Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a process that usually occurs after primary or alcoholic fermentation completes. Fundamentally, it’s the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid. Malic acid is more acidic compared to lactic acid so MLF reduces the acidity of your cider. Other reactions that impact aroma also occur. Diacetyl creation is one of the … Continue reading Cider Question: How can I encourage Malolactic Fermentation (MLF)?
Things happen and you aren’t always able to process all the apples you need to fill your fermenter. For example, not all apples ripen at the same time. In fact, a single tree may take weeks to ripen all the apples on it. Maybe your grinder or press broke or you picked more apples than … Continue reading Cider Question: How can I delay processing my apples?
If you are like me, you are interested in trying different apples but more importantly, you’re interested in cheap apples. Those may come from a backyard or roadside tree or even from an orchard. Often, they are damaged either from insects or weather, like hail. This inevitably leads to this week’s Cider Question about whether … Continue reading Cider Question: Can I use apples with worm holes?
Yeast Regulation: Upregulating and Downregulating Yeast are single cell organisms that are seeking to survive and thrive in whatever environment they find themselves. As a single cell organism, we might be inclined to think of them as simple but, that would be a mistake. Yeast have a vast amount of processes they perform to live … Continue reading Cider Words: Yeast Regulation
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
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
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 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
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
Yeast Harvesting: Examples of Agar Types If you make enough hard cider, you will inevitably start to explore yeast. Whether you are using commercial strains or just letting nature run its course, yeast is such a critical component in making great craft cider. It impacts your residual sweetness, aromas, tastes, clarity, and many other aspects … Continue reading Yeast Harvesting: Agar