Maturation: The time needed to make a cider ready to drink. Maturation is defined as the time it takes cider or wine to become ready to drink. I like to broaden that definition to mean the time a cider is stored without preservatives after primary fermentation finishes. I also often call this aging. You can … Continue reading Cider Words: Maturation
When someone says bacteria, we generally have a negative reaction. Bacteria is a bad thing, right? We want to kill it to keep us from getting sick. However, not all bacteria is bad and especially when you are fermenting hard cider. Lactic Acid Bacteria, commonly called LAB, is the under-appreciated and often abused element in … Continue reading Bacteria and Hard Cider – It’s not all bad.
The impact of MLF on Specific Gravity Malolactic Fermentation, also known as MLF, is the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria, known as LAB. It was mistakenly called fermentation because of the decarboxylation that occurs in the process. While we tend to think specific gravity measures the sugar in your … Continue reading The Impact of Malolactic Fermentation on Specific Gravity
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
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)
There is an often referenced but just as often confusing process in hard cider making called malolactic fermentation. You might see it abbreviated by the acronym MLF and sometimes referenced as LAB. In reality, it’s not actually a fermentation process at all but is a bacteria reaction that converts malic acid to lactic acid (1). … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #28: Malolactic Fermentation