When are apples ripe?

When are apple ripe?

How do you know the apples you are using for hard cider are ripe? Maybe, you would ask me to define ripe. Is ripe defined by the ideal time to harvest an apple, to eat an apple, or to press an apple. We could even consider the question of ripeness for cooking apples. In my … Continue reading When are apples ripe?

Chaptalization and Hard Cider (errr… Apple Wine)

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Chaptalization… It sounds like a complex process with lots of things that could go wrong. However, it’s really quite simple. Chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to juice in order to increase the level of alcohol, %ABV, in the final fermented product. You may have noticed that I didn’t say it’s the process of … Continue reading Chaptalization and Hard Cider (errr… Apple Wine)

Key Carbonation Numbers

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Key numbers to remember regarding carbonation While some people enjoy their hard ciders still or without much noticeable carbonation, others enjoy some bubbles or even sparkling. The fermentation process under open atmospheric conditions at 21C (70F) will naturally have around 0.85 volumes CO2. You may remember from my Mālus Trivium on Volumes CO2 that the … Continue reading Key Carbonation Numbers

Sensory Impact of Various Compounds in Hard Cider

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Sensory Impact of Compounds in Hard Cider Have you ever wondered how the level of certain compounds can impact the sensory perception of others? Okay, we all know I’m an apple geek so stick with me. Hard cider is generally a balance of sweet, sour, astringency, and bitterness. You can add aroma and we can … Continue reading Sensory Impact of Various Compounds in Hard Cider

Yeast Impact on Sugar and Acids

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Yeast impact on residual sugar and acid in cider. While the research by M. Lorenzini and associates was done to assess the impact of yeast on volatile compounds in hard cider(1), I found it interesting for another reason. As part of the study, they noted the amount of ethanol each yeast produced and the corresponding … Continue reading Yeast Impact on Sugar and Acids

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

Hard Cider Tip #25: To Sweat or Not to Sweat

Sweating Fruit

When you pick apples in Southern Arizona, whether you sweat or not isn’t often a choice. Even at cooler elevations over 5000 feet, the sun can be brutal and I often work up a good sweat gathering apples for my hard ciders. Believe it or not, apples can also sweat or at least they lose … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #25: To Sweat or Not to Sweat

Hard Cider Tip #24: Non-Fermentable Sweeteners

Sweeteners

I’ve discussed in my post on how to make sweet hard cider the use of non-fermentable sweeteners like stevia and erythritol. I generally prefer drier hard cider, but I also enjoy balance. That means if a cider has a lot of acid, having a little residual sugar can help balance it. Tannins and their bitter … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #24: Non-Fermentable Sweeteners

Hard Cider Tip #21: Refractometers

Refractometer & Hard Cider

I have used a refractometer since I started making hard cider. To me, it seemed like it would be much easier to use than a standard hydrometer. I have since started using a Tilt Hydrometer, but it is completely different from how you use a standard hydrometer. I will spend a little time at the … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #21: Refractometers