Cider and Oxygen

Is oxygen thebfriend or foe of your cider?

Oxygen, it’s the dreaded enemy of hard cider makers around the world. Or, is it? I’ve written about how you should avoid oxygen in your cider making process. I am also prone to say that the answer to many cider related questions is simply: it depends. Ultimately, oxygen is no different. Oxygen exposure during your … Continue reading Cider and Oxygen

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

Cider and Maceration

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Maceration and it’s impacts on cider making. The definition of maceration is to soften or separate. With regards to apples and pears, this process occurs after the apples have been milled or crushed but before the pomace is pressed. One of its key goals is to break down the pectin found in the fruit. This … Continue reading Cider and Maceration

Microwave Extraction

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Using a microwave to extract fruit juice - Modified extraction graph for grapes from A. Cendres(1) How should you process your apples to make juice? Do you mill and then press them? Do you even need to press them? A. Censures and associates researched an interesting alternative for juice extraction: microwaves(1). Their research focused on … Continue reading Microwave Extraction

When are apples ripe?

When are apple ripe?

How do you know the apples you are using for hard cider are ripe? Maybe, you would ask me to define ripe. Is ripe defined by the ideal time to harvest an apple, to eat an apple, or to press an apple. We could even consider the question of ripeness for cooking apples. In my … Continue reading When are apples ripe?

Making Cider with a Juicer

How to make hard cider with a juicer.

As I’ve noted in an earlier article on pressing apples, there are a lot of methods and equipment you can purchase or make to press apples into juice. If you have quite a few full-sized trees in the backyard producing thousands of pounds (500+ kg) of fruit, a larger grinder and press system is probably … Continue reading Making Cider with a Juicer

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

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

Hard Cider Tip #21: Refractometers

Refractometer & Hard Cider

I have used a refractometer since I started making hard cider. To me, it seemed like it would be much easier to use than a standard hydrometer. I have since started using a Tilt Hydrometer, but it is completely different from how you use a standard hydrometer. I will spend a little time at the … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #21: Refractometers

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