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


Full Moon Feast

Full Moon Feast

By Jessica Prentice

Full Moon Feast invites us to a table brimming with locally grown foods, radical wisdom, and communal nourishment.

In Full Moon Feast, accomplished chef and passionate food activist Jessica Prentice champions locally grown, humanely raised, nutrient-rich foods and traditional cooking methods. The book follows the thirteen lunar cycles of an agrarian year, from the midwinter Hunger Moon and the springtime sweetness of the Sap Moon to the bounty of the Moon When Salmon Return to Earth in autumn. Each chapter includes recipes that display the richly satisfying flavors of foods tied to the ancient rhythm of the seasons.

Prentice decries our modern food culture: megafarms and factories, the chemically processed ghosts of real foods in our diets, and the suffering--physical, emotional, cultural, communal, and spiritual--born of a disconnect from our food sources. She laments the system that is poisoning our bodies and our communities.

But Full Moon Feast is a celebration, not a dirge. Prentice has emerged from her own early struggles with food to offer health, nourishment, and fulfillment to her readers. She recounts her relationships with local farmers alongside ancient harvest legends and methods of food preparation from indigenous cultures around the world.

Combining the radical nutrition of Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, keen agri-political acumen, and a spiritual sensibility that draws from indigenous as well as Western traditions, Full Moon Feast is a call to reconnect to our food, our land, and each other.

Available in: Paperback

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Jessica Prentice, Deborah Madison

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The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

By David Asher

Including more than 35 step-by-step recipes from the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking

Most DIY cheesemaking books are hard to follow, complicated, and confusing, and call for the use of packaged freeze-dried cultures, chemical additives, and expensive cheesemaking equipment. For though bread baking has its sourdough, brewing its lambic ales, and pickling its wild fermentation, standard Western cheesemaking practice today is decidedly unnatural. In The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, David Asher practices and preaches a traditional, but increasingly countercultural, way of making cheese—one that is natural and intuitive, grounded in ecological principles and biological science.

This book encourages home and small-scale commercial cheesemakers to take a different approach by showing them:

•    How to source good milk, including raw milk;

•    How to keep their own bacterial starter cultures and fungal ripening cultures;

•    How make their own rennet—and how to make good cheese without it;

•    How to avoid the use of plastic equipment and chemical additives; and

•    How to use appropriate technologies.

Introductory chapters explore and explain the basic elements of cheese: milk, cultures, rennet, salt, tools, and the cheese cave. The fourteen chapters that follow each examine a particular class of cheese, from kefir and paneer to washed-rind and alpine styles, offering specific recipes and handling advice. The techniques presented are direct and thorough, fully illustrated with hand-drawn diagrams and triptych photos that show the transformation of cheeses in a comparative and dynamic fashion.

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking is the first cheesemaking book to take a political stance against Big Dairy and to criticize both standard industrial and artisanal cheesemaking practices. It promotes the use of ethical animal rennet and protests the use of laboratory-grown freeze-dried cultures. It also explores how GMO technology is creeping into our cheese and the steps we can take to stop it.

This book sounds a clarion call to cheesemakers to adopt more natural, sustainable practices. It may well change the way we look at cheese, and how we make it ourselves.

Available in: Paperback

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The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

Sandor Ellix Katz, David Asher

Paperback $34.95

GMO Myths and Truths

GMO Myths and Truths

By Claire Robinson and Michael Antoniou and John Fagan

It is often claimed that the case against genetically modified (GM) crops and foods is based on emotion, not science, and that to oppose GM crop and food technology is to be anti-science. It is also claimed that GM crops offer higher yields and better nutrition, that they are safe for health and the environment, that they reduce agrochemical use, and that they are needed to feed the world’s growing population. This book, co-authored by two genetic engineers and a writer/researcher, exposes these claims as false, using scientific and other documented evidence. GMO Myths and Truths summarizes the facts on the safety and efficacy of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods in terms that are accessible to the non-scientist but still relevant to scientists, policymakers and educators. The evidence presented points to many hazards, risks, and limitations of genetic engineering technology. These include harms found in animal feeding and ecological studies, which in turn indicate risks to health and the environment posed by GM crops and foods.

The layout of the book enables those readers with limited time to read the chapter summaries, while providing more detail and full references for those who require them. At 164 pages of paperback size, this new condensed version is shorter and more accessible than the authors’ 330-page report by the same name, which has been downloaded over half a million times.

The book shows that conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in developing crops that deliver high yields, better nutrition, and tolerance to extreme weather conditions and poor soils. In agreement with over 400 international experts who co-authored a UN and World Bank-sponsored report on the future of farming, the authors conclude that modern agroecology, rather than GM, is the best path for feeding the world’s current and future populations in a safe and sustainable way.

Available in: Paperback

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Claire Robinson, Michael Antoniou, John Fagan

Paperback $17.95

From the Wood-Fired Oven

From the Wood-Fired Oven

By Richard Miscovich

In the past twenty years, interest in wood-fired ovens has increased dramatically in the United States and abroad, but most books focus on how to bake bread or pizza in an oven. From the Wood-Fired Oven offers many more techniques for home and artisan bakers—from baking bread and making pizza to recipes on how to get as much use as possible out of a single oven firing, from the first live-fire roasting to drying wood for the next fire.

From the Wood-Fired Oven offers a new take on traditional techniques for professional bakers, but is simple enough to inspire any nonprofessional baking enthusiast. Leading baker and instructor Richard Miscovich wants people to use their ovens to fulfill the goal of maximum heat utilization. Readers will find methods and techniques for cooking and baking in a wood-fired oven in the order of the appropriate temperature window. What comes first—pizza, or pastry? Roasted vegetables or a braised pork loin? Clarified butter or beef jerky? In addition to an extensive section of delicious formulas for many types of bread, readers will find chapters on:

•    Making pizza and other live-fire flatbreads;
•    Roasting fish and meats;
•    Grilling, steaming, braising, and frying;
•    Baking pastry and other recipes beyond breads;
•    Rendering animal fats and clarifying butter;
•    Food dehydration and infusing oils;
•    And myriad other ways to use the oven's residual heat.

Appendices include oven-design recommendations, a sample oven temperature log, Richard's baker's percentages, proper care of a sourdough starter, and more. . . .

From the Wood Fired Oven is more than a cookbook; it reminds the reader of how a wood-fired oven (and fire, by extension) draws people together and bestows a sense of comfort and fellowship, very real human needs, especially in uncertain times. Indeed, cooking and baking from a wood-fired oven is a basic part of a resilient lifestyle, and a perfect example of valuable traditional skills being put to use in modern times.

Available in: Hardcover

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From the Wood-Fired Oven

Daniel Wing, Richard Miscovich

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