247 episodes

Interviewing cidermakers, importers, orchardists, foodies, farmers and cider enthusiasts around the world. Let’s delve into the semantics of cider…or is it hard cider, cidre, sidra or fermented apple juice? The truth is out there in Ciderville and we are going to find it. We toast in celebration of cider; As a libation, a gift from the gods, a taste of terroir, and a hard pressed good time. Ready to quench your thirst? Grab a glass and join this chat! See you in Ciderville!

Cider Chat Ria Windcaller: Award winning Cidermaker | Craft Libations Columnist | Podc

    • Food
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Interviewing cidermakers, importers, orchardists, foodies, farmers and cider enthusiasts around the world. Let’s delve into the semantics of cider…or is it hard cider, cidre, sidra or fermented apple juice? The truth is out there in Ciderville and we are going to find it. We toast in celebration of cider; As a libation, a gift from the gods, a taste of terroir, and a hard pressed good time. Ready to quench your thirst? Grab a glass and join this chat! See you in Ciderville!

    Traveling the Cider Trail | Part 2

    Traveling the Cider Trail | Part 2

    Franklin County CiderDays now has a "Cider Trail" with 16 stops covering western Massachusetts and the Berkshires! This is part 2 of the series on traveling the Cider Trail and we will look at 10 stops along the trail. Episode 243 is part 1 of this series and details a 5 stop loop and day trip.
    View from West County Cider - picnic area looking out to Vermont and New Hampshire[/caption]
    This episodes brings us west of the Connecticut River and into the rolling hills of west county.
    We begin with:
    Bear Swamp Orchard - Distillery and Cidery
    1209 B Hawley Road, Ashfield MA 01330
    Bottle Shop Saturday and Sunday 1-5 on November 7th & 8th
    Bear Swamp Orchard Website
    Telephone (413) 625-2849 The apple brandy/hard cider bottle shop and tasting room is open  November 7th & 8th (traditional cider days weekend) 1-5 PM all dates. Besides that we will still offer Saturday afternoon in person pick up for orders through our online store until the end of November.
    Bear Swamp is at the top of the hills on the east side of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, with views that reach out to Vermont and New Hampshire. The farm borders the Trustees of Reservations Bear Swamp Reservation, which offers miles of scenic hiking trails and views of its own.
    Look for:
    Hard Cider, brandy and liqueurs. Vinegar (raw, unpasteurized, untreated) Jams and Jellies Maple syrup Headwater Cider
    112 Forget Road, Hawley, MA 01339
    Open weekends, Oct. 10-November 8; 10-5 Saturdays and Sundays
    Headwater Cider Website
    (413) 695-6099 Grow What You Press. Press What You Grow.
    Estate Cider from Franklin County. Crisp and Dry. Grown, Pressed, and Bottled here at the orchard. Sample and purchase a range of alcoholic ciders at the source!
    $12 / 750ml bottle
    Pine Hill Orchards
    248 Greenfield Road, Colrain, MA 01340 Store open daily 9am-6 pm, year-round. Food trailer operates Thursday-Sunday 9 am-4 pm, seasonally
    Pine Hill Orchard website Pine Hill Orchards on Facebook (413) 624-3325 Orchard selling apples, cider and locally made foods.
    Special Blend Cider Sale for Cider Days Weekend: Bring your carboys and barrels to fill up with fresh-pressed specialty blends for bulk sale! Four different blends with multiple cider varieties used. 4000+ gallons will be available on November 7th and 8th from 9am to 5pm ONLY!! First come first served!
    Bob DeLisle and Charlie Olchowski will be available all Saturday morning at the juice room to answer cider making questions and to give guidance. The Farm Store is open year-round from 9 am to 6 pm daily. The New Food Trailer is open seasonally Thursday through Sunday serving over-the -top burgers, poutine, irresistible fried dough, and more! Make sure to grab a bag of Cider Donuts!
    Ryan & Casey Liquors
    55 Main St., Greenfield, MA 01302 Hours of operation: Mon-Sat, 8 am-11 pm; Sun 10 am-9 pm Ryan & Casey Website (413) 775-6585 Bottle shop featuring ciders from Western MA producers, as well as other national and international brands, plus wines, beers, and spirits. There will be samples and discounts on cider and all things apple from mid-October through Franklin County CiderDays weekend (Nov. 7-8).
    Shelburne Falls Cork
    1 Deerfield Avenue, #2, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370 Wednesday- Saturday 11am - 6pm; Sunday 2pm - 5pm Shelburne Falls Cork Website Shelburne Falls Cork on Facebook (413) 362-0265 Hard cider, artisanal wine, craft beer, local cheese, charcuterie, chocolate, and preserves. It is my desire to sell local hard ciders, craft beer, and wine from family-owned wineries, where I think the best values are found. We also carry local cheese and charcuterie from Massachusetts and Vermont. And of course, we have case discount of 10% for mixed or not mixed cases of hard cider and wine.
    West County Cider
    208 Peckville Rd. Shelburne MA 01370 Thurs. 2-5, Fri. 3-6, Sat 11-6, Sun 11-6 West County Cider Website (413)

