Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Is cider a beer?

January 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Hard Cider

Is cider a beer?

Is cider a beer?                                                

Cider is an alcoholic drink made from fermented fruit juice. Traditionally cider is made from apple juice although it can be made from peaches or other fruit. Cider varies in alcohol content from 2% to 8.5%. In United States, the beverage that we call apple cider is the liquid that one gets when apples are cut, mashed in to a liquid and pressed for juice. This juice which is obtained usually contains apple pulp and as a result, it is usually brown and quite cloudy. And also, this is easily spoiled and therefore, and has to be kept refrigerated at all times. It is this unprocessed liquid that one refers to as cider in United States.

Yet in England, cider is best defined as an alcoholic drink. The apple is mashed and pressed to extract the juice and then this juice is allowed to ferment which in turn gives the juice its alcoholic property. The commercial cider producers add yeast to this juice to enhance and quicken the fermentation process whereas the natural cider, allowed ferment in its own sugars under natural conditions are referred to as soft cider. The cider is also constantly checked for its balance of nutrients, sugars and other aspects.

So is cider a beer?

Actually, no it is a wine. In fact cider may be called “apple wine” depending on who you are talking to.

So why isn’t cider a beer? Well, what is beer?

Beer is made using a process of brewing and fermentation of sugars mostly gained through cereal grains, particularly malted barley and malted wheat. The juice obtained from the wheat are placed in fermenting vessels and to this, yeast is added in order to enhance the fermentation process. This brewing is done in the least amount of time as possible as the beverage is known to get spoilt very quickly.

So what are the differences between cider and beer?

There is a fairly large difference between cider and beer. One of the biggest differences between cider and beer is that beer is made from malted barley and cider is produced from apple juice. Cider can also be made from apple juice as an alcoholic beverage but also as a non-alcoholic beverage. On the other hand beer always contains alcohol even though it may be a fairly small percentage.

Cider and beer are made two totally different ways. Cider is produced from fermenting apple juice whereas beer is made by brewing and fermenting malted barley and is flavored with hops.

When it comes to the flavors and variety of cider and beer, cider comes in dry and sweet varieties. Beer is also classified into two categories based on the temperature at which it is brewed. If the brewing of beer takes place in a low temperature it is called a lager, at a high temperature it is called ale.

Cider also looks different than beer. Ciders are either completely clear to cloudy and can come with sediment in them depending on the type. Cider is light yellow, orange or some hue of brown color. The color of beer is determined entirely by the color of the malt.

Both beverages can be made with alcohol or without alcohol and both are widely available all over the world. However if you are wondering if cider is a beer, it definitely is not.



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