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

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

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

Potassium Metabisulfite: The Overview

Potassium Metabisulfite, SO2, Sulfur Dioxide, Sulfites: The Overview

If you read some of my other articles on sulfites and sorbates, you will know that I am not an advocate of using Campden, potassium metabisulfite, sulphite, SO2, or whatever other term you use for this preservative and sanitizing compound. The biggest reason I am not an advocate is because I think it’s overused, especially … Continue reading Potassium Metabisulfite: The Overview

Acetic Acid: How Cider Becomes Vinegar

When cider becomes vinegar - acetic acid

Can hard cider go bad? You know, can cider spoil? I often see posts about someone who found an old bottle of cider they forgot and the question often asked is whether it’s safe to drink. The answer is usually, yes, it’s safe to drink. That is because hard cider won’t really spoil, it simply … Continue reading Acetic Acid: How Cider Becomes Vinegar

Exploring the Colors of Hard Cider

Exploring the color of hard cider.

I’ve talked about the color of hard cider and how the process for making wine can be used as a reference. This is because like wine, cider color can be influenced by the fruit as well as the process. In another post on hard cider color, I explored how to make what I call silver … Continue reading Exploring the Colors of Hard Cider

Apple Peels: The Missing Ingredient of Hard Cider

Apple Peels: Cider’s Missing Ingredient

Apple peels can be yellow, green, red, blushed, streaked, sunburnt, and russeted. However, after noting the wonderful colors and even texture, we often ignore them once we start the cider making process. Did you realize that those peels are potentially the single most powerful ingredient in your cider making process? Most cider makers ignore and … Continue reading Apple Peels: The Missing Ingredient of Hard Cider

Bacteria and Hard Cider – It’s not all bad.

Bacteria & Hard Cider

When someone says bacteria, we generally have a negative reaction. Bacteria is a bad thing, right? We want to kill it to keep us from getting sick. However, not all bacteria is bad and especially when you are fermenting hard cider. Lactic Acid Bacteria, commonly called LAB, is the under-appreciated and often abused element in … Continue reading Bacteria and Hard Cider – It’s not all bad.

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

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)