    • 34 min
    Cider Trail 2020 | CiderDays Part 1

    Cider Trail 2020 | CiderDays Part 1

    Plan the Perfect Cider Road Trip!
    This is Part 1 of a two part series on the new Cider Trail for Franklin County CiderDays 2020.
    The following is a recommended loop to visit 5 venues on the map. You can go in either direction of this loop - look to ciderdays.org to find the map and additional info on the other stops along the Cider Trail
    1. Beaver Pond Distillery
    A German-made copper still for only 50 gallons, means every batch is hand-crafted and lovingly distilled, catching the heart of each run.
    Look for the Apple Brandy - double distillation - 1 year in oak
    Contact:
    88 Woodward Rd. Petersham, MA 01366
    By appointment only
    Beaver Pond Distillery Website
    Beaver Pond Distillery Facebook Page
    (978) 724-3443 Also available at
    Stan's Liquor Mart New Salem General Store - by the Next stop on the Cider Trail Ryan & Casey Liquors 2. Stan's Liquor Mart, with over 75 different hard ciders with their main focus on ciders made in New England! With everything from artisanal table ciders to 4 packs of fruited sweet ciders they try to carry a broad spectrum of the category.
    Stan’s Liquor Mart is a family-run business with over 30 years of experience. Besides the large selection of hard ciders, they focus on craft beer and fine wines and have an extensive selection of whiskies and other liquors. experience a a safe clean shopping experience and located 5 minutes off of Route 2.
    Contact:
    1586 South Main Street, Athol, MA 01331 (Covid hours) Monday – Saturday 10-8 Sunday 11-5 (978) 249-9550 3. New Salem Cider
    In addition to apples, cider donuts, sweet and hard ciders and preserves, several vendors will also be on site to sell local products. Space will be limited by state restricted event capacity and we will post this as well as any updates on the website and Facebook pages as the dates approach.
    Contact
    67 South Main St. in New Salem, Massachusetts. Parking available in marked areas across from driveway. Farm Store open every day, 10am-6pm Cider Garden open 12pm – 6pm and staffed on weekends (617) 634-9392 The cider garden will stay open up to Thanksgiving, with a fire pit lit on weekends, and growlers will be for sale the first two weeks of December.
    Halloween weekend, weather permitting, we will be offering small outdoor workshops on home cider making, vinegar making, pruning and orcharding; check the website and Facebook page for additional information and times.
    4. Phoenix Fruit Farm
    Orchard with 20 acres of apples, 5 acres of peaches, and a farm store featuring locally grown produce and locally made foods. Phoenix Fruit Farm was founded in 2017 by Elly Vaughan, a graduate of U. Mass with a degree in Plant and Soil Science. We press and sell our own ra of raw, unpasteurized cider and actively building toward making our own hard cider, as part of our diversification plans.
    Contact
    49 Sabin Street (farm), 401 Mill Valley Road (store), Belchertown, MA 01007 Store open daily, Mon-Sat 8-6, Sun 10-6 (978) 430-9459 5. Ragged Hill Cider
    Ragged Hill Cider Company is an award-winning orchard-based craft cidery, specializing in small batch ciders made using traditional methods with no added sugar. All the apples we use are proudly grown, picked, pressed, fermented and bottled at our 100% solar-powered orchard and cidery in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. Located in a beautiful hilltop orchard just East of the Quabbin Reservoir. The orchard offers pick-your-own blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears and about 30 varieties of apples. All of our ciders are made in the orchard with fruit grown solely at the orchard.
    Cider Offerings:
    Traditional Dry ABV 6.4% -Light, crisp, refreshing
    Traditional Semi-Dry ABV 5% - Light, aromatic, fruity
    Rasé (Raspberry Rosé) ABV 5% - Semi-dry, raspberry infused
    Honeycrisp ABV 7.1% - Semi-sweet, medium bodied, notes of honey and ripe stone fruit
    Ice Cider ABV 12%
    O

