Chelsea Green Publishing

The New Cider Maker's Handbook

Pages:352 pages
Size: 8 x 10 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Hardcover: 9781603584739
Pub. Date October 01, 2013

The New Cider Maker's Handbook

A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
October 01, 2013


All around the world, the public’s taste for fermented cider has been growing more rapidly than at any time in the past 150 years. And with the growing interest in locally grown and artisanal foods, many new cideries are springing up all over North America, often started up by passionate amateurs who want to take their cider to the next level as small-scale craft producers.

To make the very best cider—whether for yourself, your family, and friends or for market—you first need a deep understanding of the processes involved, and the art and science behind them. Fortunately, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is here to help. Author Claude Jolicoeur is an internationally known, award-winning cider maker with an inquiring, scientific mind. His book combines the best of traditional knowledge and techniques with up-to-date, scientifically based practices to provide today’s cider makers with all the tools they need to produce high-quality ciders.

The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is divided into five parts containing:

  • An accessible overview of the cider making process for beginners;
  • Recommendations for selecting and growing cider-appropriate apples;
  • Information on juice-extraction equipment and directions on how to build your own grater mill and cider press;
  • A discussion of the most important components of apple juice and how these may influence the quality of the cider;
  • An examination of the fermentation process and a description of methods used to produce either dry or naturally sweet cider, still or sparkling cider, and even ice cider.

This book will appeal to both serious amateurs and professional cider makers who want to increase their knowledge, as well as to orchardists who want to grow cider apples for local or regional producers. Novices will appreciate the overview of the cider-making process, and, as they develop skills and confidence, the more in-depth technical information will serve as an invaluable reference that will be consulted again and again. This book is sure to become the definitive modern work on cider making.

A mechanical engineer by profession, Claude Jolicoeur first developed his passion for apples and cider after acquiring a piece of land on which there were four rows of old abandoned apple trees. He started making cider in 1988 using a “no-compromise” approach, stubbornly searching for the highest possible quality. Since then, his ciders have earned many awards and medals at competitions, including a Best of Show at the prestigious Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP).

Claude actively participates in discussions on forums like the Cider Digest, and is regularly invited as a guest speaker to events such as the annual Cider Days festival in western Massachusetts. He lives in Quebec City.


 “Over the years Claude has been inspiring--and challenging—his friends and acquaintances, including me, to make better cider. He approaches cider making and life with an analytical mind, a keen intellect and a wry sense of humor. That all comes through in The New Cider Maker’s Handbook. Designed for experienced  cider makers as well as for serious beginners, it’s a gold mine for everyone who’d like to make good cider. It’s packed with excellent, detailed explanations and information. It is well organized and clearly written. What an excellent contribution to the cider library.”--John Bunker, apple historian and author of Not Far from the Tree


“Claude Jolicoeur is a true student of the art and science of cider.From clear, concise discussions of the technical aspects of cider making, to the selection of proper cider apples, this is a treatise for all time.The text is straightforward, and can be an excellent guide to novice cider makers, but it is endowed with a wealth of information that will benefit ciderists at all levels of the craft. I only wish this book had been available when I first began making cider.”--Chuck Shelton, ciderist, Albemarle CiderWorks, North Garden, VA

“Have you ever tasted a true farmhouse cider, full-bodied and richly flavored, or finished a meal with a sweet ice cider? Then you know the astonishing range of this once nearly forgotten drink. Whether you’re a hobbyist interested in learning about fruit selection, or a commercial producer looking for better quality and consistency, this is your book. Claude Jolicoeur informs every page of his hands-on, comprehensive guide with 25 years of research and experience. For anyone who aspires to make the finest quality fermented cider, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is as indispensable as an apple press.”--David Buchanan, author of Taste, Memory

“We wish we’d had this book when we were starting out. Cider making is an art, of course, but it’s also very much a science, and Claude shows he is among the leading experts in both aspects. The New Cider Maker’s Handbook is a practical, approachable, well-organized, extensively researched guide to cider making, from apple selection to pressing to fermentation and beyond. As experienced cider makers, we find it essential, but it’s excellent for beginners as well. As craft cider grows in popularity and stature throughout the U.S. and Canada, we expect Claude’s book to become North America’s preeminent cider reference.”--Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli, co-owners, Tilted Shed Ciderworks, Sonoma County, CA

"Based on Claude Jolicoeur’s 25 years experience in craft cider making, The New Cider Maker’s Handbook combines the author’s personal perspectives with solidly researched information from cider makers worldwide, to create a manual which is both practical and inspirational.  Some of the detail, for instance on press design, alcohol measurement, and naturally sweet and ice ciders is simply unavailable elsewhere.  The focus on North American apple varieties and conditions will be welcomed by many, but this book is invaluable to hobbyists and small commercial cider makers no matter where they live.  A worthy addition to the modern cider literature."--Andrew Lea, food scientist and author of Craft Cider Making



