Cider Corner: Lab Investments to Consider Right Now

Equipment purchases for your cidery’s lab can help maintain a high standard of quality and consistency that most cideries look to have.

“As well as our customers,” wrote the staff of Vander Mill. “[They] have come to expect of our efforts and products.

“The lab has always been important for years because of its role in quality control.”

​Even an established brand like Vander Mill is still looking to improve, mentioning that the newest piece of equipment added was ​a digital ebulliometer.

​When it comes to quality and consistent practices in the lab, Mount Diablo‘s Thomas Henry explained to Brewer that cidery’s need to remember to make sure all equipment is washed and cleaned before storage and thoroughly sanitized before use.

READ MORE: Cider Corner: Should You Be Dialing Back Online Sales?

“Regularly check all rubber seals for wear and tear,” he added. “Keep hoses clean, dry, and vertical or at least hung when not in use.”

Henry said that inventory and financial records are documented in Excel as a way of keeping track and all production notes are documented in the production log, which acts as a legal reference.

You can get as technical or non-technical as you want with your cider. Both can net results as long as you are producing a quality product.

Dressler Estate invested money by getting a Vinmetrica Free SO2 meter, and a decent pH meter.

“Free SO2 is essential in protecting your delicate cider from both oxidation and spoilage microorganisms. Free SO2 is also dependent on pH,” said Brian Dressler.

He added that he believes cideries should skip what he said can be inaccurate test strips and pay the $500 for decent digital measurement tools.

“[It’s] guaranteed the best money you’ll ever spend in a cidery,” he said.

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