    • 23 min
    Selecting Cider

    Selecting Cider

    Tips on "SelectIng Your Perfect Cider"
    With so many choices on the shelf, purchasing cider can begin to feel daunting! This episode will provide tips to help you make that choice when faced with a wide range of cider styles.

    Here are the key tips to consider when -  Purchasing Cider
    Look for:
    Cider made from 100% apples.  Look for single varietal ciders to begin honing in on the wide variation of one cider to another Stay away from the fruit and hopped cider until you have a sound idea of what a dry cider to semi sweet cider presents Look for a Dry Scale Look for the horizontal graph below on most of all New York ciders
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Color - the range can be from light straw to deep amber. There are redflesh apples like Redfield, which will lend a red hue like a Rosè. Cans or Bottles - what really matters is the cider within. Cans have become increasingly popular with even some high end cider finding their way into cans. Plus they are better for the environment, because they are easier to recycle than glass, weigh less than glass thus decreasing shipping cost and are more compact to pack. bottles are nice objects with long stems, often cork and cage which offer up a "Pop" when opened. For a date night, it is always bottle 100%! Help Support Cider Chat Please donate today. Help keep the chat thriving!
    Find this episode and all episodes at the page for Cider Chat's podcasts.
    Listen also at iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher (for Android), iHeartRadio , Spotify and wherever you love to listen to podcasts. Follow on Cider Chat's blog, social media and podcast Twitter @ciderchat Instagram: @ciderchatciderville Cider Chat FaceBook Page Cider Chat YouTube

    • 30 min
    How to Bottle Cider at Home

    How to Bottle Cider at Home

    How to Bottle Cider at Home is Part 6 and the final episode of the Cidermaker Series "Oh September" for 2020
    Learn How to Make Cider at Home in Part 1 of this Cidermaking Series.
    Part 5 To Rack or Not To Rack is a must listen too because it brings you through the conditioning of your cider before bottling.
    Now lets get into the basic of bottling cider at home! When to bottle
    When the Specific Gravity is at least 1.000 or lower.  What is Specific Gravity (SG)?
    Specific Gravity is always discussed as a measurement of “relative density” between the water in solution and all else. Apple juice is primarily water and the rest I consider luscious apple sugars. Fermentation is the process of yeast converting the sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Tap water has a SG of 1.000. Apple Juice, on average, before fermentation has begun has a SG of 1.040 to 1.065. Apple Juice SG will vary depending upon the growing season that year, was it dry or wet year, are the apples fully ripe, the age of the apple tree, and the apple variety are some of the key factors affecting Specific Gravity. You might not see the airlock bubbling away, but your cider may still be fermenting. To be safe and avoid bottling cider that is still off gassing CO2 - Check the SG!
    How to measure SG?
    Measure Specific Gravity with a Hydrometer. The Hydrometer typically comes with a plastic tube that can be filled at least 3/4 of the way with fresh pressed apple juice. Make sure that the temperature of the juice is no cooler than 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius and no hotter than 70F or 21C. What happens if I bottle my cider while it is still fermenting?
    The bottle of cider can explode. Bottle bombs are very dangerous and can inflict serious injury to anyone nearby. When in doubt - check the SG. During Bottling you get to choose whether you want:
    Still Bubbly Dry Semi Sweet Sweet How to make Still and/or Dry Cider?
    Siphon the cider directly into your clean and sanitize bottles and cap! How to make your cider “Bubbly” in the bottle is called Bottle Conditioning.
    Options 1,2,3 In order of ease.
    1. For beginner makers starting out, the safest and most tried and true method is to add both yeast and priming sugar at the time of bottling.
    SG needs to be at or below 1.000
    2. Pet Nat is bottling the cider before it has completely fermented and the yeast are still active, but not over active. Priming Sugar then added at the time of bottling helps reboot the remaining yeast and thus create delightful bubbles. Pet Nat best done after you have made a couple batches of cider and have the gist of bottling.
    3. Méthode Champenoise is the classical way of adding bubbles and is a 2-step process.
    I recommend listening to my chat with Chuck Shelton of Albemarle Ciderworks in Virginia as he explained this technique quite well.
    Forced Carbonation is done when kegging cider to make it bubbly.
    Making Semi Sweet or Sweet Cider requires adding a bit of sugar to the cider, which is called “Back Sweetening “
    Back Sweetening is done right before you bottle. You get to chose how sweet you want your cider, by adding sugar and tasting! Tons of fun!!! Any sugar will work. It is really a about your personal preferences, be it honey, store bought priming sugar, raw sugar, maple syrup. Experimenting and finding the right fit is part of the joy of Cidermaking. How racking affects the amount of yeast in cider.
    I usually rack my cider 3 times over the course of 7 months and then a day or two before bottling if I see Fine Lees on the bottom of the carboy. If you are bottling 3 months after primary fermentation has ended, chance are there will still be some yeast cells in the cider. Those cells will get kicked started when you add sugar to the cider right before you bottle. The key is to add the right amount of sugar so that you get s one bubbles, but

