A Few Cider Terms You May Want To Know

bth_img_1848_smIf you haven’t noticed, the cider industry has been receiving much notice lately.  It has a long way to go, but it will go. While I can only guess how the industry  w ill grow, it certainly will be a fun ride. And I will be holding a glass of cider the whole way through.

I had my first real cider in 2000 while visiting a friend in the U.K. We took a trip out west to visit the little town of Cheddar and I was fortunate enough to purchase a jug from a little shop.  Had I thought about it, I would have visited a cidery and experienced it the local way.

In those days I knew very little of the hard cider culture, the cider making process and what I was tasting. I knew what I did and didn’t enjoy which when it comes right down to it, that’s all we really need to know.

I thought I would share a few common cider terms with you. Some will be from the cider making process, some will be from finished product and some will be from well, everything else. Some of the terms may apply to wine as well.  I will make this as simple as possible.

Bittersharp  An apple type high in acidity and tannin.

Bittersweet  An apple type high in tannin and low in acidity.

Tannin  Found in the skins, seeds and stems of fruit.  These compounds add stringency to cider and wine. Think of the  puckering sensation you get from some wines and ciders.  Tannins can also be found from oak.

Cheese  Parcels of fruit pulp stacked to be pressed.  This was traditionally wrapped in straw and horse hair but now is typically wrapped in cloth.  The juice flows through the cloth and leaves the pulp behind.

Perry  An alcoholic drink made by fermeningt the juice of pears.

Pommace  The pulpy matter left over after pressing.

Press  Mechanical equipment once manually used to extract juice from the fruit pulp. Most presses are operated hydrologically.

Scratter  A rotary mill designed to crush and shred or chop the apples.

Scrumpy  Having different meaning to many people, the most popular refers to  real cider made through traditional methods. Scrumpy usually refers to cider made in the South West of England.

Sharp  An apple type high in acidity and low in tannins.  Usually applies to culinary apples.

Tump  A mound of apples left to mature. This can be done in a  barn or open air.

Lees  Residual yeast particles found in wine and cider after the fermentation process.

Must  The unfermented juice. This term applies to wine making as well.

I hope this demystifies the art of cider making a bit.  Remember this is just a short list, and doesn’t  come close to illustrating the heart and soul that goes into producing fine cider.

What are your cider experiences?  Please comment

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4 comments on “A Few Cider Terms You May Want To Know

  1. Must is an important distinction to make. This is what seperates a cider from a beer. Beer is a grain product made from wort. Ciders are a form of wine that can be still or sparkling made from must.

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