Lesson 2
Cider and Perry
Rural Heritage in a Bottle
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
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Lesson Overview
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Cider: definition and legislation governing its
production
2.3 Cider apple varieties
2.4 Cider production
2.5 Cider evaluation and tasting
2.6 Perry
Summary / Conclusion
References
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
Aims and Learning Outcomes of the Lesson
On completion of this lesson the learner will be expected to
be able to;
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Describe the legislation, production process and the major
types of ciders and Perry made worldwide.
Explain the principle characteristics of bitter, sharp and sweet
apple varieties which contribute to making fine ciders
Act on the knowledge and techniques involved in the evaluation
and tasting of different ciders and Perry.
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
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2.1 Introduction
Cider and Perry has been made for thousands of years; however it has only
recently seen a significant rise in popularity.
The cider and Perry market is one of the fasting growing segments of the drinks
industry considered by many to be the preferred draught and bottled drink
consumed by the young and old.
Cider, though once a rural, seasonal drink has changed in terms of image and
perception and is now nationally consumed throughout the year.
The international market is now comprised of a range of high quality and wellknown brands which are produced in many flavours.
Today it can be confidently claimed that there is a Cider and Perry variety to
meet every consumer requirement.
Cider from the apple to the bottle
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.1 Introduction
(continued)
Historical Background of Cider
Pre Christian times and the middle ages
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The origins of Cider have been traced as far back as pre Christian times
Later in Christian times monastic orders were considered to have made an important contribution to the development of
orchards for the purpose of cider making.
During the Middle ages cider was popular, particularly in rural areas. Water supplies in large towns were often unreliable and
tea and coffee were not, as yet known in Europe. As a result, alcohol, including cider was consumed by worker and master
alike, as the process of brewing produced a beverage that was bacteria free and therefore safe to drink.
Cider Artisans, brand demand
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In the beginning, cider was brewed in modest amounts but not by small tenants, who could not afford the large outlay and
slow return from an orchard.
Orchards were, therefore more commonly found on large farms and estates. Orchards, though sometimes smaller, were usually
14 to 21 acres.
During the early part of the 20th century, the manufacture of cider was considerable, with much of it produced for home
consumption and more of it sold to the trade. Some orchard owners sold their cider under their own label and so, in this way,
built up a demand for their particular brand.
Cider drinking in the USA:
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Prior to prohibition (1920) in the USA, hard cider was to America what table wine is to France. Farms, communities,
meals, and food itself revolved around the drink's presence.
Changes brought about by the 20th century, however, meant that traditional cider mills and orchards didn't stand a
chance.
Twenty years ago America took European brewing traditions and created its own craft brewing industry, influenced
predominantly by the English ciders of Somerset and the three counties, but without access to the same stocks of bittersweet,
tannic cider apples, craft American ciders tend to be sparkling and served chilled.
True cider, defined primarily by the production process, can be as complex as a glass of wine and is served in Manhattans
best restaurants as a perfect low-alcohol substitute for wine.
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.2
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Cider: Definition and Legislation
Governing its Production
Cider is the sweet juice of apples that can be consumed as a beverage or used as a raw material in
vinegar making.
It is typically a clear, golden drink, which can range in colour from a pale yellow to a dark amber rose.
It has a fruity flavour and a varying degree of taste from very sweet to tart ranging in alcohol content from
2 to 8.5 percent alcohol by volume or sometimes higher in traditional English ciders.
Brown (1978) contends that when sugar or extra fruit has been added and a secondary fermentation
increases the alcoholic strength, a cider is classified as apple wine in the USA.
Sweet cider is the non-alcoholic versions of cider and it can be made into apple juice by pasteurizing it and
adding preservatives to stop the natural fermentation process.
Hard cider is the product that results when the juice is allowed to undergo fermentation. This cider contains
alcohol. Additionally, it is often effervescent due to the activity of the natural yeasts present.
Cider may be made from any variety of apples, but certain cultivars grown solely for use in cider are
known as cider apples (NCAM, 2012).
The United Kingdom has the highest per capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing
companies in the world (NCAM, 2012).
