(n) a fault in cider caused by the airborne
acetobacter bacteria, which generates
acetic acid in the cider. This happens when
the cider is allowed to be in contact with air,
and is the same fault that can occur in wine
and beer. The unmistakable taste of vinegar
is the result. Your best bet is to use it as
cider vinegar in the kitchen!
(n) the fruit used to make cider! But not just
any old apple - different types of apple are
used, depending on the type of cider being made.
In some parts of the UK (notably Eastern parts)
culinary (cooking) or dessert (eating) apples
are used; whereas in other parts, especially
in the western areas, specially grown cider
apples are used. Cider apples are classified
as Bittersharp, Bittersweet,
Sharp or Sweet,
depending on the relative amounts of acid and/or
tannin present in the apples - see the individual
definitions of these terms for more explanation.
There is a large number of different varieties
of cider apple - some well-known ones are Kingston
Black, Foxwhelp, Dabinett,
Chisel Jersey and Tremlett's Bitter.
(a or n) a type of apple relatively high in
both acidity and tannin - will taste sharp and
(a or n) a type of apple relatively low in acidity
but high in tannin - will taste astringent (bitter)
but not too sharp
(n) gas given off during fermentation. This
may be harnessed by means of a secondary fermentation
in bottled cider or perry to produce a naturally
sparkling drink. Makers of keg ciders will have
processed this natural carbonation out and will
have to artificially add it back to give a simulated
"life" to the cider.
(n) parcels of fruit pulp to be pressed are
built up into a stack called a cheese.
The parcels were traditionally wrapped in long
straw or horsehair but nowadays usually in some
sort of polyester cloth which will allow the
juice to flow through it while preventing the
solid matter from being squeezed out under pressure.
In the UK, the term cider always refers
to an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the
juice of apples. In the USA, sweet cider
(or simply cider) means apple juice (unfermented);
and hard cider is used to mean alcoholic
(a) lack of sweetness in cider or perry, based
on the amount of sugar or other sweetener present
in it. Dry cider or perry has a low amount of
sweetness compared to medium or sweet. The majority
of real ciders are naturally dry, as nearly
all the sugar gets fermented out. They are then
sweetened to produce medium or sweet ciders.
(n) the conversion of sugar in apple or pear
juice to alcohol, resulting in cider or perry
respectively, by the action of yeast. Carbon
dioxide is given off during the reaction, allowing
sparkling ciders or perries to be made naturally.
(n) a term sometimes used for the cloths normally
used to wrap the pulp when building a cheese.
This is derived from the old practice of using
horsehair for this purpose
(v) to use a traditional technique (too complex
to explain here!) which results in a cider which
is naturally sweet.
For more details on the process, see the article
Your Cider on cidermaking expert Andrew
Lea's website (scroll down to the section entitled
French and English tradition).
(a) medium sweetness in cider or perry, based
on the amount of sugar or other sweetener present
in it. Medium cider or perry has a higher amount
of sweetness than dry, and a lower amount than
(n) a device used to turn the fruit into pulp
so that it can be pressed to extract the juice.
There are several types of mill - some will
crush the fruit whereas others will chop or
grate it into small pieces. See also stone
mill and scratter.
The term cider mill is sometimes used
to refer to the whole cider farm or cider works,
(n) another term for a cheese
- sometimes spelt or pronounced muck.
(n) a fault in cider affecting the taste. Cider
can develop a taint (off-flavour) caused by
the formation of ethanamide by certain types
of wild yeast - the taste is known as mouse.
It's difficult to describe the taste, but presumably
if you've ever tasted a small rodent it tastes
similar! There are various treatments but no
proper cure, once the mouse taint has developed.
If it's not too far gone then the best bet is
to use up the cider before it gets any worse!
(n) another name for pulp
(n) a plantation of cultivated fruit trees -
apples or pears for cider or perry. The term
is also used for other fruits.
(n) the fruit used to make perry. Special types
of pear (called perry pears) are used,
as dessert pears are not good for making perry.
Some well-known varieties of perry pear are
Gin, Rock, Hendre Huffcap
and Blakeney Red.
(n) an alcoholic drink made by fermenting the
juice of perry pears. In the USA, the term pear
cider is used for perry.
(n) another name for apple pulp - sometimes
used to refer to the spent pulp after pressing.
This is often used as animal feed.
