Cider or cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fruit juice, most commonly and traditionally apple juice, but also the juice of peaches, pears ("Perry" cider) or other fruit. Cider varies in alcohol content from 1.2% ABV to 8.5% or more in traditional English ciders. In some regions, cider may be called "apple wine". In the United States and some parts of Canada, "hard cider" usually refers to the alcoholic beverage discussed in this article, while "cider" may refer to non-alcoholic apple juice. When sugar or extra fruit has been added and a secondary fermentation increases the alcoholic strength, a cider is classified as "apple wine". The first recorded reference to cider is in Ancient Roman literature resulting from Julius Ceaser's invasion of Britain in 55 BC. The Roman legions discovered the Ancient Britons fermenting crab apples. The legions brought the concept back to Rome and so to the rest of the Roman Empire. The Norman conquest of England in 1066 introduced more varieties of apple to the country and consumption increased until it was the second most popular beverage in the country, after beer. The story of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, is intimately tied to the domestication of America. In the early 1800s, he wandered what was then the frontier, planting apple seeds and helping to make the wilderness a home for the advancing pioneers. He planted over a hundred thousand square miles of apple orchards in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. In the 1700s and 1800s, most apples were grown not for eating but for making hard cider. Johnny Appleseed didn't just bring fresh fruit to the frontier, he brought the alcoholic drink of choice. Cider was safer, tastier, and easier to make than corn liquor. You pressed the apples to produce juice, let the juice ferment in a barrel for a few weeks, and presto! you had a mildly alcoholic beverage, about half the strength of wine. For something stronger, the cider could be distilled into brandy or frozen into applejack (about 66 proof). In rural areas, cider took the place not only of wine and beer but also of coffee, juice, even water.
STEPS IN MAKING CIDER:
Scratting and pressing
Once the apples or fruits are gathered from trees in orchards, trees, etc. they are scratted (ground down) into what is called pomace or pommage. Historically this was done using pressing stones with circular troughs, or by a cider mill. In modern times they are likely to be powered by electricity. The pulp is then transferred to the cider press and built up in layers known as cheeses into a block. 2.
Fermentation is carried out at a temperature of 4–16 °C (40–60 °F). This is low for most kinds of fermentation, but is beneficial for cider as it leads to slower fermentation with less loss of delicate aromas. Shortly before the fermentation consumes all the sugar, the liquor is "racked" (siphoned) into new vats. This leaves dead yeast cells and other undesirable material at the bottom of the old vat. At this point it becomes important to exclude airborne acetic bacteria, so vats are filled completely to exclude air. The cider is ready to drink after a three-month fermentation period, though more often it is matured in the vats for up to three years 3.
Blending and bottling
If the cider is to be bottled, usually some extra sugar is added for sparkle. Higher quality ciders can be made using the champagne method, but this is expensive in time and money and requires special corks, bottles, and other equipment. Some home brewers use beer bottles, which work perfectly well, and are inexpensive. This allows the cider to become naturally carbonated.
Wine is an alcoholic beverage derived from grapes or other fruits by fermentation, much the way beer is derived from the fermentation of grains. Unlike beer, wines are not carbonated (except champagne and sparkling wines). They also have about twice the alcohol content of...
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