hist-brewing: Apple cider

BrewInfo brewinfo at xnet.com
Tue Dec 7 14:06:09 PST 1999

Shroom writes:
>The basic recipe for an apple cider is simple, like any other fruit mead: fruit,
>honey, water, yeast.  The key in the case of apple cider is in the choice of
>apples, and to some degree choice of honey.

Actually, this is "cyser," not apple cider, which is a fruit mead in which 
the fruit is apples.

>If you are in an apple-growing region, go to a grower and get fresh squeezed,
>unpasteurized, unfiltered juice from Gala, Jonagold, or Golden Delicous apples.
>A medium dark honey of medium to low sweetness (ie, not orange or clover honey,
>a generic flower honey serves best) complements the apple flavor without

As I posted a few days ago, if you can get cider apples like Kingston Black
or Northern Spy, *that's* what you want to use.  These apples are the proper
blend of sweet, tart and tannic.

>My recipe is regionally dependent for Arizona. It imitates a hard cider from
>Normandy (France)
>Sparkling Hard Apple Cider
>(5 gal yield)
>10 lbs desert wildflower honey
>3 gals unfiltered (fresh pressed) apple juice from local grower
>water to fill
>1 pouch Wyeast sweet mead liquid yeast

This is definitely "cyser" and not as intense as it could be.  I make
my cyser simply by adding honey to apple juice... no water.  The apple
flavour and aroma are fleeting and there's little point in diluting
the apple flavour/aroma with water.  I believe that I made my last
cyser with 3 gallons of apple juice to which I added 6 pounds of honey
and it was quite intense.

Apple cider is minimally, apple juice and yeast.  Some people add some
other sugars to boost the alcohol content, but when the sugars come
from honey, it's technically a cyser (repeating myself again).  I would
recommend against adding any water.


Al Korzonas, Lockport, Illinois, USA
korz at brewinfo.org

P.S. Someone posted about "hydromel" being honey water (presumably
unfermented).  Actually, some people call low-gravity/low-alcohol
meads hydromels (like 1.040 OG), but I've been told that "hydromel"
is the French word for mead, so it's probably a misuse of the term
to use it to mean specifically a low-alcohol mead.

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