) is an example of such a compound. In most beers, it’s considered a fault but, in most California chardonnays, it’s desired. Butter is the … Continue reading Aroma Faults: Diacetyl

Cider Fundamentals: Sugar

Cider Fundamentals - Sugar

Sugar is a fundamental element of making hard cider. Without sugar, yeast couldn’t ferment juice and produce ethanol so we wouldn’t have cider. We also wouldn’t have vinegar because vinegar is formed from the ethanol produced by the sugar. Isn’t it interesting how a single simple compound can have such a dramatic impact on human … Continue reading Cider Fundamentals: Sugar

Cider Words: Yeast Morphology

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Yeast Morphology: Common Yeast Shapes Morphology simply means the form or structure of a plant or organism. Yeast morphology in this context is the shape of yeast cells. You may be surprised to learn that not all yeast cells are shaped the same. As a cider maker, if you assess your yeast under a microscope, … Continue reading Cider Words: Yeast Morphology

Products and Recommendations: Tilt Hydrometer

The Shop at PricklyCider.com

I’m been hesitant about adding advertisements to Prickly Cider but I regularly get asked about different products. I decided to setup the Prickly Cider Shop and Recommended Products Page. This page allows me a way to provide recommendations for products that I find useful. I’ve setup links to Amazon through their Affiliation Program. If you … Continue reading Products and Recommendations: Tilt Hydrometer

Aroma Faults: Solvent

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Cider Aroma Faults - Solvent or Vinegar Some compounds contribute positively, initially. But, if there is too much, they quickly become faults. Ethyl acetate (C5H8O2) is an example of such a compound. In low quantities, it can contribute to the aroma of a cider but in large quantities, it becomes a fault. It will turn … Continue reading Aroma Faults: Solvent

Cider: Taste versus Smell

What is the difference between taste and smell?

I often talk about taste and smell being the same and, I’m not alone. This is because the flavors or what is often defined as the taste of food and drink depends on aroma. To be more specific, the flavor is created by olfactory receptors in the nasal pharynx picking up volatile compounds (aromas) when … Continue reading Cider: Taste versus Smell

Aroma Faults: Rotten Eggs

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Cider Aroma Faults: Rotten Eggs and Cooked Cabbage The smell of rotten eggs or cooked vegetables like cabbage or broccoli are two of the common sulfur (sulphur for my British friends) related odors faults that can be found in cider. The culprit is generally Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), though other sulfur compounds like diethyl sulfide can … Continue reading Aroma Faults: Rotten Eggs

American Cider Apples

Heirloom Cider Apples from America

America’s history is really a history of the apple and for most of that history, it was not just the apple but cider. Not cider as most American’s would define it today but, cider as its defined in Europe and many other countries around the world. What many Americans now call hard cider, which simply … Continue reading American Cider Apples

Yeast Harvesting: Plates & Slants

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Yeast Harvesting: Plates & Slants Yeast and apples are the core ingredients of any cider, even natural/wild fermentations. Understanding your yeast, just like understanding your apples, is key to consistently making great craft hard cider. The yeast will impact your residual sweetness, aromas, tastes, clarity, and many other aspects of your cider. Working in conjunction … Continue reading Yeast Harvesting: Plates & Slants