Cider is an alcoholic beverage made exclusively from the juice of specially grown varieties of apples. Craft makers of cider claim that mass-produced ciders are mostly not actually ciders because of their production processes and additives including artificial sweeteners like aspartame. The list includes both current and defunct producers.
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears. Perry has been common for centuries in England, particularly in the Three Counties (Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire) and in parts of South Wales and France, especially Normandy and Anjou. In more recent years, commercial perry has also been called “pear cider”
A to Z of Ciders
Acetaldehyde: The oxidation of alcohol by alcohol dehydrogenase due to poor storage. Gives off powerful aromas of green apples.
Balance: When a cider is in equal harmony with its critical components. Such as: sweetness, acidity, tannin and alcohol.
Bead: The streams of bubbles present in a glass of cider once the mousse has dissipated.
Blending: The process where differing ciders of differing characters are skilfully combined to create a perfectly balanced and consistent product.
Brettanomyces: A yeast derived fault smelling like band aids or leather. Poor hygiene, old oak or MLF derived. Can be considered very desirable in farmhouse styles.
Brut: The French term for dry.
Carbonation: The bubbles in cider by means of bottle fermentation or artificial addition.
Cider Apples: Traditional apples used for cider which are smaller in size, and are full of tannin. Many different varieties with differing characteristics are used.
Cidre: The French term for cider.
Cidre Bouche: A French sparkling cider under cork and hood, usually in a 750mL bottle.
Citric Acid: The main acid component found in pears.
Complexity: A cider with primary, secondary, and even tertiary components. An intricate array of flavors and aromas both fruit and cider making derived.
Concentrate: Apple juice which has been dehydrated to form a thick and sweet apple solution. Blended with water and fermented to make cider.
Dessert Apples: Larger eating apples which have higher acidity but lack astringency. Makes good, but simple cider.
Doux: The French term for sweet.
Draught: A clean cider which is dry and usually served on tap
Dry: A cider or perry which has no sweetness.
Farmhouse: Very rustic and authentic ciders made using wild yeasts and oak. Made in France and England for hundreds of years. Very unique taste
Fermentation: The process where yeast convert sugars to alcohol, can be in tank or oak.
Filtration: A process where the cider has all solids, yeasts and hazes removed to make a clear and brilliant product.
Flavored Cider: Ciders made from fruit concentrates which are super sweet and low in alcohol.
Halbtrocken: The German term for semi dry.
Keeving: A scientific process where enzymes and pectin in apples form a complexation with nutrients in the juice to form a chapteau brun. The juice underneath is low in nutrients resulting in a slow ferment perfect for making fruity, clear, low alcohol, sweet and naturally carbonation cider without filtration.
Malic Acid: The main acid component in apples.
Method Traditionelle: A complex and very labour intensive process of producing a cider with natural carbonation, no yeast less and some sweetness. Often higher in alcohol with a ferocious mousse
Milling: The process of shredding apples reading for pressing.
MLF: The decarboxylation of malic acid to lactic acid. Helps with lowering acidity and microbial stability. Also adds buttery characters to a cider
Mousse: The foamy head in the glass once a cider is poured.
Oak: Wooden barrels used to ferment or age a cider. Can be up to 100 years old.
Pasteurization: A process where cider is heated up to high temperatures to kill dangerous bacteria and prolong shelf life.
Perry: An alcoholic beverage made out of pears. Commonly known as pear cider.
Pommace: Milled apples ready for pressing.
Pomme: The French term for apple.
Pressing: A process where pressure is applied to the pommace to extract juice. It can be done through basket press, rack and cloth press or membrane press with differing volumes of yield extraction.
Racking: Removing clear cider off yeast cake or lees to help slow fermentation.
Reductive: A character derived by nutrient deficient yeast where aromas of hydrogen sulphite, or rotten egg gas are evident. It is very unpleasant in high doses.
Ropiness: Is the growth of lactic acid bacteria in low acidic and low sulphur dioxide ciders which form long polysaccharide gels. An oily texture and thick consistency is produced.
Scrumpy: A very traditional cider which is high in alcohol, high in solids and often left to its own devices. It is not for the faint hearted.
Sidra: The Spanish term for cider.
Sidro: The Italian term for cider.
Sulphur Dioxide: A preservative added to cider to keep up freshness and protect from spoilage.
Tannin: The grip sensation in your mouth on consuming. Derived from fruit and oak.
Trocken: The German term for dry.
Vintage: A premium cider made from the current years best apples. It is oak aged and bolder in style.
Volatile Acidity: It can come in the form of ethyl acetate which smells like nail polish remover. Or it may be acetic acid which smells like vinegar. It is formed by bacteria like acetobacter or lactic acid bacteria by poor cider making practices. Often seen in perry’s due to the metabolism of citric acid by lactic acid bacteria.