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

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

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

The Impact of Fruit Ripeness

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Fruit ripeness can impact a variety of compounds. Ripeness is usually associated with sweetness so confirming that apple cultivars have higher sugars and lower malic acid as they ripen(1), makes sense. It’s always good when what we think it logical is confirmed by science. However, I found it interesting that when O. Laaksonen and associates … Continue reading The Impact of Fruit Ripeness

Aroma Apples

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Aroma apples add complexity to a cider blend. Cider apples are often referenced as Sweets, Bittersweets, Sharps, and Bittersharps. However, this doesn’t highlight a key element that contributes to great hard cider: Aroma. Aroma in hard cider come mostly from esters and alcohols but aldehydes, ketones, and ethers can also contribute. These compounds are created … Continue reading Aroma Apples

The Source of Rotten Egg Smells (H2S) in Cider

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That rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide and there are 3 common ways it’s created. Have you ever made a hard cider and noticed a rotten egg smell? That is hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the most common yeast used to ferment hard cider, wine, and beer, can create hydrogen sulfide through 3 main pathways(1). … Continue reading The Source of Rotten Egg Smells (H2S) in Cider

Exploring Alternative Hard Cider Yeasts

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Alternative Cider Yeast: Exploring High Aroma Non-Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Yeast While Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is the dominant yeast use for beer and wine, is it the best yeast for making hard cider? Many Saccharomyces Cerevisiae strains used for beer have mutated through yeast harvesting, cropping, and selective pressure placed on them over many years. These have created … Continue reading Exploring Alternative Hard Cider Yeasts

Apple Peels: The Missing Ingredient of Hard Cider

Apple Peels: Cider’s Missing Ingredient

Apple peels can be yellow, green, red, blushed, streaked, sunburnt, and russeted. However, after noting the wonderful colors and even texture, we often ignore them once we start the cider making process. Did you realize that those peels are potentially the single most powerful ingredient in your cider making process? Most cider makers ignore and … Continue reading Apple Peels: The Missing Ingredient of Hard Cider