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

A Day at the Orchard: Apple Paradise

Apple Pardise

There is a saying in many English speaking countries that summed up my weekend apple picking experience. That saying is “like a kid in a candy store”. This year, I have been searching southern Arizona for new and unique apples. It has taken me to several new orchards and so far, I have found 6 … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Apple Paradise

A Day at the Orchard: Old Apple Trees Never Die

Old Apple Tree

It’s a sad day when an apple or pear tree dies. I visited Angle Orchard just outside of Safford, Arizona, recently and was introduced to one of the matriarchs of the original orchard that was planted in 1922. She is an Arkansas Black apple tree. An heirloom apple variety of the south that dates back … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Old Apple Trees Never Die

A Day at the Orchard: Exploring New Apples

Exploring New Apple Varieties

I love apples but since I love hard cider, that probably doesn’t surprise many people. However, two of my favorite things in life are finding new hard ciders and new apples that I have never tried. For 2020, I have been exploring some new orchards and that means new apples and ultimately, it will mean … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Exploring New Apples

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

It might have been a touch early but I was itching to get to the orchard and pick some apples. Here in Arizona, we tend to get our first apples in late July. These are usually a small variety called Earligold. They are a green apple and turns gold as it ripens. The problem is … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

Grafting: Lessons Learned

Grafting Lessons

Whether you are making your first hard cider or grafting your first scion to a rootstock, everyone who has done it hundreds or even thousands of times had their first attempt at some point. Maybe that attempt resulted in a great outcome but my guess is that nobody, success or failure, is using the same … Continue reading Grafting: Lessons Learned

Hard Cider: Think Local

In the US, there is a small but growing trend called Farm-to-Table. It could also be called eat local or know your farmer. Personally, it speaks to me, and the way it speaks the loudest is through the hard cider that I make. My wife and I love to cook and try new foods and … Continue reading Hard Cider: Think Local

Hard Cider Tip #15: Pectic Enzyme

Pectic Enzymes: Hard Cider Benefits

What is pectic enzyme and why would you add it to your juice or cider. Pectic Enzyme is also know as pectinase, which is an enzyme that breaks down pectin. In other words, it is a protein that acts as a catalyst to degrade the pectin naturally found in fruit. Pectin is a complex carbohydrate … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #15: Pectic Enzyme

Making Pippin Magic Hard Cider

Making Pippin Magic - Hard Cider

Pippin Magic has been one of my favorite hard ciders of the 2019 harvest. I used Newtown Pippin apples, which are also known as Albemarle Pippin apples. The apple was a chance seedling, grown from an apple seed or pip, found in Newtown, New York in the late 1600s or early 1700s. It was taken … Continue reading Making Pippin Magic Hard Cider

Making 520 Hard Cider

520 Cider: A Hard Cider of Southern Arizona

This hard cider represents the local area where I live: Southern Arizona. 520 is the area code and my goal with this cider was to reflect the apples that we have here in that area code, which are dessert apples. However, I wanted to also include other local fruits or adjuncts that would be good … Continue reading Making 520 Hard Cider