It might be easier said than done to get a couple of apples and make cider, as you would not know which are suitable when you want a high quality tasty cider. Large cider producers with specific tastes in mind use a selection of which they call “cider” apples. These apples produce distinctive favours due to their high levels of tannin. When they refer to a particular cider apple, it is an apple with a bitter sharp or bittersweet taste to it while others have lower sharps and sweets to it.

Home brewers who try their hand at cider brewing do not have to despair as even dessert or eating apples can be used even though they are rather sweet, while cooking apples have a higher content of tannin and more acidic. The best advice is to use a combination of apples especially when you want an excellent tasting cider, which are well balanced. When you taste your juice and it is astringent then you could add crab apples that add tannin. When your harvested apples and collection are too low to your taste then visit some apple orchards and add more variety.

Harvesting apples are just as important as you need them fully ripe and this you know by looking for the pip color of the apple. An apple’s pip is black when it is ready for harvesting especially for cider brewing and never use very light brown pipped apples. A slightly bruised apple where you can cut away brown spots is fine. After you picked them, do not use them straight away, as you want to allow skins to soften which takes up to two weeks. During this time, they must be stored in a clean, odour free area. Now you will be ready to start crushing and milling your potential cider.