How Yeast Reproduce

Yeast Reproduction: Asexual Vs Sexual

As cider makers, we tend to think of yeast as our partner in producing wonderful hard ciders. We might inoculate with commercial strains or let the natural microflora go to work. Either option, if you are like me, you associate yeast with fermentation and the ethanol it produces. But, yeast don’t care about producing ethanol … Continue reading How Yeast Reproduce

Cider and Natural Sweeteners

Cider & Natural Sweeteners

The quest for a naturally sweet hard cider is like trying to find a four-leaf clover, something sought by many but only found by a few. There are a number of methods, like keeving and nutrient deprivation, that can be utilized. But, while these work, they are not always the simplest method and may not … Continue reading Cider and Natural Sweeteners

Cider Nutrients: The Need for Nitrogen (YAN)

Cider Nutrients: The Need for Nitrogen

Many books and articles that you read on fermenting wine talk about how you need to add nutrients and specifically nitrogen to ensure a healthy ferment. While lack of other nutrients can slow or stop fermentation prematurely, nitrogen is considered the number one cause for wine fermentation to slow or stop. This is because nitrogen … Continue reading Cider Nutrients: The Need for Nitrogen (YAN)

Yeast Derivative Products (YDPs) & Aroma

The impact of Yeast Derivative Products on Aroma

Yeast Derivative Products (YDPs) can aid with fermentation by providing nitrogen and nutrients and with clarity by binding with colloidal compounds. But recent research has been focusing on how they can impact aroma. Remember that YDPs are just inactivated yeast developed to provide specific reactionary compounds. YDPs are made by using heat, enzymes, or even … Continue reading Yeast Derivative Products (YDPs) & Aroma

Aging Cider with Oak

Aging Cider with Oak

I did a previous experiment using heavy toasted French and American oak on a cider to see if we could recognize a difference in the aromas. This led to using oak more often and to even start experimenting with different wood, like maple, hickory, and birch. Wood is a great adjunct for cider. Besides adding … Continue reading Aging Cider with Oak

Hazy Cider: Colloids

Cider Clarity - Colloidal Compounds

If your hard cider is hazy, it has colloids. Cider colloids are a mixture of small particles or compounds that are insoluble and evenly suspended within your cider. Colloids are generally compounds made up of carbohydrates, color compounds, or proteins(1). The carbohydrates and color compounds are usually derived from the fruit. The proteins are usually … Continue reading Hazy Cider: Colloids

Phenolics and Cider

Phenolic Compounds in Cider: Tannins

What exactly are phenolics? Are they tannins? I don’t think there a simple answer. If I told you there are two basics compounds, flavonoid and non-flavonoid types of phenolics, would that clarify it? It didn’t for me but, chemistry wasn’t my favorite subject in school. If I broke down the flavonoids into anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, and … Continue reading Phenolics and Cider

Fermentation Stages of Yeast

The Stages of Fermentation

It is common to talk about fermentation in stages and often there are three stages identified. If you are talking about a wild or natural fermentation, those stages might be how initially non-Saccharomyces strains start the fermentation. This is followed by Saccharomyces yeast that complete fermentation. The final stage is maturation where Brettanomyces strains often … Continue reading Fermentation Stages of Yeast

Apple Peel Preparation

How to prepare apples peels for use in hard cider fermentation

I have been harvesting and including apple peels in my hard cider for several years. As I have noted in other articles (see the tips page), peels are an excellent way to enhance the organoleptic properties of your hard cider. Want a darker hue to your cider, include peels from red apples in your fermenter. … Continue reading Apple Peel Preparation

Yeast Starter for Cider

The materials and steps to make a yeast starter for cider.

A yeast starter is used to increase the biomass of a yeast and to ensure the yeast cells are healthy and ready to ferment. It is how you grow more yeast cells to ensure you have enough for a robust ferment and to ensure the yeast cells you are using are healthy and full of … Continue reading Yeast Starter for Cider