Difference between apple wine and hard cider

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RWG24

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What's the major difference between apple wine and hard apple cider? Is the major difference that apple wine has more ABV than cider? I was just wondering because I'm pretty new to brewing and I was looking to make hard cider but I noticed that I had a potential ABV that ranged from 9% to 11%.
 

LeBreton

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VERY generally speaking, cider is lower ABV and usually sparkling . . . but not always, and apple wine is generally higher ABV and still . . . but not always.
 

Sewer_Urchen

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In the strictest and most traditional sense, "Cider" is just fermented apple juice with nothing added, and all "cider" is "hard" (this is the oldest form, done by the french and english colonists; in this defenition, any pressed apple juice, filtered or non filtered and fresh pressed is called juice, and is not "cider" until it is fermented)...usually topps off at 6%-ish, and way back then, none of it was sparkling, you'd get a jug out of a barrell, drink it and go back to the farmer for more. Here in New England we call fresh pressed un-filtered, un-fermented apple juice cider, and there is a distinctive difference between cider and apple juice (which is like the filtered stuff you find in the store); once you ferment it it's "hard cider". And apple "wine" usually has sugar or honey added to it to up the ABV of the final product to compare with grape wine, between 10-15% or higher. Modern brewers have nicknamed apple wine made with honey "Cyser", I'm not sure where that nickname comes from. And as LeBreton mentioned above now aday's any of it can be sparkling or still.

That said, who cares! Call it what you want. I brew what, by the description above, would be apple wine, but I've always called it hard cider, and so did all the Vermonter's that taught me. It only starts to matter if you go commercial, and want to market it a certain way. If you call it Cider, the consumer will assume off the bat that it's closer to 5 or 6% ABV, and probably sparkled unless otherwise posted; but, if you call it apple wine, the consumer will know they are getting into a stronger batch, and will assume it's still unless otherwise posted, and you can likely charge more per bottle, but your production costs will be higher. And as Wadefisher mentioned, depending on the state I'm guessing, what you call it may change what brewing lisence you need to apply for.

For home brewing purposes it shouldn't matter what you call it. Call it "Funky Sunshine" and take everybody by surprise!
 

MarkKF

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Well here’s my take on an Apple wine. Made with FAJC but no added sugar. Just reconstituted to a higher S.G. to get a sweeter & higher ABV.
IMG_2724.JPG
 

Bombo80

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I agree with the others. But to add this also. Hard cider is generally made from juice or fresh pressed cider. Where as apple wine, when I have made it, is fermented on the pulp of the apples, along with other sugars and pectin to help break down the cells of the apple pulp (must).
 

mentelope

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Apple wine in the US is typically hard cider fortified with cane sugar or other fermentables to be stronger, like 12-14% ABV, while hard cider is usually 5-7% ABV just from sugars in the apple juice. Apfelwein is a German beverage that is basically just like our hard cider, around 5-7% ABV.
 
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