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 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

Apples of Unknown Origin

Apples of Unknown Origin

I talked about how old some apple varieties really are (How old is that apple tree?). But America wasn’t settled using grafted apple trees from Europe. It was settled with apple trees grown from seeds and those seeds were often of unknown origin. However, it’s from this time period where many of the heirloom varieties … Continue reading Apples of Unknown Origin

A Day at the Orchard: Grafting

Early spring at the orchard.

I love going to the orchard. Besides being the place I get wonderful fruit to craft hard cider, it’s located on a beautiful hill overlooking the valley. It’s an extremely peaceful place, and the flora and fauna in the area are always amazing. The owner and I have established a good relationship and he has … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Grafting

How old is that apple tree?

Apple Tree Age

It seems like a simple question: How old is your apple tree? Maybe, you planted the tree a couple years ago. Maybe, your dad planted it when you were a kid. Maybe you wouldn’t know without cutting down the tree and counting the rings. Please don’t do that! I’m just speaking hypothetically. But, my question … Continue reading How old is that apple tree?

Making Japanese Sunrise Hard Cider

Apples for Hard Cider Recipe.

The orchard I pick has Mutsu and Shizuka apples. These along with Orin apples were all discovered in Japan in the early to mid-twentieth century. What I find interesting is all three apples have the same parentage: Golden Delicious and Indo. They are siblings and just like humans, you can see the likeness at times … Continue reading Making Japanese Sunrise Hard Cider

Making Silver Sun Hard Cider

Silver Sun Hard Cider by Prickly Apple Cider I often make single variety hard ciders just to see what I will get. The worse case is that I don’t like how it turns out so I blend it with another cider or with an adjunct. With some apple varieties, I already have a good idea … Continue reading Making Silver Sun Hard Cider

Hard Cider Tip #4: Testing for Tannins

Apples Varieties prepared for Drying

One the the biggest challenges with crafting “Traditional” hard cider is finding apples with tannins. I define Traditional as a specific style of cider using only apples and/or pears. Check out my book for more styles and details about making and experiencing hard cider, including hard cider recipes. I mean it has to be worth … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #4: Testing for Tannins

Hard Cider Tip #3: Making Hard Cider Sweet

Methods for Sweet Cider

I was reading a post from someone who was making a batch of hard cider. I’m not sure what hard cider recipe they were following, but they added sugar to the juice. The impression I got from the post and several comments was that people expected the sugar to make the hard cider sweet and … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #3: Making Hard Cider Sweet

Hard Cider Tip #1: To Press or Not To Press

Tip 1: To Press of Not To Press

You’ve got your equipment and you’ve picked a hard cider recipe to follow. You’re ready to make some craft hard cider. Should you press your own apples or just use juice? As with many of life’s questions, the answer is that it depends. Ask yourself the following questions. The more you answer “yes”, the more … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #1: To Press or Not To Press