Hard Cider Tip #12: Counter-Pressure Bottle Filling

Bottling: Using a counter-pressure bottle filler.

As a homemade hard cider maker, I keep finding myself looking for new and maybe better ways to make and process my hard cider. Most of my hard cider recipes are based on my current method for making hard cider, which entails using kegs. Kegs have given me more flexibility in managing my process for … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #12: Counter-Pressure Bottle Filling

Hard Cider Tip #9: Bottle Sanitizing

Sanitation Process: How to sanitize bottles for hard cider.

In my last tip, I talked bout how critical cleaning and sanitizing were when you are making hard cider. However, I only covered the cleaning part. This tip covers the sanitizing step. Again, I’m focusing on bottles, but the process is the same whether you are cleaning and sanitizing bottles, fermenters, utensils, or any equipment. … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #9: Bottle Sanitizing

Hard Cider Tip #8: Bottle Cleaning

Hard Cider: Cleaning Bottles

One of the most critical processes in making hard cider is cleaning and sanitizing. It’s the easiest way to make a bad batch of hard cider and ruin the best hard cider recipe. Officially, this is a two-step process. There are cleansers and there are sanitizers on the market. Why not one product to do … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #8: Bottle Cleaning

Hard Cider Tip #5: Making Hard Cider Clear

Filtering Hard Cider: Results with 1 micron filter.

As a craft hard cider maker, you actually have several cost effective means to make your hard cider clear or what is commonly called clarifying. Most of my hard cider recipes call for filtering but you may be wondering if you really need to clarify your hard cider. The main reason you would make your … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #5: Making Hard Cider Clear

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 #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

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

My Hard Cider Book

Craft Hard Cider

I’ve always been a hands-on person with a passion for creating things. That passion has manifested itself in hard cider, not apple juice, but the fermented drink of our forefathers. My passion for hard cider is so strong, I’ve started planning vacations around sampling ciders. I also hold some type of hard cider themed party … Continue reading My Hard Cider Book