Ciders are stored for a while typically a few months or up to a year before drinking. This is done to improve the taste of the drink.
Just like wine is made to achieve its best when stored for years the same is done for ciders.
However, the aging will depend on some factors like the type of cider, the condition of storage, and the fermentation process. Some ciders, mostly the hard ones, are stored and allowed to age for decades.
Some others, mostly wild-fermented ones, would not do well in long storage, and shouldn’t be stored beyond a month or a few years.
For hard ciders, it would be worth the wait when you age them. The effect of aging would be better for strong ciders when you age for a longer period.
How Long Should I Age Cider?
It could be a couple of weeks or months before a cider can reach its optimal flavor.
This is greatly dependent on the yeast used during the brewing process, the fermentation temperature and storage conditions as well as the species of apples used.
The type of storage cans used in terms of how tight they would be will also play a part in determining how long they can be stored and also how much carbonation is also a determining factor.
Most marketers store it for just a little over a year before selling it.
Should I Age Hard Cider? For How Long Should I Age Hard Cider?
How long you should age ciders also depends on how much patience you are willing to exercise to make your drink get to its peak. That’s assuming every other thing is right and in place.
Some brewers may not be willing to wait beyond a week or a month before tasting their creations. Some especially fairly professionals might be willing to wait for months or even a year before drinking it.
Others may decide to age it for up to two years to better enhance its flavors and sweetness.
Does Aging Improve Cider?
The main aim of aging your drink is to enhance its taste. Waiting all the while for your cider to age would be worth it if you do it right.
How long you would wait of course would depend on your taste palate. Aging generally helps reduce the acidic and bitter feeling, and enhances the fruity and nicer smells.
A less-aged cider would taste and smell sharp as a result of the high acidity which would be softened in the process of aging.
On the other hand, an older one would be soft, giving a more equal blend of all the component tastes.
Aging usually brings out the sweetness in the beverage after the acidic conditions subside with time!
However, storing for too long can have a negative effect especially if it comes in contact with oxygen.
The taste of all the ingredients used comes out over time
Apart from the improved taste the color is also something that would change in your drink with time. The color gains more tint and becomes darker after a time of aging.
How Well Do Ciders Age?
Again a lot of factors are at play here, which includes the ingredients and all materials used, and the method employed in brewing. All these factors would decide how long you can store your ciders.
How well some would age is widely unpredictable. Especially wild-fermented ones with endogenous yeast and natural lactic acid bacteria in the juice.
Such wild fermentation can create bacteria that can spoil the drink after a short period. Other times aging might improve the taste beyond your wildest imagination.
The temperature and hygiene also play a role in how well it would age and the level of improvements to expect.
It is easier to predict the ones brewed with commercial yeast and stabilizers.
Fermentation Process ModernVsWide Cider
How well these types of ciders age is partly hinged on the Fermentation process.
Some brewers would filter or pasteurize the juice before bottling to extend shelf life.
Allowing little to no difference to the drink with time since there would be no organism to cause a change in chemical composition.
Any changes that may occur would not be a result of microbes.
Carbonation also kills microbes and prevents harmful molecules.
Types of Apples and Aging
Apple’s that are high in tannins and acids like Kingston Black, Fox whelp, or porter’s perfection would usually age well.
Even if all apple juice can give you a good cider in terms of taste.
Not all ages well. A Lot of factors including the type of apples used in the production determines how well it would age.
Those with high alcohol, tannin, and acids age better. Some brewers would add these types of apples to other sweet ones to create a more unique flavor, that makes it age well.
How to Age Cider to Get the Best Result?
To get the best results, your ciders should be in a perfect temperature somewhere between 50F-600F.
Too cold or too hot can drastically affect the outcome. Fluctuations in temperature might not do you so much good.
It is also best if the storage place is dark, especially if your storage bottles are transparent.
Most people store theirs in a basement room which is fine so long as the temperature can be kept constant all year.
Too much fluctuation in temperature higher than 20 degrees can produce an unpredictable outcome on your drink.
Using dark bottles would give you better outcomes especially when stored in a dark place.
Too many changes put the color, acidity, and flavor of your beer at risk.
Aging your drink would Improve the taste so long as the conditions are right.
Quality apples with high acid, alcohol, and tannin would yield a better result when aged.
Your container should also be right and stored in a dark place and then you wait for your great-tasting finished product.