Cider is also popular and traditional in Ireland; France, Brittany (Chistr), Normandy (Cidre); Spain,
Basque Country (Sagardo), Asturias (Sidra), Galicia (Sidra); Sweden; Germany (Rheinland Pfalz), Hessen
(Frankfurt am Main), (Most, Viez or Apfelwein); Argentina, the provinces of (Río Negro, Mendoza), Australia
(Tasmania).
Pear cider is used as an alternative name for Perry by some producers (Huddleston, 2008).
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.2
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Cider: Definition and Legislation
Governing its Production (continued)
European Union: no common EU legislation covering cider unlike for instance wine. The Association of the Cider
and Fruit Wine Industries of the EU (L’Association des Industries des Cidres et Vins de fruits de l’U.E.), AICV, is an
organisation of the producers with members from 11 cider and fruit wine producing countries within the EU.
According to the Code of Practice set out by AICV, cider and perry are derived by the fermentation of the juices of
apples or pears respectively without at any time adding distilled alcohol. Its alcoholic strength varies between 1.2%
and 8.5% by volume. The fortification of cider and perry by adding distilled alcohol is not permitted.
United Kingdon: Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 - Cider and wine production; in cider only 25% pear juice is
allowed and in perry only 25% apple juice is allowed, colourings may only be used to produce cider or perry in the
colour range straw/gold/golden brown, no limit for adding sugar or water preservatives are permitted according to the
food legislation, liable to duty, when the alcohol content is between 1.2 and 8.5% vol. Above 8.5% it is considered
wine. National Association of Cider Makers (NACM), accounts for more than 90% of the cider sales in Britain and
have a clear code of practice similiar to AICV. (chapter 2 – pp. 38-39)
France: UNICID (l’Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle Cidricole) distinguishes between the British and French
spelling of the word: Cider is a drink obtained from fermented apple juice, sugar and water, whereas cidre is a drink
fermented from apple juice or from a mixture of apples and pears. Addition of sugar or water to cidre is not allowed.
Furthermore, they distinguish between the different forms of cidre (chapter 2 – pp. 39-40).
Germany: still cider between 5% and 7% ABV, the Sachsenhausen district of Frankfurt is almost entirely devoted to
cider houses where the drink is taken neat, or diluted with water or orange juice, accompanied by local delicacy
handkäse, a greasy, delicious cheese and onion concoction.
Sweden: National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) defined rules for cider produced in Sweden for the
Swedish market.
Denmark: Danish Fruit Culture is a network of people interested in genuine fruit products among others traditional
cider. Level 1: Strong cider which is a drink made by fermentation of apple juice. The juice can contain up to 25%
pear juice, but not juice from other fruits. Sugar or concentrate can be added to the juice, but no other adjuncts are
allowed. Strong cider can be still or sparkling and addition of carbon dioxide is allowed. Correction of the sweetness
with sugar and apple juice or concentrate is allowed. It is not allowed. to add distilled alcohol, aroma or colourings.
The end product must contain at least 85% fruit juice (fermented or not fermented). The alcohol content must be at
least 2.0 and max. 8.5% vol.
Other Ciders of the World: (Chapter 2 – pp. 41-42)
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.3
Cider Apple Varieties
Cider is made in various parts of Europe and North America from apple strains with which the average consumer is not familiar:
Somerset Redstreak, Medaille d'Or, Bulmer's Norman, Kingston Black and Dabinett, for example. You won't find such popular
eating apples as Macintosh, Delicious, Granny Smith, Cortland and the like in anything considered a fine cider.
Apple Varieties and Types
There are probably only ten or so varieties of apples widely grown for cider making. Cider is however traditionally made with one
third each of sweet, bittersweet, and sharp apples. The principle characteristics of cider apples which contribute to this
classification are the content of phenolic compounds (tannins) and the acidity;
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bittersweet apples, contain more than 0.2% (w/v) of tannins and less than 0.45% (w/v) acidity (calculated as malic acid).
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sharp apples, have less than 0.2% (w/v) tannins and greater than 0.45% (w/v) acidity; a subgroup of this classification, bittersharps, have the
same range of acidity but have a tannin content of greater than 0.2% (w/v).
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sweet apples, have less than 0.2% (w/v) tannins and less than 0.45% (w/v) acid.
Modern Cider Makers
Most modern cider makers and orchard managers making cider in the traditional manner will use one or more varieties of bittersweet apples.
