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Terry Bradshaw Lost Meadow Orchard and Cider Mill Calais, VT www.lostmeadowvt.com September 7, 2013. Cider and Vinegar Making on a Small to Moderate Scale. Why Cider?. Historical context ‘Old World’ since Roman times Prominence in Northern Europe Crossed to America with first settlers

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terry bradshaw lost meadow orchard and cider mill calais vt www lostmeadowvt com september 7 2013
Terry Bradshaw

Lost Meadow Orchard and Cider Mill

Calais, VT


September 7, 2013

Cider and Vinegar Making on a Small to Moderate Scale

why cider
Why Cider?
  • Historical context
    • ‘Old World’ since Roman times
    • Prominence in Northern Europe
    • Crossed to America with first settlers
    • New England culture
    • Recent revival of (hard) cidermaking
cider definitions
Cider: Definitions
  • Sweet cider – unprocessed, fresh squeezed juice from apples ( in Europe, Canada, etc.)
    • Pasteurization and UV treatment?
  • Apple Juice: Squeezed juice from apples processed through heat, concentration, or clarification
cider definitions1
Cider: Definitions
  • (Hard) cider – Fermented Apple Juice
    • Differentiation between amount of processing
    • Adjuncts
      • ‘Real Cider’
  • Cider Vinegar
    • Cider processed by Acetobacter
food illness outbreaks associated with cider
Food Illness Outbreaks Associated with Cider
  • 1923: Salmonella typhimurium: 24 cases
  • 1974, NJ: S. typhimurium: 300 cases
  • 1980, ON: E. coli 0157:H7: 14 cases, 1 death
  • 1991, MA: E. coli 0157:H7: 23 cases
  • 1993, ME: Cryptosporidium spp.: 213 cases
  • 1996, CA, etc: E. coli 0157:H7: 66 cases, 1 death
  • 1996, NY: C. parvum: 32 cases
  • 1996, CT: E. coli 0157:H7: 14 cases
  • 1996, WA: E. coli 0157:H7: 6 cases
  • 1998, ON: E. coli 0157:H7: 10 cases
  • 1999, OK: E. coli 0157:H7: 25 cases
  • 2003, OH: C. parvum, 144 cases
  • 2004, NY: E. coli 0157:H7 and C. parvum, 212 cases
  • 2005, ON: E. coli 0157:H7: 4 cases
  • 2007, MA: E. coli 0157:H7: 9 cases
  • 2008, IA: E. coli 0157:H7: 7 cases
  • 2010, MD: E. coli 0157:H7: 7 cases
juice safety myths
Juice Safety Myths
  • “I grew up on raw cider/ milk and have built up immunities”
  • “We have been squeezing drops forever”
  • “E. Coli 0157:H7 only comes from grain fed industrial farm animals”
  • “Pasteurized cider tastes terrible/won’t ferment”
juice safety myths1
Juice Safety Myths

The chance of major food sickness…

Is it worth it?

Consider impact of an outbreak on



The overall food system


cider mill regulation
Cider Mill Regulation
  • In VT cider mills are regulated by:
    • 2001 FDA juice rule
    • FDA CGMP rule
    • Health Regulations for Food Service Establishments
      • VT Dept of Health
      • >$10,000 total gross sales
  • 1998 VT Legislature: non-binding resolution in favor of allowing cider mills to operate without pasteurization
fda cider mill regulation the juice rule
FDA Cider Mill Regulation “The Juice Rule”
  • Drafted in response to 1997 and other FBI outbreaks in juice
    • Four years of consumer, industry and producer input
    • Final rule in 2001, all parts effective in 2003
    • Set clear precedents on producers / processors for food safety
fda cider mill regulation the juice rule1
FDA Cider Mill Regulation “The Juice Rule”
  • Applies both inter and intra-state
  • All juice wholesaled must be processed under a HACCP plan
    • Recordkeeping System
    • Addresses many safety issues in the juice mill (physical, chemical, microbiological)
    • Pasteurization or UV treatment is a key step in the (wholesale) plan to achieve 5-log reduction in potential pathogen load
fda cider mill regulation the juice rule2
FDA Cider Mill Regulation “The Juice Rule”
  • 5-log kill step: 99.999% reduction in pathogen of concern
    • MUST be done on verifiable equipment
      • Time/Temp Charts or UV intensity/hold times
      • Approved Manufacturers
    • Cost $8k – 30k
    • Done wrong is no better (and maybe worse) than not done at all


