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


The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

By Katrina Blair

The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is the only book on foraging and edible weeds to focus on the thirteen weeds found all over the world, each of which represents a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit.  More than just a field guide to wild edibles, it is a global plan for human survival. 

When Katrina Blair was eleven she had a life-changing experience where wild plants spoke to her, beckoning her to become a champion of their cause. Since then she has spent months on end taking walkabouts in the wild, eating nothing but what she forages, and has become a wild-foods advocate, community activist, gardener, and chef, teaching and presenting internationally about foraging and the healthful lifestyle it promotes. 

Katrina Blair’s philosophy in The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic. If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our noses, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we will achieve true food security. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds is about healing ourselves both in body and in spirit, in an age where technology, commodity agriculture, and processed foods dictate the terms of our intelligence. But if we can become familiar with these thirteen edible survival weeds found all over the world, we will never go hungry, and we will become closer to our own wild human instincts—all the while enjoying the freshest, wildest, and most nutritious food there is. For free!

The thirteen plants found growing in every region across the world are: dandelion, mallow, purslane, plantain, thistle, amaranth, dock, mustard, grass, chickweed, clover, lambsquarter, and knotweed.  These special plants contribute to the regeneration of the earth while supporting the survival of our human species; they grow everywhere where human civilization exists, from the hottest deserts to the Arctic Circle, following the path of human disturbance. Indeed, the more humans disturb the earth and put our food supply at risk, the more these thirteen plants proliferate. It’s a survival plan for the ages.

Including over one hundred unique recipes, Katrina Blair’s book teaches us how to prepare these wild plants from root to seed in soups, salads, slaws, crackers, pestos, seed breads, and seed butters; cereals, green powders, sauerkrauts, smoothies, and milks; first-aid concoctions such as tinctures, teas, salves, and soothers; self-care/beauty products including shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste (and brush), face masks; and a lot more. Whether readers are based at home or traveling, this book aims to empower individuals to maintain a state of optimal health with minimal cost and effort.    

Available in: Paperback

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Sandor Ellix Katz, Katrina Blair

Paperback $29.95

Slow Wine 2016

Slow Wine 2016

300 cellars visited, 2,500 wines reviewed           

An innovative overview of the Italian wine world, which lists the country’s finest bottles in terms of aroma and taste, sense of terroir, and value for the money.

For the fifth consecutive year, Slow Food International offers an English-language edition of its unique guide to Italian wines whose qualities extend well beyond the palate. Drawing upon visits to more than 300 cellars, the 2500 wine reviews in Slow Wine 2016 describe not only what’s in the glass, but also what’s behind it: the work, aims, and passion of producers; their bond with the land; and their choice of cultivation and cellar techniques—favoring the ones who implement ecologically sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices. An essential guide for wine lovers and armchair oenophiles and better still for those who get out of that chair once in a while: over half the producers listed will offer a discount of at least 10 percent to anyone who visits them with a copy of Slow Wine 2016 in hand.

Available in: Paperback

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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

Home Baked

Home Baked

By Hanne Risgaard

Recipes and techniques for baking artisan bread using organic stone-milled flour, organic yeasts, sourdoughs, and more from renowned Danish organic farm and family-owned mill, Skærtoft Mølle-literally translated as "Cut-Road Mill"-situated on Als, an idyllic island in the southeast of Denmark.

Hanne Risgaard offers recipes for unique bread and pastry that bring a Nordic approach to bread baking that feels worlds away from most conventional baking books. At Skærtoft, there is a belief in organic, small-scale-produced whole grains, traditional stone-ground milling techniques, use of wild fermented sourdough, organic yeast, and attention to terroir. Their farm produces some of the highest-quality, nutrient-rich grain available. In fact, Copenhagen's celebrated restaurant NOMA, recently accorded a "World's Best Restaurant" award, uses Skærtoft Mølle products. Indeed, the growing movement of Nordic cuisine centers on its devotion to high-quality regional produce, the creativity of the chef, and a sound awareness of the workings of nature. This set of principles also serves to guide Hanne Risgaard in Home Baked.

Risgaard offers practical information not only on the concepts and processes behind creating delicious Scandinavian breads, but also concise growing and cultivation information about the grains themselves, as well as a guide to basic equipment and kitchen set-up, ingredients, and the history of Skærtoft and their philosophy. At the beginning of each recipe there is a brief story contextualizing where the recipe comes from. Their world comes alive!

Home Baked includes detailed sections on: baking with yeast; sourdoughs; baking without a raising agent (pies, cakes, cookies, crackers); and covers grains such as wheat, spelt, barley, and rye. The breads include unique ingredients like foraged herbs and greens, such as the Cocotte with Ramsons (either put directly in the bread dough or preserved in a syrup of pearls of rye and sea buckthorn berries); as well as other interesting standouts like the Buns for Tilters (with apple and yogurt, prepared for the annual horse games), Green Knots (made with stinging nettle, in honor of the fight to save the nettle in France), Rosemary Sourdough, Elderflower Muffins, and more.Perfectly timed for the growing interest in Scandinavian, and particularly Danish, cuisine, Home Baked is a must-have for the bread lover's library.

Available in: Hardcover

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Hanne Risgaard, Jeffrey Hamelman, Marie-Louise Risgaard

Hardcover $39.95