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Old 05-28-2008, 08:03 AM   #1
Feb 2008
Northland, New Zealand
Posts: 95

I'm new to this sport of home wine and cider making. Had been at beer brewing for many years but trying other things now after a long lay off from that.
In my part of the world cider is accepted as being an alcoholic drink; always has been this way. From reading this and other forums it seems that what I would know as juice -that is non alcoholic - is often known as cider - the term hard (cider) being applied to determine the alcoholic variety, (lets assume apple here just for arguments sake).
I am trying to get to grips with this craft and as I explore I am trying to draw a distinction between cider and wine.
As far as I can see cider (i) has no added water (ii) has no added sugar (iii) has no added yeast; whilst wine has all of these 'additives'. Also, cider has a lower A/V then wine so would not be able to be stored for the same period without spoiling.
Now it appears acceptable that yeast may be added rather then depend on the natural yeast of the fruit. I am guessing that with using the likes of Campden in the must, the natural yeast if it exists would be killed off anyway and if the brewer is using store bought juice, yeast would simply be absent.
It also seems the some additional water could be needed to build the volume of the must; so I guess that to achieve a reasonable kick at the end, sugar must go in too.
Now, where is the distinction drawn between cider and wine? I feel I must be missing something simple ; I just can't see what? Some of the recipes I read on the forums appear, to me, to lean more toward wine yet are referred to as cider - which brings me to my next point.
When I moved to my present property in 2007, I discovered I'd inherited a quince tree amonst one-offs of other varieties of fruit trees. I didn't know quince, neither did my wife. So we fed the product to the cows grazing in the neighbours paddock. Over the ensuing year I learned somewhere that the Biblical 'golden apple' was in fact likely to have been quince. Soooo.... apple cider = quince cider. Put the fruit to good use - and I started reading.
I've seen vague references to quince cider but no recipe that I could pin down as a novice. However quince wine recipes are abundant and so far I have put two different styles down, both of which are looking (tasting) good.
I built a press to deal with the fruit for my cider attempt: here's the recipe I decided on, for critique please.-

14 lb fruit, washed and frozen
6 ozs sugar
1 teaspoon pectic enzyme/rohapect blend
1 teaspoon Tronozymol nutrient/energizer
1 pinch epsom salts
1 pinch sulphate of ammonia
1 campden tablet
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid
1/4 teaspoon citric acid
1 sachet yeast - I used a generic 'cider' yeast.

Fruit was thawed overnight then quartered, cored and sliced into bucket containing 1litre of water to which was added the campden and ascorbic acid.
(Ascorbic was intended to stop browning of fruit prior to pressing; since read that browning will not affect quality of juice, so this ingredient likely not needed. In any event 1 litre water was insufficient to cover fruit during process).
Fruit pressed until cake dry - 14 lb fruit yielded 3.4litres juice (4.12 lb/litre)
Juice into fermenter, added original 1 litre water and additives plus all other ingredients except yeast. Loose covered and left for 48 hours.
SG 1056, yeast prestarted and pitched, airlocked.
Slow airlock action, activity ceased after 4 days.
Left for one week, racked to secondary. SG 1010, airlocked and left to clear.

Cider was in fact very clear with strong fruity aroma. Colour light cream/yellow tinge. Slightly rocket fuel to taste, dry with pleasant acid tang.

At this stage am pleased with result, should improve with maturity.
Sorry about length of this post would welcome all comment though.

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Old 05-28-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
Loweface's Avatar
Sep 2007
Limerick, Ireland
Posts: 1,037
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

As far as I can see myself the distiction is just in the alcohol content...

Something like:

5%-10% = Cider
10%-15% = Wine

Oh and you're not the only one who gets caught out by the cider/hard cider thing it seems to be an American thing. Cider is pressed apple juice (unfiltered and therefore cloudy) and juice is filtered apple cider (clear)...

Hope this helps

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Old 05-28-2008, 12:09 PM   #3
zoebisch01's Avatar
Nov 2006
Central PA
Posts: 5,182
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I think it's all just a heritage of naming conventions. A distinction for the type of fruit. For instance if one says "Cider" one assumes Apples. If one says "Wine", it's grapes. Further distinctions are made by prefixing the appropriate name, i.e. "Mulberry Wine", "Elderberry Wine"...etc.

The recipe looks very good, Kudos on using the Quince. I expect you'll drop lower than 1.010.
Event Horizon ~ A tribute to the miracle of fermentation.