England, France, Ireland, USA and Spain are the major countries with true cider apple orchards. These apples are characterized by high acid
and tannin levels, which make them, unfit for table fruit but give ciders distinctive flavours and body. Examples of bittersweet varieties which are
chosen for varying maturation periods include;
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early croppers: Nehou, Tremlett’s Bitter
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mid season maturing: Michelin, Dabinett, Somerset, Red Streak, Harry Master’s Jersey
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later maturing varieties: brown snout, Vilberie, Reine des Pommes, Medaille d’Or, Yarlington Mill
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other maturing varieties: Breakwell Seedling, Chisel Jersey, Tardive Forrestier, Bulmer’s Norman.
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.4
Cider Production
Cidermaking Process
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The Harvest: Cider apples become ripe and are harvested between the months of September and December.
Manual collection by sacks, larger orchards are harvested mechanically;
Sweating: the optional mellowing period, the apples are stored in a clean, odour free area, sometimes they are
allowed to mellow and soften for about a week to ten days before grinding.
Washing and Quality Checking: before milling, grinding, the apples will be weighted, checked for fruit type and
quality and passed through a water bath to remove (leaves, twigs, harmful bacteria, insects and any spray
residues), rotten apples will be removed at this stage.
Grinding: grind, crush or mill the apples to a fine pulp to extract the maximum amount of juice. As apples are a
hard fruit, slicing is necessary to facilitate juice extraction. This is done with high-speed rotary blades, which reduce
the fruit to a pulp.
Pressing: it is from this pulp that the juice must be extracted by pressure. After pressing is a substance known as
pomace (skins and solids of the apples, seeds which contain sugar, tannins, flavour and pectin) used for livestock
feed, mixed one-to-four with other forage it aids animals digestions
seedling stock, spreading pomace directly on the fields as a fertilizer produces or discourag growth of weeds.
Blending: many varieties of apples can be used for a well-balanced finish cider, juices of aromatic, astringent, and
acid-tart apples are added to a neutral or bland juice base until the mixture tastes right to the maker.
Fermentation: the Vat House, the squeezed apple juice flows to a small vat and on its way passes through a
series of filters. It is then pumped into a vat house for fermentation. The apple juice ferments for eight weeks often
in two stages
Racking: cider is siphoned off its lees the thick sediment that has settled at the bottom of the fermenting vessel –
with a clean plastic tube into the second fermentation tank, into storage containers, or directly into bottles. Acid
levels and alcohol content is tested and compared to pre-fermentation readings.
Filtering or Fining: traditionalists like the natural slight haze in cider, others prefer it crystal clear. Racking off
clears the cider considerably but filtering and fining will clarify it still further.
Maturation and Packaging: the cider will mature slowly over a period of several months. Samples are then drawn
off and laboratory tested for purity and alcohol content and afterwards put through several separate filtering
processes. After chilling, further filtering and carbonating, the cider is then packaged and ready for distribution.
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.5 Cider Evaluation and Tasting
Cider tasting can be real fun and an excellent event for fun nights, themed evenings or a business
tasting event. Deciphering the still, sparkling, dry and sweet types within the wonderful world of
‘Real’ cider by learning about how to taste and enjoy a hand picked selection of regional ciders can
get you really excited about this wonderful traditional and ancient drink.
Cider tasting
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Like wine, cider can be judged by the sensual criterion of a tasting ritual. Tangy, spicy, refreshing,
bittersweet, and fragrant are just five ways of describing cider.
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Regardless of whatever commentary and glossary of terms that you decide to use, tasting cider is
a physical process in which the senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch make up the
examination outline.
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The manner in which the cider is served clean, elegant glasses at the right temperature. Avoid
cut crystal, Styrofoam cups or transparent plastic cups, use glass vessels with great depth.
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Remember the sweeter the cider the colder it must be served, drier ciders may be served at
room temperature, ciders high in alcohol should be served cold but not always ice cold.
Tasting and Evaluation Notes (chapter 2)
Selection of Premium and Vintage Ciders.
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Cider tasting notes – pp. 47-48
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Evaluating cider – pp. 47-48
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Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
2.6 Perry
Definition: ‘Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears’ (Huddleston, 2008)
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This definition follows the code of practice for Perry set by l’Association des Industries des Cidres et Vins de fruits de L’U.E.
