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 #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)

Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

Not Fermenting

Fresh pressed apple and pear juice will naturally have the microflora (yeast and bacteria) to ferment into hard cider. For many people, they use these natural organisms to create great hard cider. For others, they want to control the flavors and process and will use commercial yeast. In both cases some people use Campden tablets, … Continue reading Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

A Study in Color: Making Cider Silver

Color study

In my original post on the color of cider, I asked the question what color hard cider should be. I described cider in the context of wine. Should cider be white and red or something different. I did this because in both cases, you are using fruit juice. While there are some natural variances in … Continue reading A Study in Color: Making Cider Silver

When is fermentation complete?

I often see questions online from people wondering whether their hard cider is done fermenting. I have written several post about elements of fermentation and I am certain I will write more. But, I’ve never specifically talked about the point when fermentation is complete. Let’s first cover some terms that often get used when talking … Continue reading When is fermentation complete?

Hard Cider Tip #23: Reusing Yeast

Harvesting Yeast

This is the first year I have harvested my yeast for reuse. Since I splurged on some liquid yeast from White Labs and Omega, I thought it would be an interesting experiment. I also have an idea about trying to evolve a yeast using selective pressure through bottom cropping of early attenuating colonies. This also … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #23: Reusing Yeast

Hard Cider Tip #19: Esters

Esters & Hard Cider

There can be hundreds of compounds in your hard cider that create aromas and flavors. Esters are one of those. They are generally described as sweet or fruity. For example hexyl acetate is often thought to smell like apple. However, they can also be described as solvent, which could be ethyl acetate. Other esters can … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #19: Esters

Hard Cider Tip #10: Stuck Fermentation

Stuck Fermentation

What is a stuck fermentation? When making hard cider, a stuck fermentation refers to a situation where the juice or partially fermented cider has sugar present but the yeast is unable to process it. Sometimes, this might have been your plan. Other times, this is your problem. This hard cider tip is intended to demystify … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #10: Stuck Fermentation

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 #2: Color Retention

Color Retention

Have you ever added a pretty colored adjunct to your hard cider only to see the color disappear when you bottle it? Consider prickly pear juice. If you have ever used it, you know what I’m saying when I talk about an iridescent pink. The juice can look fake it’s so bright. The first time … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #2: Color Retention