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Old 05-29-2008, 07:54 AM   #4
Feb 2008
Northland, New Zealand
Posts: 95

Thanks for your responses people.
rmck1, your point is sound . I hadn't considered the AV angle but it makes good sense. And thanks for pointing out the cider/juice relationship.
zoebisch01, am encouraged by your view on the recipe. Have hopes too that it will drop further; has showed signs of life since racking but haven't had the time to spend keeping a close eye on it. Guess will simply have to give it some time then check SG when I go to bottle.
Have another 44lb of fruit on ice presently which should give me about 10.7 litres of juice on pressing - aiming for something in time for summer. Might even get to fit in some Edworts for summer too. That product has so much interest that I have to try it - just like the JAO mead. Have tried that as my first mead and was convinced. So now I have 34kg of honey to deal with, cheers.

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Old 05-29-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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There's lots more words that just aren't used much. For example, pear cider is perry. Honey wine is mead, unless you have fruit in it. Then it's a melomel. Except if you use apples & honey, it's a cyser.

An OG of 1.056 and little added sugar would classify your recipe as a cider. If you added sugar to 1.100 or more, I'd call it a wine. I've got a hop wine aging that used hops, raisins and sugar.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
Oct 2010
Posts: 1

Hi there.
We're very new to home brewing (just racked our first batch of blackberry wine into the secondary fermentation vessel) We thought we'd like to try our hand at cider and had a a few questions for your. What size of bucket did you use for the initial fermentation and what was your final yield?

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Old 10-06-2010, 06:40 AM   #7
Oct 2010
Posts: 4

To the OP, you mention cider made from raw juice with nothing added.... this would originaly be known as Scrumpy (which has expanded to cover most still ciders). But is also traditionally rocket fuel, brewed as the Old English equivalent of moonshine.
(I'm a Brit ex-pat)

I've got my first attempt at cider on the go, gets cold crashed tomorrow then racked when I have the chance (away for a few days!). Its just a gallon of store bought apple juice with some S-04. Looking great and down from 1.055 to 1.028, at the current rate I'm expecting it to be around 1.010 in 24 hours.

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Old 10-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #8
Oct 2010
Dorset, UK
Posts: 3

Found this while Googling for "quince cider". I see the orginal thread dates from 2008, so I'm not really expecting a reply from petes, but perhaps someone else can advise: all these extra ingredients - pectic enzyme, nutrient, Epsom salts - would they be normal in your cider making? I just crush the juice out of apples, add yeast, and leave it to ferment. I'm trying a champagne yeast this year, on the shopkeeper's recommendation. You don't seem to see anything billed as a cider yeast. I guess some purists would say you should just use the natural yeasts in the apples.
I did put a few quinces in with my apples this year, just to see what happened, but there are a lot left and we've made more quince jelly than we can expect to eat so I was inclined to try some pure quince cider, and wondered if such a thing existed.
Petes mentions freezing the fruit. Is that normal practice? For (apple) cider, I take the apples straight from the ground or tree, wash, chop, and press.
Brodsys, I use a 5-gallon (Imperial) bucket, but I've known people use plastic bins of perhaps 30 gal, or 60-gal barrels. Of course something that size stays firmly put, so you need a dedicated brewhouse/cider cellar.

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Old 10-17-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
AZ_IPA's Avatar
Jun 2008
Posts: 54,411
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
There's lots more words that just aren't used much. For example, pear cider is perry. Honey wine is mead, unless you have fruit in it. Then it's a melomel. Except if you use apples & honey, it's a cyser.

My favorite chapter in Schramm's mead book is the "Defining styles"

sack mead = stong, sweet mead
melamel = fruit mead
cyser = apple mead
pyment = grape mead
hippocras = spiced pyment
metheglin = herbed or spiced mead
braggot = mead with malted barley
molassocassioconiferamel = mead with molasses, cassia (cinnamon), and pine-bough shoots

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Old 08-27-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
Aug 2011
Denton, Texas
Posts: 4

While Prohibition is now only a part of American history, there are still signs and traces of the period in our culture today. For example, you cannot buy alcohol before noon on Sunday in the south.* How silly, when you can buy it at 8 am on Monday and Saturday!

During Prohibition, people did what they could to substitute alcoholic drinks for legal, non-alcoholic ones. The main difference for ciders is that they simply were not subjected to fermentation. Cider came to refer to unclarified pressed juice. Because the Prohibition was limited to the US, the term cider everywhere else continued to refer to a lightly fermented juice (lightly as compared to wine or liquor). Thus, Americans coin the term 'hard cider', which really just means, well ... cider!

*As per Ravenhead's correction

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