A Guide to Cider Fermentations

Category : Technical
Date : February 1, 2022
Author : Education

Guide To Cider Fermentations - Cider Yeast

Who doesn’t love a crisp, refreshing cider in any season? The artisanal cider market is changing the way cider is perceived in America, from a sugary sweet beverage to a complex unique alternative to beer. White Labs has several products to help you create the perfect hard cider.


Yeast Matters 

Many recipes for cider suggest a wine strain or a package of generic dry yeast. We’re here to tell you that yeast choice for your cider does matter. If you don’t believe us, split your batch into two fermentations and try them side by side. We’ve seen so many beautiful ciders with some of the following liquid yeast strains: 

Yeast and Bacteria Suggestions
WLP001 California Ale Yeast
WLP002 English Ale Yeast
WLP028 Scottish Ale Yeast 
WLP611 New Nordic Ale Blend Yeast
WLP616 Funky Cider Blend
WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii
WLP648 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois Vrai
WLP650 Brettanomyces bruxellensis 
WLP653 Brettanomyces lambicus 
WLP672 Lactobacillus brevis
WLP677 Lactobacillus delbrueckii
WLP693 Lactobacillus plantarum
WLP715 Champagne Yeast
WLP773 Scottish Cider Yeast Blend
WLP775 English Cider Yeast

Yeast Inoculation Rates  

In cider, inoculation rates correlate with how fast the fermentations take place. If you’re looking for a slower fermentation to preserve fruit aroma, a lower inoculation rate can be valuable.


Nutrients are Necessary

Nutrients should be added to warm water, dissolved, and then added before fermentation. Most must is insufficient in nitrogen; we recommend adding YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen) concentration at ~150g/BBL. Our nutrient recommendation is SeltzerMaxas it adds nutrients to fermentation to help reduce off-flavors such as sulfur without adding additional flavor. White Labs recommendations are 5-6.5 g/gal or 150-200g/bbl.


Make It Wild 

Creating a spontaneously fermented cider can be difficult. Try using alternative microorganisms to create a more unique and complex cider. WLP616 Funky Cider Blend is just a few organisms we carry to create that natural cider funk. Alternatively, check out our bacteria like Lactobacillus sp., or our wild yeasts such as Torulaspora sp. or Brettanomyces sp. to create a tart funk-forward cider. 


Learn More

Hard Cider Tech Sheet