    • 32 min
    To Rack or Not to Rack | Part 5

    To Rack or Not to Rack | Part 5

    This chat provides a a sip of something for everyone, from makers who want to improve their skills to consumers who enjoy knowing why a cider tastes a particular way.
    In this Cider Chat, we look at the next step after primary fermentation of cider and discuss the benefits of racking the cider over and why you may chose to not rack your cider.

    If you are a newbie to cidermaking, I recommend that you first listen to Part 1 of the Cidermaking Series How to Make Cider at Home
    Part 2-4 of the Cidermaking Series feature conversations with the Cider Team as Stormalong. These 3 chats are technical and help both DIY and commercial makers sort through cleaning techniques.
    Cidermaking Series Part 2 - Maker Tips for Growth and Cleanliness Part 3 - Cidery Sanitation Tips Part 4 - Scrub-A-Dub Valves and Vessels In this chat, I am going to lend my views and tips on Racking Cider.
    What does it mean to Rack Cider?
    Racking Cider is transferring cider from one vessel to another. Racking does not fully stop fermentation. I consider it a slowing down of the fermentation. Why should I rack the cider?
    Racking is done to help clarify the cider. When should I rack my cider?
    Racking is done after primary fermentation. Look for dead yeast cells and apple particles to fall to the bottom of the vessel. I usually wait approximately 1 month after primary fermentation to do my initial rack. This time varies and could be up to 2 months. What happens if I don’t rack my cider?
    The dead yeast cells which drop to the bottom of the vessel are called the lees. Lees left to sit for any extended period of time can give off flavors to your cider especially if you have to much head space.
    Headspace is the gap between the liquid and the stopper. If the headspace is larger than 2 inches the cider can oxidized and develop off flavors. When cider is oxidized it can taste like cardboard and that is not desirable at all.
    Leaving the lees in the cider and stirring them in is called Bâtonnage.
    Bâtonnage is stirring the yeast into solution.
    Benefits of Bâtonnage
    From episode 233 with Ryan Monkman - Ask Ryan | Quarantine Quad Series Part 3
    Nano proteins are the biggest benefit of Bâtonnage
    They release into the cider providing a perception of sweetness and body with out the sugar Need at least 9 months to a year to get the nano proteins There are short term benefits.
    Yeast produces less carbon dioxide and bubbles.
    They slow down after the first primary ferment. Fermentation may have stopped but there is still sugar left. Lees absorb off aromas, except for H2S rotting egg smell. Bâtonnage helps to maintain a reductive state.
    Full reduction - rotting smell is a type of reduction. Which helps protect the cider from oxidization and protect the flavor components. Equipment needed to Rack Cider
    Second vessel of equal size - make sure it is food grade and sanitize before racking Food grade hose and racking cane extra stopper and airlock for 2nd vessel potassium metabisulfite Mentions in this Chat
    Listen to - Not all lees are Gross with Curt Sherrer
    Help Support Cider Chat Please donate today. Help keep the chat thriving!
    Find this episode and all episodes at the page for Cider Chat's podcasts.
    Listen also at iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher (for Android), iHeartRadio , Spotify and wherever you love to listen to podcasts. Follow on Cider Chat's blog, social media and podcast Twitter @ciderchat Instagram: @ciderchatciderville Cider Chat FaceBook Page Cider Chat YouTube  

    • 36 min
    Scrub-a-Dub Valves & Vessels

    Scrub-a-Dub Valves & Vessels

    Cleaning considerations for 3 different cider operations - DYI, Farm Winery and Production with Stormalong Cider.