“J.M. Trowbridge wrote the first Cider Makers’ Hand Book in 1890. This modern take on the apple fermenter’s art picks up the trail anew. Claude Jolicoeur makes exceptional cider doable for even a guy like me. Balancing the acids and sugars of righteous juice lies at the heart of the method. Pour your friends the ‘nectar of the gods’ from here on in when next you pop a cork.”--Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard

“Claude Jolicoeur’s New Cider Maker’s Handbook is an invaluable resource for the serious home cider maker. However, serious professionals will also find a lot of great reference material, especially the sections devoted to apple varieties.”--Mike Beck, president, U.S. Association of Cider Makers


“This is the book so many craft cider makers have been waiting for: at once comprehensive, detailed, and authoritative. Planting an orchard? There are guidelines and suggestions. Need a mill or a press? There are plans and instructions. Trying to grasp the process, or to know how to measure? It's there--sugar, acidity, pH, tannin, balance. Troubleshooting a problem? All the common shortcomings are covered. It really is ‘orchard to bottle,’ with both guidance and technical background all along the way.”--Dick Dunn, president, Rocky Mountain Cider Association

Library Journal-

"Award-winning cider maker Jolicoeur provides a comprehensive guide to cider making, covering the selection of apple varieties, chemical formulas and charts, and the construction of mills and presses. Though Jolicoeur claims that his work is appropriate for the amateur cider maker, his perspective as a mechanical engineer results in a book that is far too technical, dense, and text heavy for a novice. However, its accuracy and tone will be of value for serious hobbyists and small-scale professional cider makers."

Booklist- "Jolicoeur is a mechanical engineer who delights in the details of cider-making, from calculations and formulas to spreadsheets. Based in Quebec, he 'discovered' cider in 1988 after finding rows of abandoned apple trees on newly acquired land. His vocation and avocation combine to bring readers a step-by-step guide with a number of color photographs. It starts simply enough, with an overview of the process, apple growing and selection, and seven principles for producing the best, from 'good cider needs great apples” to “remember what you did.' After a careful review of dozens of regional apple varieties (and a few pears, to make the cider equivalent called perry), complete with notes on sugar, acidity, tannin, juice yield, harvest date, and pressing season, he dives into the more difficult processes, including juice extraction, fermentation, and troubleshooting. Some good chemistry basics help, as do an 'I can build it' mentality and competency."


  • Short-listed - Taste Canada - The Food Writing Awards - 2014
  • Winner - New England Book Show Awards (Professional covers)
  • Runner-up - International Association of Culinary Professionals (Beer, Wine and Spirits)


Claude Jolicoeur

A mechanical engineer by profession, Claude Jolicoeur first developed his passion for apples and cider after acquiring a piece of land on which there were four rows of old abandoned apple trees. He started making cider in 1988 using a “no-compromise” approach, stubbornly searching for the highest possible quality. Since then, his ciders have earned many awards and medals at competitions, including the prestigious Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition (GLINT).

Claude actively participates in discussions on forums like the Cider Digest, and is regularly invited as a guest speaker to festivals and events such as Cider Days in Massachusetts and the Common Ground Country Fair in Maine. He lives in Quebec City.


Claude's Website: Of Apples and Cider


Claude Presenting on Techniques and Processes for making Ice Cider


Wild Flavors

Wild Flavors

By Didi Emmons

The minute Didi Emmons, a chef from Boston, met Eva Sommaripa—a near legendary farmer whose 200-plus uncommon herbs, greens, and edible “weeds” grace the menus of many famous restaurants in the Northeast—something amazing happened. Not only did Eva’s Garden become Didi’s refuge and herb-infused Shangri-La, the two women also forged a lasting friendship that has blossomed and endured over time.

Wild Flavors follows a year at Eva’s Garden through the seasons. It showcases Emmons’s creative talents, featuring herbs (African basil, calaminth, lovage) and wild foods (autumn olives, wild roses, Japanese knotweed). The author provides growing or foraging information for each of the forty-six uncommon garden plants profiled, as well as details on prepping, storing, preserving, and health benefits. The wide-ranging recipes reflect the shifting seasonal harvest and are easy to follow, but best of all, Emmons shows us how these herbs, greens, and wild foods improve and transform the flavors in our food.

Emmons also shares some of the valuable lessons she has learned from Eva about maintaining a healthy, satisfying lifestyle, putting the emphasis on community, thrift, conservation, and other time-honored virtues. Wild Flavors is a cookbook that celebrates the interconnectedness and beauty of nature, farms, animals, and ourselves.

