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

Hard Cider Tip #19: Esters

Esters & Hard Cider

There can be hundreds of compounds in your hard cider that create aromas and flavors. Esters are one of those. They are generally described as sweet or fruity. For example hexyl acetate is often thought to smell like apple. However, they can also be described as solvent, which could be ethyl acetate. Other esters can … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #19: Esters

Hard Cider Tip #18: Fusel Alcohols

Fusel Alcohols: Good or Bad?

Have you even heard someone comment about fusel alcohols or higher alcohols and wonder what they were talking about? It’s not the fuel used to power rockets to the moon. That was actually liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, and kerosene. When yeast convert sugar into alcohol, ethanol is what most of that alcohol is. However, it … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #18: Fusel Alcohols

Hard Cider Tip #17C: Develop Your Method (Part 3 of 3)

Defining Your Method: Part 3

This is the third part in my three part tip on developing your method for making hard cider. My focus is on the process versus the ingredients. I will highlight ingredients, but my goal is to help you understand the processes involved in making a hard cider that you enjoy. In Part 1, I highlighted … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #17C: Develop Your Method (Part 3 of 3)

Hard Cider Tip #17B: Develop Your Method (Part 2 of 3)

Defining Your Method: Part 2

This is the second part in my three part tip on developing your method for making hard cider. My focus is on the process versus the ingredients. I will highlight ingredients, but my goal is to help you understand the processes and equipment involved in making a hard cider that you enjoy. In Part 1, … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #17B: Develop Your Method (Part 2 of 3)

Hard Cider Tip #17A: Develop Your Method (Part 1 of 3)

Defining Your Method: Part 1

So you enjoy making hard cider or maybe you are thinking about trying to make your first batch. Either way and like most things in life, it’s good to have a plan for your hard cider endeavors. Do you want to find that one hard cider you love and make a special batch every year … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #17A: Develop Your Method (Part 1 of 3)

Hard Cider Tip #16: Kegging Systems

Keg Systems: Hard cider Benefits

Are you just starting on your homemade hard cider journey? Maybe you have been making hard cider for a bit and are thinking about upgrading your kit. When I started making hard cider, I wondered what equipment I would need. I read a lot of books and most focused on using glass carboys or buckets … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #16: Kegging Systems

Hard Cider Tip #15: Pectic Enzyme

Pectic Enzymes: Hard Cider Benefits

What is pectic enzyme and why would you add it to your juice or cider. Pectic Enzyme is also know as pectinase, which is an enzyme that breaks down pectin. In other words, it is a protein that acts as a catalyst to degrade the pectin naturally found in fruit. Pectin is a complex carbohydrate … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #15: Pectic Enzyme

Hard Cider Tip #14: pH and Acid

Hard Cider: pH versus Total Acid

Are pH and acid the same? Is one more important than the other? Why should you even care? For the craft home hard cider maker, your pH is the most important of the two measurements. That’s because it lets you know whether your juice and cider are more susceptible to spoilage. Bacteria won’t live well … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #14: pH and Acid

Hard Cider Tip #13: American Vs. French Oak

Hard Cider: French and American Oak

I was able to get a good amount of Newtown Pippin apples last harvest so I used this heirloom apple to make a variety of hard ciders. I made Pippin Magic and Merry Pippin (Cider of Gondor) with Newtown being the main apple. I also added some Newtown Pippin juice to my ice cider, Frozen … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #13: American Vs. French Oak