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

Volumes CO2 Defined

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Volumes CO2: Amount of CO2 dissolved in your cider relative to your cider volume. You may find carbonation expressed as grams per liter (g/l). However, I have always preferred defining carbonation as Volumes CO2. It makes it easier to visualize as I’ve tried to demonstrate in the graphic because the volume units are universal. If … Continue reading Volumes CO2 Defined

Common Acids in Hard Cider

Apples and Acids: The common acids in hard cider

Apple and pear juice contain a variety of organic acids. Even sweet apples with high pH like Red Delicious and Ambrosia are still acidic. They won’t contain the same quantity as a tart and sharp Granny Smith or bittersharp cider apple, but they contribute to the hard cider flavors. When I assess apples for hard … Continue reading Common Acids in Hard Cider

The 3-Phases of Natural Fermentation

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The phases of a wild/natural cider fermentation Apple juice fermented using its native microflora (yeast and bacteria) or what is sometimes called a wild fermentation, normally goes through three natural phases(1). Note that the length of each phase is impacted by temperature. The chart reflects a fermentation at temperatures of 14-22C (60-72F). The first phase … Continue reading The 3-Phases of Natural Fermentation

The 2020 Home Cider Makers Wish List

2020 Equipment Wishlist

As 2020 comes to an end you may be celebrating one of many various holidays or you just may be celebrating that 2020 is actually almost over. Regardless of whether you are celebrating something, just finished pressing apples for the season, or are ramping up for the the coming harvest, I thought it would be … Continue reading The 2020 Home Cider Makers Wish List

Crabapples: The Native Apple

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Crabapples: The only types of apple native to North America and Europe. The only apples native to North America and Europe are crabapples. Modern apples, Malus domestica, are genetically linked to Malus sieversii of Central Asia. However, the European crabapple, Malus sylvestris is also prevalent in many modern apple varieties. You can find North American … Continue reading Crabapples: The Native Apple

Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

Flamin’ Hops Cider Label This year, I embraced the organic Carolina Reaper pepper as part of my cider ingredients. I have used chipotle peppers before but when I saw the World’s Hottest Pepper was available as organic, I had to try it. My first plan was for my Ruby Reaper cider mistelle but since I … Continue reading Making Flamin’ Hops Cider

The Origin of the Apple

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Welcome to the new weekly feature, Mālus Trivium, a visual presentation in apple and cider information. The modern apple originated on the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains in Asia. Genetic research has shown that all our modern day apples, including cider apples can trace their DNA back to the wild apples on the Tien … Continue reading The Origin of the Apple

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

Making Ruby Reaper Cider Mistelle

Making Ruby Reaper Cider Mistelle

Ruby Reaper label There are many different types of fortified wines. The process consists of adding spirits to wine often during fermentation to stop the process by raising the alcohol level. In my book, I talk about three main style categories for hard cider: Traditional, Adjunct, and Dessert. This last category is where this recipe … Continue reading Making Ruby Reaper Cider Mistelle