Hard Cider Tip #31: Estimating Cider %ABV

What’s the best way to estimate the %ABV of cider?

The Common (Old) Formula for Estimating %ABV %ABV = (OG - FG) x 131.2 You have seen the above formula in numerous online posts and books. I even include it in my book. But, is it the best formula for estimating the percentage of Alcohol by Volume (%ABV) in hard cider? What does it even … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #31: Estimating Cider %ABV

Mold: The What, Why, and How of It.

Mold: The What, Why, and How

Mold... Just the name can conjure up bad images and usually, it’s not something that is positive. There are a few positive occurrences, think cheeses like blue or Gorgonzola, where the mold makes that pungent flavor that many enjoy. However, for hard cider making, mold is usually associated with things not going the way they … Continue reading Mold: The What, Why, and How of It.

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

Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

Not Fermenting

Fresh pressed apple and pear juice will naturally have the microflora (yeast and bacteria) to ferment into hard cider. For many people, they use these natural organisms to create great hard cider. For others, they want to control the flavors and process and will use commercial yeast. In both cases some people use Campden tablets, … Continue reading Help! My cider isn’t fermenting.

When is fermentation complete?

I often see questions online from people wondering whether their hard cider is done fermenting. I have written several post about elements of fermentation and I am certain I will write more. But, I’ve never specifically talked about the point when fermentation is complete. Let’s first cover some terms that often get used when talking … Continue reading When is fermentation complete?

Hard Cider Tip #23: Reusing Yeast

Harvesting Yeast

This is the first year I have harvested my yeast for reuse. Since I splurged on some liquid yeast from White Labs and Omega, I thought it would be an interesting experiment. I also have an idea about trying to evolve a yeast using selective pressure through bottom cropping of early attenuating colonies. This also … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #23: Reusing Yeast

Hard Cider Tip #19: Esters

Esters & Hard Cider

There can be hundreds of compounds in your hard cider that create aromas and flavors. Esters are one of those. They are generally described as sweet or fruity. For example hexyl acetate is often thought to smell like apple. However, they can also be described as solvent, which could be ethyl acetate. Other esters can … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #19: Esters

Hard Cider Tip #18: Fusel Alcohols

Fusel Alcohols: Good or Bad?

Have you even heard someone comment about fusel alcohols or higher alcohols and wonder what they were talking about? It’s not the fuel used to power rockets to the moon. That was actually liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, and kerosene. When yeast convert sugar into alcohol, ethanol is what most of that alcohol is. However, it … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #18: Fusel Alcohols

Hard Cider Tip #11: Testing Yeast

Experimenting with yeast.

As I’ve previously noted in other posts, yeast are part of the fungus family. They are a single cell microorganism. Micro meaning microns in size. They are also what convert sugars into alcohol and CO2. The world is full of yeast and you can cultivate these to ferment your hard cider, which is known as … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #11: Testing Yeast

Hard Cider Tip #10: Stuck Fermentation

Stuck Fermentation

What is a stuck fermentation? When making hard cider, a stuck fermentation refers to a situation where the juice or partially fermented cider has sugar present but the yeast is unable to process it. Sometimes, this might have been your plan. Other times, this is your problem. This hard cider tip is intended to demystify … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #10: Stuck Fermentation