    (l-r) Ben Roberts-Sano, Bright McConnell, Shannon Edgar
    DIY - Home Cidermaking
     It is soak and scrub for the DIYers.
    Soak
    carboys parts nylon bags airlocks all threaded parts Rinse with copious amounts of water thoroughly and sanitize. Boil with hot water, if possible.
    Drainage and setup are a major consideration
    Due to the common lack of pumps/ floor drains. Effluent should not affect your septic, if you brew a batch or 2 per year. Biggest maker hang ups
    Using low quality materials which can't stand the cleaning Not scrubbing enough Not disassembling/boiling threaded or other  non sanitary parts Farm winery set up
    Have some sort of floor drain, and some sort of pump capable of driving a spray ball. Rinse by pumping into a spray ball Drain to floor when rinsing tanks Always pump the water from a fully clean and neutralized tank, to the tank being cleaned Spray gross soils in the tanks out before starting to clean Tanks must be vented during cleaning, and all parts should be removed. Any areas under manways or probes that might obstruct the spray must manually be scrubbed. Take off and clean manway gaskets, and ensure sight lines are cleaned Clean and sanitize throughly racking arms and carb stones for best results Biggest hangups for Farm Winery
    Not Enough hot water Not having adequate drainage and wastewater handling Some small cideries with no wastewater handling will skip all of this in lieu of a steam or hot water pressure washer. They spray the tanks to remove soils, then partially close them up and allow the metal to reach 170-180 degrees to sanitize, then purge out any air with nitrogen argon or CO2.
    Commercial scale Set Up
    Automation and verification, regular inspection and replacement of parts Rubber parts and hoses that become cracked can no longer be adequately cleaned and must be thrown out. Even steel parts can become too scratched to be cleaned properly. Chemicals are tested for potency to determine if they are depleted by cleaning, and to insure adequate rinsing The inside of the tank may be tested for microbial action by plating or ATP test Commercial Plants at this scale invest in better
    Jet or rotating spray balls Dedicated cleaning tanks / pumps, caustic recovery, re heat, and re use More, and hotter water for cleaning To sanitize commercial cider makers may use plant steam/  PAA with a dosatron or CLO2 to kill remaining microbes
    Biggest hang ups for Commercial operators
    Not inspecting enough Not rinsing enough Trying to be too efficient  Mentions in this Chat
    Listen to initial Season 1 recording with Stormalong - 36 Shannon Edgar and Ben Roberts-Sano | Stormalong Cider, MA Cidermaking Series Part 1 - How to Make Cider at Home Part 2 - Maker Tips for Growth and Cleanliness Part 3 - Cidery Sanitation Tips Contact info for Stormalong
    Website https://www.stormalong.com/ Help Support Cider Chat Please donate today. Help keep the chat thriving!
    Find this episode and all episodes at the page for Cider Chat's podcasts.
    Listen also at iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher (for Android), iHeartRadio , Spotify and wherever you love to listen to podcasts. Follow on Cider Chat's blog, social media and podcast Twitter @ciderchat Instagram: @ciderchatciderville Cider Chat FaceBook Page Cider Chat YouTube

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

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5 Ratings

5 Ratings

EnglishAdam ,

Five stars

Five stars, Five Stars....Going up :)

Catherine Moran @FoodDrinkShow ,

Superb Cider Storytelling and More

Ria makes one blindingly good podcast after another. I love her relaxed style and her highly informed questions. After listening to each episode, I come away having been both educated and entertained. What more could a cider- and perry-loving gal want? This is a must-listen show. Keep up the great work, Ria.

Nika_Dash ,

A wealth of knowledge & charm

This really well made podcast will be interesting for cider lovers, people who would like to start producing cider as well as experienced cider makers. The host has 20 years experience in cider making and has a wonderful voice. Her guests are both true experts in their craft and charming characters. They talk about the reality of making cider, share their knowledge, tips & passion. It’s educational & inspiring.

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