The Source of Rotten Egg Smells (H2S) in Cider

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That rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide and there are 3 common ways it’s created. Have you ever made a hard cider and noticed a rotten egg smell? That is hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the most common yeast used to ferment hard cider, wine, and beer, can create hydrogen sulfide through 3 main pathways(1). … Continue reading The Source of Rotten Egg Smells (H2S) in Cider

Exploring Alternative Hard Cider Yeasts

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Alternative Cider Yeast: Exploring High Aroma Non-Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Yeast While Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is the dominant yeast use for beer and wine, is it the best yeast for making hard cider? Many Saccharomyces Cerevisiae strains used for beer have mutated through yeast harvesting, cropping, and selective pressure placed on them over many years. These have created … Continue reading Exploring Alternative Hard Cider Yeasts

ATP: Adenosine Triphosphate

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ATP: The energy used to power fermentation You might be asking what ATP is and why you should care. Besides being the energy source for many cell activities, even those in our own bodies, it is what allows yeast to ferment sugar into alcohol. Without ATP, we wouldn’t have hard cider. I have discussed yeast … Continue reading ATP: Adenosine Triphosphate

Yeast DNA

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Saccharomyces Cerevisiae: DNA Sequenced in 1996 Saccharomyces cerevisiae was the first eukaryotic to have its DNA sequenced(1). It all started in 1992 when the first chromosome (III) was sequenced and published. 15 more chromosomes followed between 1994 and 1996 completing all 16 chromosomes found in the yeast. This effort was accomplished through a collaborative effort … Continue reading Yeast DNA

Apple Sugars

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Types and average percentage of sugars found in an apple. While actual sugar levels vary by apple variety, weather, and orchard practices, the types of sugars as a percentage of total sugars are reasonably consistent. The majority is fructose followed by sucrose and glucose. The final amount is made up of other sweeteners like sorbitol. … Continue reading Apple Sugars

Yeast: Killer Factor

Yeast Killer Factor: What does it mean and how could it impact your cider.

Killer Factor is not a measurement of the health risks associated with using a yeast in your fermentation. Instead, it is an assessment of how dominant a yeast can be in your fermentation. You may find commercial yeast strains labeled as one of four types. Killer (K)Sensitive (S)Neutral (N)Killer-Sensitive (KS) However, you may wonder what … Continue reading Yeast: Killer Factor

Common Acids in Hard Cider

Apples and Acids: The common acids in hard cider

Apple and pear juice contain a variety of organic acids. Even sweet apples with high pH like Red Delicious and Ambrosia are still acidic. They won’t contain the same quantity as a tart and sharp Granny Smith or bittersharp cider apple, but they contribute to the hard cider flavors. When I assess apples for hard … Continue reading Common Acids in Hard Cider

The 3-Phases of Natural Fermentation

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The phases of a wild/natural cider fermentation Apple juice fermented using its native microflora (yeast and bacteria) or what is sometimes called a wild fermentation, normally goes through three natural phases(1). Note that the length of each phase is impacted by temperature. The chart reflects a fermentation at temperatures of 14-22C (60-72F). The first phase … Continue reading The 3-Phases of Natural Fermentation

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)