Hard Cider Tip #31: Estimating Cider %ABV

What’s the best way to estimate the %ABV of cider?

The Common (Old) Formula for Estimating %ABV %ABV = (OG - FG) x 131.2 You have seen the above formula in numerous online posts and books. I even include it in my book. But, is it the best formula for estimating the percentage of Alcohol by Volume (%ABV) in hard cider? What does it even … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #31: Estimating Cider %ABV

Yeast: Killer Factor

Yeast Killer Factor: What does it mean and how could it impact your cider.

Killer Factor is not a measurement of the health risks associated with using a yeast in your fermentation. Instead, it is an assessment of how dominant a yeast can be in your fermentation. You may find commercial yeast strains labeled as one of four types. Killer (K)Sensitive (S)Neutral (N)Killer-Sensitive (KS) However, you may wonder what … Continue reading Yeast: Killer Factor

Hard Cider Tip #30: Pressing apples into cider

Methods for pressing apples

Maybe you realized those apple trees you planted a few years ago can actually produce quite a bit of fruit. Or, maybe your neighbor has a tree. Maybe you joined a social media group and have listened to enough people talking about pressing apples that you want to have a go at it yourself. If … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #30: Pressing apples into cider

Hard Cider Tip #29: Aging on Lees (Sur Lies)

Aging on Lees

Aging on lees, also called ‘sur lies’, is a traditional practice for many wines and hard ciders. In Burgundy, France, there is a saying that translates something like ‘lees for wine is like a mother for a child’. The concept being that just like a mother nurtures their child, so to do lees nurture a … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #29: Aging on Lees (Sur Lies)

Hard Cider Tip #28: Malolactic Fermentation

Malolactic Fermentation

There is an often referenced but just as often confusing process in hard cider making called malolactic fermentation. You might see it abbreviated by the acronym MLF and sometimes referenced as LAB. In reality, it’s not actually a fermentation process at all but is a bacteria reaction that converts malic acid to lactic acid (1). … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #28: Malolactic Fermentation

Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

Not Fermenting

Fresh pressed apple and pear juice will naturally have the microflora (yeast and bacteria) to ferment into hard cider. For many people, they use these natural organisms to create great hard cider. For others, they want to control the flavors and process and will use commercial yeast. In both cases some people use Campden tablets, … Continue reading Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

Hard Cider Tip #27: Clear or Cloudy Juice

Clear or Cloudy

I hope you are finding the information you need. Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or contact me if you have specific questions. To make the best hard cider, should juice be crystal clear or should it be cloudy? Have you even thought about it much? If you have read some of my … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #27: Clear or Cloudy Juice

Hard Cider Tip #26: Force-Carbonating

Force Carbonating

In part III of my developing your method post, I explore carbonation and how this can impact your method for making hard cider. The method I generally use, is force-carbonating. The most common method to force-carbonate is using a kegging system. Kegging systems can come in various sizes, but 5 pound CO2 tanks and 5 … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #26: Force-Carbonating

Hard Cider Tip #25: To Sweat or Not to Sweat

Sweating Fruit

When you pick apples in Southern Arizona, whether you sweat or not isn’t often a choice. Even at cooler elevations over 5000 feet, the sun can be brutal and I often work up a good sweat gathering apples for my hard ciders. Believe it or not, apples can also sweat or at least they lose … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #25: To Sweat or Not to Sweat

Hard Cider Tip #24: Non-Fermentable Sweeteners

Sweeteners

I’ve discussed in my post on how to make sweet hard cider the use of non-fermentable sweeteners like stevia and erythritol. I generally prefer drier hard cider, but I also enjoy balance. That means if a cider has a lot of acid, having a little residual sugar can help balance it. Tannins and their bitter … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #24: Non-Fermentable Sweeteners