There is no common EU legislation covering Perry’s production, it can be produced from pears and possibly a limited volume of apples.
Perry is common for centuries in England (Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire), parts of south Wales, France (Normandy and
Anjou).
In recent years commercial Perry is been referred to as ‘pear cider’ by some producers and enjoyed in Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, USA.
CAMRA don’t accept this name for this traditional drink.
The Pears
Special pear cultivars are used: in the UK the Blakeney Red is most common and produces top quality Perry.
Varieties: There are 120 accepted varieties of Perry pear, distribution is localised, hence there is over 200 names used for varieties (Oliver,
2010). The plant grows very high, fruit will appear but is only worthwhile after year 10 (standards) and year 5 (on the bush).
Harvesting and preparation
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Harvesting from early September to December depending on the variety concerned and the year.
Manual or machine picking process, handpicking is considered the best.
Yields can vary dependent on tree maturity and season.
Washing and milling (within 24 hours for early varieties like Moorcroft), others like Butt (stored off the ground on straw, kept cool sorted and
sweated until mature.
Varieties high in tannin (i.e. Butt, Flakey Bark, Rock or Teddington Green) can be macerated to reduce the tannin levels in finished juice by 2/3
depending on degree of exposure to air (Oliver, 2010).
Types of Perry:
Labelling Perry:
Still Perry
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Bottle conditioned Perry
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Bottle fermented Perry
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Forced carbonation.
differs from country to country, ingredients listed in descending order of weight, processing aids, sweetness levels – dry,
medium, or sweet, whether it is still, bottle conditioned or bottle fermented or forced carbonation, strength, allergen advice, lot mark, storage
conditions, usage instructions, wording required and defined by legislation. If single variety Perry, then the variety must be declared.
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
Summary / Conclusion
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Cider has come a long way from over 300 year ago when it was referred to as the
English Champagne through the last number of decades when it was the preferred
drink for the over indulgent on street corners or parks.
Today, cider's has been reborn, sales are on the rise especially amongst smaller
producers using traditional methods and a higher apple juice content.
Cider is best known as a great, refreshing summer drink and given how well it pairs
with food; it's no surprise that the world’s most famous chefs are using ciders instead
of spirits and liqueurs in their signature dishes.
Cider is acidic and fruit based with a flavour ranging from dry to sweet like wine.
The apple varieties available to the cider producer are as wide as the grape varieties
available to the wine producer. Their work has helped bars to capitalise in bringing to
their customers a wider range of ciders which express the land, the apple varieties
and the rich traditions which surround cider.
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears, 120 accepted varieties of
Perry pear exist today, the main types and quality of Perry are still, conditioned, bottle
fermented and forced carbonated.
Draught still Perry can be filtered or pasteurised and packaged in various forms while
conditioned and bottle fermented Perry is packed in heavy duty bottles with cork and
wire tops.
Lesson 2: Cider and Perry
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References
AICV (L’Association des Industries des Cidres et Vins de Fruits de l’U.E).
Brown, S, C. (1978) "Wines & beers of old New England’. UPNE. [accessed 29th July 2011].
Lea, A. (2010) Craft Cider Making, Good Life Press: UK.
CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale Association).
Oliver, T. (2010) The Three Countries and Welsh Marches Perry presiduem Protocol, available
www.theolivers.org.uk/SFPP_Protocol.pdf [accessed 1/04/13].
NACM (2012) National Association of Cider Makers, available www.cideruk.com [accessed 12th
June 2012].
Huddleston, N. (2008)’Pear Perception’. Morning Advertiser, [accessed 1st May 2009].
Murphy, J. (2013) Principles and Practices of Bar and Beverage Management – The Drinks
Handbook, Goodfellow Publishing Ltd, Oxford: England.
Web resources
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www.chm.bris.ac.uk/cidermaking.htm
Cider making.
http://www.pomona.dk/SBR2006_02_Cider.pdf
Cider definitions for the EU.
http://www.real-cider.co.uk/london-cider-tour/
London cider tours.
http://www.real-cider.co.uk/north-american-cider-map/
American cider map.
http://www.real-cider.co.uk/the-worlds-best-cider-boards/ UK cider menu boards.
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Lesson 2 - Cider and Perry