fda cider mill regulation the juice rule3
FDA Cider Mill Regulation “The Juice Rule”
  • Retail exemption: Retail-only operations are exempt from the HACCP regulation but still liable for food safety (CGMP rule) and must post warning statement
fda cgmp rule
  • Federal rule applies to all food processors
  • Often ‘enforced’ by state health departments
    • General Provisions
      • Personnel- hygiene, supervision, training
    • Buildings and Facilities
      • Design, cleaning, water supply
    • Equipment
      • Cleaning and sanitiation,
    • Production and Processing
cider mill safety clean fruit
Cider Mill Safety: Clean fruit
  • Good orchard practices
    • Affidavits from growers?
    • NO Manure use in orchard
  • No drops, rots, soil, etc
    • Drops not expressly prohibited in VT but without complete culling, washing, and kill step…BAD IDEA
  • Washing / culling system
  • Won’t eat, don’t squeeze
  • Think twice about custom pressing?
cider mill safety clean mill
Cider Mill Safety: Clean Mill
  • Facility: INDOORS, running water (hot and cold), floor drains
  • Nonporous surfaces
    • Equipment, walls, floor
  • New jugs/containers
  • Cold chain (refrigeration)


cider mill safety clean mill1
Cider Mill Safety: Clean Mill
  • Cleaning and sanitation regimen (SSOP’s)
    • Write a washing ‘regime’, follow it
    • Sanitize properly
      • Cl, Acid washes, peroxides
      • Organic certification considerations
  • Operator training
    • Hygeine
    • Processing steps
cider mill safety home cider
Cider Mill Safety: Home Cider
  • Use common sense
  • Apply principles of good sanitation, storage, etc.
  • Not for sale- less regulation BUT
    • Liability still exists
    • Be Smart


