Lesson of the Day #8 - Champagne of the Orchard
While apple juice that is not fermented, or pasteurized or even filtered may often be called apple cider, (perhaps to differentiate from the crystal clear sugar sweetened apple juice were familiar with), cider is an alcoholic beverage, and does not (should not) need the distinction of being tagged hard cider.
The 5 steps to making cider, according to the folks at Woodchuck:
After the selecting and picking the right blend of ripe apples they are pressed or crushed to extract the juice.
Next a Champagne strain of yeast is added with the juice in the fermentation vat. This process creates the alcohol as the yeast eats the sugars. The temperature in the vat can rise to 75 degrees.
Next the cider is carefully cooled to 40 degrees and filtered to remove any solids or remaining yeast.
Blending is the recipe that yields a ciders unique flavor. The cider is put through an extraction tank where aromatic ingredients like ginger, or chocolate or even hops get infused.
Lastly the cider gets carbonated, bottled and pasteurized.
So that’s Pressed, Fermented, Filtered, Blended, Bottled
Trivia: About how many apples does it take to make a gallon of cider?