(v) to extract fruit juice from pulp by subjecting
it to pressure and squeezing the juice out,
leaving the solid matter behind
(n) mechanical equipment designed to exert pressure
on fruit pulp to extract the juice. Traditional
presses are normally operated manually (see
also screw press) but in
larger cider works today many presses are hydraulically
(n) the crushed, chopped or grated fruit from
milling apples or pears, prior to pressing.
(v) to mill or crush the fruit.
(n) a fault in cider caused by bacterial activity,
resulting in the cider becoming viscous or oily.
In extreme cases, the cider when poured forms
'strings' or 'ropes', hence the name. Usually
the ropiness manifests itself in the early stages
by small clumps of viscous matter floating in
the cider - if you've ever seen 'mother of vinegar'
in a vinegar bottle then it looks a little like
that (but it's not the same thing). This can
be removed and the cider's taste is unaffected
and it can normally be drunk without any ill
effects on the drinker. The ropiness will only
get worse with long term storage, as there is
no proper remedy. The best bet is to drink up
the cider before it gets any worse!
Zider Ed's tip: pour the cider into
a jug and remove the rope with an ordinary dining
(n) a type of rotary mill operated by hand or
by motor power, which crushes and shreds or
chops the fruit between spiked or toothed rollers.
(From the verb scrat meaning 'to scratch'
- the verb 'to scrat' meaning 'to mill' is not
often used these days).
(n) a type of press which works by screwing
down a beam, board or plate tightly on top of
the fruit pulp to exert pressure on it and extract
the juice. Some presses have a single central
screw and others may have two or more screws.
Unfortunately this term means different things
to different people! The usual meanings are
1. (n) simply, an affectionate slang term for
cider, usually applied to draught cider.
2. (n) implies an inferior or poorly made cider
3. (n) high quality real cider made from traditional
methods - this is the definition we at the Scrumpy
User Guide advocate!
(a or n) a type of apple relatively high in
acidity but low in tannin - will taste sharp
(acidic) but not astringent (bitter). Many cooking
apples fit this profile.
(a or n) a cider or perry made with a single
variety of apple or pear, respectively. One
of the best known single varietal ciders is
Kingston Black, made entirely from that
apple variety. Most ciders and perries are made
from a blend of apples to get the right balance
of sweetness, astringency and acidity, but some
varieties can be used alone to make a very good
cider or perry. This is analogous to single
varietal wines made from grape varieties such
as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Photo © NACM
a type of mill consisting of a circular horizontal
stone, usually with a circular trough cut around
it near the outer edge; and a second circular
stone which was vertical and would roll around
the trough in the lower stone. The vertical
stone would be supported by a wooden beam and
pivot around the centre of the horizontal one,
and would be pushed around manually or by horsepower.
The fruit would be pushed into the trough to
be crushed by the rolling stone. There would
usually be an outlet for the juice at one point
where the juice was collected in between revolutions.
Such mills were still used by some cidermakers
well past the mid-20th century but there are
probably none still in use today. The mills
can still occasionally be seen at cider farms
or in museums.
1. (a) indicates a high level of sweetness in
cider or perry, based on the amount of sugar
or other sweetener present in it. Sweet cider
or perry has a high amount of sweetness compared
to medium or dry. Many sweet ciders are produced
by adding artificial sweetener to dry ciders
2. (a or n) a type of apple relatively low in
both acidity and tannin - will taste sweet with
little sharpness or astrigency (bitterness).
Many eating apples fit this profile.
(n) a loft, typically above a barn, where apples
are stored and allowed to mature for a while
before being pulped for cider. Some cidermakers
believe this improves the quality of the juice
and softens the apples, making them easier to
pulp and improving the amount of juice extracted.
See also tump.
(n) a substance present in apples and pears
to a greater or lesser degree, which imparts
astringency to the resulting cider or perry.
Good ciders and perries need a certain amount
of tannin in the fruit mix. See bittersweet
(n) West Country word meaning a hill
or heap. In cidermaking, it is used to
refer to a mound of apples left to mature before
being pulped, sometimes in a barn or even in
the open air. See also tallet.
(n) a micro-organism which will convert sugars
to alcohol during the process of fermentation.
All alcoholic drinks are made using some form
of yeast. In the case of cider and perry, traditionally
there was no need to add any yeast, as the yeasts
naturally present in the fruit does the job.
Many traditional ciders and perries are still
made this way, but some cider and perry makers
use a known yeast to give more consistent results.