the cider mill
The Cider Mill
  • Loading system:
    • Hopper, bin bumper, etc.
  • Grinder
    • Hardest to build yourself
    • Commercial units are expensive but worth it for sanitation alone
the cider mill1
The Cider Mill
  • Pomace Management
    • Tub presses
    • Rack and cloth
      • Modern racks made of plastic rather than wood
    • Belt press
      • Strictly large-scale
the cider mill2
The Cider Mill
  • Press
    • Relatively easy to build or modify
    • Screw, ratchet, hydraulic jack as pressure source
    • 50-100 psi @ rack surface
hand screw press
Hand Screw Press
  • Relatively cheap ($500-1000 new)
  • Easy to move, easy to fix
  • Available widely
  • Inefficient (<2 gal / bu)
  • Time consuming
  • 50-100 gallons per day is a lot
    • (Usually plenty for homeowners and neighborhood cider bees)
commercial press
Commercial Press
  • Used market is full of them
  • Permanent setup, lots of space
  • Higher cost, higher yield (3+ gal / bu)
  • Rack and cloth 2+ person operation
  • High quality juice (low pulp)
sweet cider
Sweet Cider
  • Any clean, ripe apples okay
  • Varietal and seasonal differences
  • New England: McIntosh
  • A mix is best
  • Later varieties tend to be better (more body, aroma)
sweet cider keeping
Sweet Cider: Keeping
  • Clean cider, refrigerated: 7-10 days
  • Pasteurized and refrigerated: 10-14 days +
    • Short time (160F for 5 secs, immediately cooled)
  • Frozen: 1 year +
  • Canned: 2+ years
    • NOT a substitute for HACCP
    • Home use: follow canning rules
  • Fermentation
hard cider
Hard Cider
  • Fermented Apple Juice
  • Traditional (Old World) method of preservation
  • Peer-reviewed University trials: effective means of 5-log pathogen reduction
  • Complicated by alcohol issue
hard cider regulation
Hard Cider: Regulation
  • VT state law: Cider sales outside of state system but only in 32 gallon-barrel increments
    • Federal Law trumps archaic state law
    • Multiple Agencies to deal with
hard cider licensing
Hard Cider: Licensing
  • VT state law: Cider sales outside of state system but only in 32 gallon-barrel increments
  • Bureau ATF license & bonding
  • Labeling:
    • ≥ 7% abv, Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, Dept. of Treasury
    • < 7% abv, FDA
  • Local, state license and zoning
    • Certificate of Approval for Malt and Vinous Beverages
  • Selling?
    • Wholesale/distributor account
    • Retail License (and location)
hard cider at home
Hard Cider: At Home
  • 1978 US Law allows for home production of alcohol
    • 100 gallons/year, 200 if >1 adult in the household
    • Licensed producers may ‘remove’ that amount for personal use
    • Cannot be sold or offered for sale or barter
hard cider the juice
Hard Cider: The Juice
  • Best juice is from a cidermaker’s blend
  • General Blend (Proulx and Nichols)
    • Neutral 30 - 60%
      • Cortland, Rome, G. Delicious, Baldwin
    • Tart 10 - 20%
      • Jonathan, Liberty (fresh),Greening, Spy
    • Aromatic 10 - 20%
      • Cox, Russetts, McIntosh
    • Astringent 5 - 10%
      • Crabapples, Bittersweets
hard cider apples dessert fruit
Hard Cider Apples: Dessert Fruit
  • Heirloom Varieties not always best!
  • Looking for depth, complexity of flavor
    • Imagine the fruit with all sweetness removed
european hard cider apples
European Hard Cider Apples
  • Balanced Tannin, Acid, Sugar
  • Types:
    • Bittersharps:
      • Kingston Black, Stoke Red
    • Bittersweets:
      • Dabinett, Michelin, Nehou
    • Sharps:
      • Stembridge Cluster, Brown’s Apple
    • Sweets:
      • Sweet Alford, Sweet Coppin
cidermaking basics
Cidermaking Basics
  • Raw juice has all you need
  • Carboy, Stopper, Time
  • Fermentation 1-3+ months
    • Cooler and longer is better
  • Farmhouse style cider
    • Dry
    • Dessert fruit: tart
    • Possibly thin bodied
cidermaking basics equipment
Cidermaking BasicsEquipment
  • Fermenter:
    • Carboys best
    • Buckets/HDPE barrels
    • Oak barrels
    • Stainless Tanks
advanced cidermaking juice stabilization
‘Advanced’ Cidermaking:Juice Stabilization
  • Sulfite powder or tablets
    • pH dependent: 3.4 needs 100 ppm for ‘kill’
    • Typically add cultured yeast after (basic wine yeast works)
  • Sulfite-free ciders are fine (sometimes great) but be prepared for inconsistencies
advanced cidermaking sugar measurement and addition
Advanced Cidermaking:Sugar Measurement and Addition
  • Typical specific gravity 1.045-1.060
    • 5.5 – 7.8 % abv
  • Low-gravity juice or certain styles may require 2-6 oz sugar per gallon
    • White: neutral taste, no body
    • Brown: caramelized taste, only for NE ciders
    • Honey: light flavor, good for cysers
advanced cidermaking acid adjustment
Advanced Cidermaking:Acid Adjustment
  • Acid measured through titration
  • 0.75-1.25% ok
  • Target pH 3.2-3.5
  • Adjust with TA acid blends or through juice blending
    • Let pH take care of itself
advanced cidermaking fermentation temperature
Advanced Cidermaking:Fermentation Temperature
  • Cooler is better
  • < 60F, 40-50 better
  • Cold cellars work well
    • Stay away from potatoes, onions, other smells
  • Primary ferment may take 3 months
    • Clearing, maturation through following summer
advanced cidermaking arresting fermentation
Advanced Cidermaking:Arresting Fermentation
  • Cold Stabilization knocks yeast out of suspension
    • 100-200 ppm sulfite kills them off
    • Addition of potassium sorbate can keep them down
    • Filters can remove yeast from suspension and stabilize sweet ciders
    • Works best in closed systems
      • Kegs, bright tanks
    • In-bottle pasteurization also works
    • All require strict sanitation downstream
cidermaking bottling and storage
Cidermaking: Bottling and Storage
  • Bottle choice is wide
    • Wine, beer cap, keg
  • Bottling must be clean to avoid infection, referment
  • Storage:
    • Cool
    • Vibration-free
  • Acetobacter convert alcohol to acetic acid
    • Aerobic process
    • Initial yeast ferment required
  • Start: Fermented cider
    • Open top container
    • Screened
    • Warm: >75 F
  • 6% abv cider will finish ~ 5% acid vinegar
    • Acidity content determines stability
    • Measure with Titration, adjust
  • At 75 F, 1% acid/month in passive system
  • Speed up with aeration, heating
    • Aquarium pumps, heaters
    • Use stainless or other food-grade materials
  • After 1 month finished vinegar will clear with thick ‘mother’ on surface
    • Remove Mother before bottling
    • Watch pumps for plugging
    • Plenty of bacteria will remain
    • Settle vinegar ~ 1week, then bottle
      • Raw or pasteurized/canned
vinegar tips
Vinegar: Tips
  • Aerobic process:
    • Aerate if needed, keep air out for cider
  • Heat if necessary to maintain 70-80°F
  • Acid test to determine finish, safety
  • Acetobacter are everywhere and stay there
  • Keep away from cidermaking
    • Never share equipment