Cider, the expressed juice of apples, either fermented or unfermented. Its quality depends upon that of the fruit from which it is made. Vinous fermentation converts the sugar contained in the juice into alcohol. The specific gravity, therefore, of new or unfermented cider, being very nearly in proportion to the amount of sugar, will indicate to the manufacturer the strength which he may be able to give to his cider. The apples should be ripe and well mellowed, to diminish the quantity of gum, and develop the greatest possible quantity of sugar as well as the highest flavor; and they should also be well crushed, that the pulp may be immediately put to press, before fermentation commences. A good form of mill, which has long been in use, consists of two longitudinally grooved wooden cylinders turned on vertical axes by a horizontal lever, and firmly supported upon a vat into which the pulp falls. The pressing may be conveniently performed by a common screw press, in which the pulp is placed in layers called cheeses, folded in straw. The juice is received in a tub or vat, and is carefully strained before being put in barrels. The fermentation of cider is conducted in the same manner as that of wine, and several varieties may be produced from different apples, and by various methods.
It may be kept in barrels or bottles, like wine. The new or sweet cider is sometimes boiled to a thin sirup, which may be preserved in tight bottles for a long time, and conveniently used for preserving, and for preparing condiments and other articles of food.