Cider Glossary


Acetaldehyde – Is the oxidation of alcohol by alcohol dehydrogenase due to poor storage. Gives off powerful aromas of green apples.

Apfelwein – Is the German term for cider

Australia - A country becoming well known for its dessert apple ciders which are fresh, high in natural acidity and very approachable. Regions like the Adelaide Hills, Batlow, Tasmania and the Yarra Valley are all premium apple growing regions.  

Balance – is where a cider is in equal harmony with its critical components. Such as: sweetness, acidity, tannin and alcohol

Bead – is the streams of bubbles present in a glass of cider once the mousse has dissipated

Blending – Is a process where differing ciders of differing characters are skilfully combined to create a perfectly balanced and consistent product

Brettanomyces – A yeast derived fault smelling like band aids or leather. Poor hygiene, old oak or MLF derived. Can be considered very desirable in farmhouse styles

Brittany – Is a French Cider region known to produce fruity, low alcoholic, keeved farmhouse ciders. Areas of Cornouaille and Fouesnant are notable apple growing regions  

Brut – Is the French term for dry

Carbonation – bubbles in cider by means of bottle fermentation or artificial addition

Cider Apples – Traditional apples used for cider which are smaller in size, and are full of tannin.  Many different varieties with differing characteristics are used

Cidre – Is the French term for cider

Cidre Bouche – A French sparkling cider under cork and hood, usually in a 750mL bottle

Citric Acid – The main acid component found in pears

Complexity – A cider with primary, secondary, and even tertiary components. An intricate array of flavours and aromas both fruit and cider making derived  

Concentrate – Apple juice which has been dehydrated to form a thick and sweet apple solution. Blended with water and fermented to make cider

Dessert Apples – Larger eating apples which have higher acidity but lack astringency. Makes good, but simple cider

Doux – Is the French term for sweet

Draught – A clean cider which is dry and usually served on tap

Dry – A cider or perry which has no sweetness

Farmhouse – Very rustic and authentic ciders made using wild yeasts and oak. Made in France and England for hundreds of years. Very unique taste

Fermentation – Is the process where yeast convert sugars to alcohol, can be in tank or oak

Filtration – A process where the cider has all solids, yeasts and hazes removed to make a clear and brilliant product

Flavoured Cider – Ciders made from fruit concentrates which are super sweet and low in alcohol 

Germany – A country making ciders that lack the finesse of French Cider, but offer generosity and higher in alcohols and tannins. Hessen-Rhine-Main is the most notable apfelwein region

Halbtrocken – Is the German term for semi dry

Keeving – A scientific process where enzymes and pectin in apples form a complexation with nutrients in the juice to form a chapteau brun. The juice underneath is low in nutrients resulting in a slow ferment perfect for making fruity, clear, low alcohol, sweet and naturally carbonation cider without filtration.  

Malic Acid – Is the main acid component in apples

Methode Traditionelle – A complex and very labour intensive process of producing a cider with natural carbonation, no yeast less and some sweetness. Often higher in alcohol with a ferocious mousse

Milling – Shredding the apples reading for pressing  

MLF – Is the decarboxylation of malic acid to lactic acid. Helps with lowering acidity and microbial stability. Also adds buttery characters to a cider

Mousse – Is the foamy head in the glass once a cider is poured

Normandy – A very famous French region. Calvados in Normandy has appellations of: Calvados Pays de Auge, Calvados, Calvados Domfrontais. Produces light, fresh ciders, along with traditional farmhouse styles.

Oak – Wooden barrels used to ferment or age a cider. Can be up to 100 years old

Pasteurisation – A process where cider is heated up to high temperatures to kill dangerous bacteria and prolong shelf life

Perry – Is an alcoholic beverage made out of pears. Commonly known as pear cider

Poire - is the French term for pear

Pommace – Milled apples ready for pressing

Pomme - Is the French term for apple

Pressing – A process where pressure is applied to the pommace to extract juice. Can be done through basket press, rack and cloth press or membrane press with differing volumes of yield extraction

Racking – Removing clear cider off yeast cake or lees to help slow fermentation

Reductive – A character derived by nutrient deficient yeast where aromas of hydrogen sulphite, or rotten egg gas are evident. Very unpleasant in high doses

Ropiness- Is the growth of lactic acid bacteria in low acidic and low sulphur dioxide ciders which form long polysaccharide gels. An oily texture and thick consistency is produced

Scrumpy – A very traditional cider which is high in alcohol, high in solids and often left to its own devices. Not for the faint hearted

Sidra – Is the Spanish term for cider

Sidro – Is the Italian term for cider

Spain – A cider producing country. Regions consist of Asturias and Basque Country. Ciders from Spain are often high in volatile acidity and higher in structural acidity. Very traditional cider

Sulphur Dioxide – A preservative added to cider to maintain freshness and protect from spoilage

Tannin – is the grip sensation in your mouth on consuming. Derived from fruit and also oak

Trocken – Is the German term for dry

UK Cider – Made from regions of Somerset, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Wales and small amounts in Scotland. Cider is made from large companies using concentrate, to the more small farm artesian producers, with hundreds of years of tradition.

USA Cider – Cider made from states such as Oregon, Washington, Michigan and New York.

Vintage  - A premium cider made from the current years best apples. Often oak aged and bolder in style.

Volatile Acidity – Can come in the form of ethyl acetate which smells like nail polish remover, or acetic acid which smells like vinegar. Popular in Spanish cider from Asturias, but can be considered a huge fault in other countries. It is formed by bacteria like acetobacter or lactic acid bacteria by poor cider making practices. Often seen in perry’s due to the metabolism of citric acid by lactic acid bacteria.  

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