A Guide To Cider Fermentations

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

A Guide To Cider Fermentations 


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 Strain Description
WLP002 English Ale Yeast Allows for more residual sweetness and accentuates fruit character 
WLP005 British Ale Yeast Lower attenuation, leaving more residual sweetness and fruit character
WLP028 Scottish Ale Yeast  Great ester harmony with the fruit, with a slight sweetness 
WLP590 French Saison Yeast  Provides a dry, crisp cider with fun Saison ester characters 
WLP616 Funky Cider Blend This blend can help recreate a dry, natural cider flavor with control 
WLP715 Champagne Yeast Produces a dry, crisp cider 
WLP720 Sweet Mead/Wine Yeast  Provides a more wine-like character and accentuates the fruit 
WLP773 Scottish Cider Yeast Blend A blend of our favorite yeasts to make a slightly sweet and smooth cider
WLP775 English Cider Yeast Perfect level of attenuation 
 

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.
 
Pitch Rate
350,000 cells/mL for 12 Brix must can result in an 8 to 10 day fermentation at 20C.

If you desire a faster fermentation, you can always increase the amount of cells/mL. 

 

Nutrients are Necessary


Most must is insufficient in nitrogen. Adding nutrients to a fermentation helps reduce off-flavors such as sulfur. We recommend our nutrient, SeltzerMax, to increase your YAN (Yeast Assimilable Nitrogen) concentration at ~150g/BBL. Nutrients should be added to warm water, dissolved, and then added before fermentation. 


 

Make It Wild 


Creating a spontaneously fermented cider can be difficult with must that has been pasteurized. Try using alternative microorganisms to create a more unique and complex cider. Wild yeasts such as Brettanomyces sp. or Torulaspora sp. or bacteria like Lactobacillus sp. are just a few organisms we carry to create that natural cider funk. Alternatively, check out our WLP616 Funky Cider Blend that contains everything you need to create a tart funk-forward cider. 

 

Learn More


Hard Cider Tech Sheet