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

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

The Vintage of Hard Cider

The Vintage of Cider

Do hard ciders have vintages? Regardless of whether you are legally allowed to define a vintage, like wine, on a bottle of hard cider, my question is really about what impact the “vintage” or year the apple was grown has on a hard cider. If you are using juice from the store, vintage becomes irrelevant … Continue reading The Vintage of 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 #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