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


Build Your Own Earth Oven

Build Your Own Earth Oven

By Kiko Denzer and Hannah Field

Earth ovens combine the utility of a wood-fired, retained-heat oven with the ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction. Building one will appeal to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds, from:

    •    the serious or aspiring baker who wants the best low-cost
bread oven, to
    •    gardeners who want a centerpiece for a beautiful
outdoor kitchen, to
    •    outdoor chefs, to
    •    creative people interested in low-cost materials and
simple technology, to
    •    teachers who want a multi-faceted, experiential project for students of all ages (the book has been successful  with
 everyone from third-graders to adults).

Build Your Own Earth Oven is fully illustrated with step-by-step directions, including how to tend the fire, and how to make perfect sourdough hearth loaves in the artisan tradition. The average do-it-yourselfer with a few tools and a scrap pile can build an oven for free, or close to it. Otherwise, $30 should cover all your materials--less than the price of a fancy "baking stone." Good building soil is often right in your back yard, under your feet. Build the simplest oven in a day! With a bit more time and imagination, you can make a permanent foundation and a fire-breathing dragon-oven or any other shape you can dream up.

Earth ovens are familiar to many that have seen a southwestern "horno" or a European "bee-hive" oven. The idea, pioneered by Egyptian bakers in the second millennium BCE, is simplicity itself: fill the oven with wood, light a fire, and let it burn down to ashes. The dense, 3- to 12-inch-thick earthen walls hold and store the heat of the fire, the baker sweeps the floor clean, and the hot oven walls radiate steady, intense heat for hours.

Home bakers who can't afford a fancy, steam-injected bread oven will be delighted to find that a simple earth oven can produce loaves to equal the fanciest "artisan" bakery. It also makes delicious roast meats, cakes, pies, pizzas, and other creations. Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes or less. Vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil roast up in minutes for a simple, elegant, and delicious meal. Efficient cooks will find the residual heat useful for slow-baked dishes, and even for drying surplus produce, or incubating homemade yogurt.

Available in: Paperback

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Alan Scott, Kiko Denzer, Hannah Field

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Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

By Gianaclis Caldwell

The key to becoming a successful artisan cheesemaker is to develop the intuition essential for problem solving and developing unique styles of cheeses. There are an increasing number of books on the market about making cheese, but none approaches the intricacies of cheesemaking science alongside considerations for preparing each type of cheese variety in as much detail as Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking.

Indeed, this book fills a big hole in the market. Beginner guides leave you wanting more content and explanation of process, while recipe-based cookbooks often fail to dig deeper into the science, and therefore don’t allow for a truly intuitive cheesemaker to develop. Acclaimed cheesemaker Gianaclis Caldwell has written the book she wishes existed when she was starting out. Every serious home-scale artisan cheesemaker—even those just beginning to experiment—will want this book as their bible to take them from their first quick mozzarella to a French mimolette, and ultimately to designing their own unique cheeses.

This comprehensive and user-friendly guide thoroughly explains the art and science that allow milk to be transformed into epicurean masterpieces. Caldwell offers a deep look at the history, science, culture, and art of making artisan cheese on a small scale, and includes detailed information on equipment and setting up a home-scale operation. A large part of the book includes extensive process-based recipes dictating not only the hard numbers, but also the concepts behind each style of cheese and everything you want to know about affinage (aging) and using oils, brushes, waxes, infusions, and other creative aging and flavoring techniques. Also included are beautiful photographs, profiles of other cheesemakers, and in-depth appendices for quick reference in the preparation and aging room. Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking will also prove an invaluable resource for those with, or thinking of starting, a small-scale creamery.

Let Gianaclis Caldwell be your mentor, guide, and cheering section as you follow the pathway to a mastery of cheesemaking. For the avid home hobbyist to the serious commercial artisan, Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is an irreplaceable resource.


Available in: Paperback

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Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking

Gianaclis Caldwell, Ricki Carroll

Paperback $40.00

The Herbalist's Way

The Herbalist's Way

By Nancy Phillips and Michael Phillips

This updated edition of The Village Herbalist provides a complete guide to the art and practice of herbalism, as well as an introduction to the herbalist's role in family and community life. Inspirational profiles of practicing herbalists from across the country add a human touch to the authors' wealth of practical herbal knowledge.

The Herbalist's Way includes time-honored healing wisdom from many cultures, as well as information on:
• Roles and responsibilities of herbalists in their communities
• Herbal workshops, conferences, and education centers
• Growing, drying, and preparing medicinal herbs
• Learning to listen to clients and recommend holistic treatments for healing and continued wellness
• Licensing, marketing, and other legal and business issues facing modern herbalists
• Comprehensive resources and suggestions for building your herbal library

Available in: Paperback

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The Herbalist's Way

Michael Phillips, Nancy Phillips, Rosemary Gladstar

Paperback $30.00

Defending Beef

Defending Beef

By Nicolette Hahn Niman

For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one.

But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef.

The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations.

In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment.

The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false.  She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.

Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition.

Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching.

While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

Available in: Paperback

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Nicolette Hahn Niman

Paperback $19.95