Available in: Paperback

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Didi Emmons

Paperback $24.95

The Maple Sugar Book

The Maple Sugar Book

By Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing

A half-century ago, the world was trying to heal the wounds of global war. People were rushing to make up for lost time, grasping for material wealth. This was the era of "total electric living," a phrase beamed into living rooms by General Electric spokesman Ronald Reagan. Environmental awareness was barely a gleam in the eye of even Rachel Carson.

And yet, Helen and Scott Nearing were on a totally different path, having left the city for the country, eschewing materialistic society in a quest for the self-sufficiency they deemed "the Good Life." Chelsea Green is pleased to honor their example by publishing a new edition of The Maple Sugar Book, complete with a new section of never-before-published photos of the Nearings working on the sugaring operation, and an essay by Greg Joly relating the story behind the book and placing the Nearings' work in the context of their neighborhood and today's maple industry.

Maple sugaring was an important source of cash for the Nearings, as it continues to be for many New England farmers today. This book is filled with a history of sugaring from Native American to modern times, with practical tips on how to sap trees, process sap, and market syrup. In an age of microchips and software that are obsolete before you can install them, maple sugaring is a process that's stood the test of time. Fifty years after its original publication in 1950, The Maple Sugar Book is as relevant as ever to the homestead or small-scale commercial practitioner.

Available in: Paperback

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The Maple Sugar Book

Helen Nearing, Scott Nearing

Paperback $25.00

The Preserving the Harvest Set (2-Book Bundle)

The Preserving the Harvest Set (2-Book Bundle)

By Carol Deppe

If you're a dedicated gardener you probably know about hot-water-bath canning and pickling, but there are many other ways to preserve the bounty of your harvest so it will last the whole year. This set combines a classic book on food preservation with a new book on gardening that includes some innovative preservation methods.

Unlike most books on putting up food, Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning doesn't assume that you will boil or freeze your vegetables and fruits. It is a book that goes back to the future—celebrating traditional but little-known French techniques for storing and preserving edibles in ways that maximize flavor and nutrition.

Translated into English, and with a new foreword by Deborah Madison, this book deliberately ignores freezing and high-temperature canning in favor of methods that are superior because they are more nutritious and energy efficient. As Eliot Coleman says, "Food preservation techniques can be divided into two categories: the modern scientific methods that remove the life from food, and the natural 'poetic' methods that maintain or enhance the life in food. The poetic techniques produce . . . foods that have been celebrated for centuries and are considered gourmet delights today."

The Resilient Gardener is both a conceptual and a hands-on gardening book, and is suitable for gardeners at all levels of experience. Resilience here is broadly conceived and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. It is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way — from tomorrow through the next thousand years.

Available in: Quantity pack

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Carol Deppe

Quantity pack $54.85

Good Spirits

Good Spirits

By Gene Logsdon

Here we go. Gene "The Contrary Farmer" Logsdon has taken on some controversial subjects in his time, but this time he has bitten off ("sipped on" doesn't sound right) a topic bound to raise strong feelings on both sides of society's moral boundary lines. His subject is alcohol and its traditional role on the family homestead. Not surprisingly, Gene speaks the bare-naked truth, and finds a lot more good than bad to say about booze.

Alcohol has historically played a significant role in agricultural life. In colonial times it was the most "liquid" alternative to hard currency as a means of exchange. Alcohol was the most reliable, safest, and most convenient way to store the grain harvest, and was an integral commodity on nearly every farmstead. Because it was so valued--does this surprise us?--the government muscled in, looking for its own piece of the action. George Washington was the first of many politicians to regulate alcohol as a means to generate revenues and gain political control.

Good Spirits is a rare and brave revisionist view of history. Logsdon is a master at exposing the absurdity of the commonplace. Does it really make sense that the government can make it illegal for us to combine common substances (grain, water, and yeast) on our own property? Can it be true that every war effort in the nation's history has been fueled literally and figuratively by alcohol and the tax revenues it produces? Why must the farmer fund the government that oppresses him?

In between good-natured tirades, Logsdon makes sure the reader learns some valuable lessons. He tells us how to make beer; he teaches the rudiments of distilling; he interviews Booker Noe (patron of America's First Family of bourbon) to tell us how to sip and tell; and he adds lively tales from alcohol's quasi-legitimate past. This is vintage Contrary Farmer: 100-proof, single-barrel select. Good Spirits is outrageous, entertaining, enlightening, and an eye-poppingly interesting, natural and holistic look at the role of alcohol. You will savor this book like a snifter of Calvados, the double-distilled apple brandy of Normandy that evaporates on the tongue like a heavenly ambrosia. Heady stuff, but delicious when consumed in moderation.

Available in: Paperback

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Gene Logsdon

Paperback $24.95