Cider Corner: The DIY Aspects of Craft Cider

Craft cider makers are finding that gleaning info from craft beer breweries can help in the development of their own ventures.

That means bits and pieces, used parts and ‘MacGyver’ing a system is something that many do to start.

“Our whole cidery is a life hack, If we don’t have what we need we try and make it before we resort to buying it,” said Natalie Henze of Santa Cruz Cider. “We have some very handy people though. Our bottle/can filler was a self creation that saved us tons of money and space.”

Some day, Jeffrey Cheskin, the co-founder of Liquid Alchemy Beverages in Wilmington, Delaware said they want a truly efficient, easy to clean, filter system, but for now the fancy stuff will have to wait.

“It’s amazing how a nice glycol wrapped tank, a good filter and some awesome fresh apples will make a killer cider,” he said. “Our original fermentation tanks were used from a brewery and my partner and I wrapped them in PEX tubing and basically jacketed them ourselves and hooked them up to small chillers that we plumbed ourselves.”

Mark Kornei, the CFO for Schilling Hard Cider said the cidery has a custom-built keg filler with modifications made to the CIP skid, and they have also tuned up the cartoning machine.

Since Henze said they like to everything themselves Santa Cruz Cider invested in a single-can seamer which allows them to make large or small batches of canned cider.

“Most canning contractors require a minimum of 20 bbls to can for you,” she explained. “Instead of purchasing a second brite tank we bought the Oktober Design’s single-can seamer. It makes it so easy to can whatever you like no matter the size of the batch.”

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