Cider Question: When should I rack my cider?

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Racking your hard cider simply means to siphon off the cider leaving the bottom layer of sediment behind. To answer the question of when you should rack your cider, I first need to review the definition of sediment and lees. Apple juice contains a variety of organisms and compounds. Many of these precipitate or drop … Continue reading Cider Question: When should I rack my cider?

Malolactic Fermentation and Citric Acid

Understanding the impact of Malolactic Fermentation to Citric Acid

Malolactic Fermentation or what is often referred to simply as MLF, is the process where lactic acid bacteria converts malic acid to lactic acid. For cider makers, MLF can be a very important process because apples are high in malic acid. As a result, MLF can reduce the acidity found in hard cider made from … Continue reading Malolactic Fermentation and Citric Acid

Cider Question: How can I encourage Malolactic Fermentation (MLF)?

How to encourage MLF

Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a process that usually occurs after primary or alcoholic fermentation completes. Fundamentally, it’s the conversion of malic acid to lactic acid. Malic acid is more acidic compared to lactic acid so MLF reduces the acidity of your cider. Other reactions that impact aroma also occur. Diacetyl creation is one of the … Continue reading Cider Question: How can I encourage Malolactic Fermentation (MLF)?

Cider Words: Maturation

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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

The Headspace Conundrum

Headspace Conundrum: How Much?

Headspace is the amount of air or open space you have in your container above the liquid. A common question when making cider is how much headspace should you have in your fermenter for primary fermentation? The next question is usually how much you should have when aging your hard cider. There are several considerations … Continue reading The Headspace Conundrum

The Impact of Malolactic Fermentation on Specific Gravity

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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

Hard Cider Tip #28: Malolactic Fermentation

Malolactic Fermentation

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