• Blog Post Science of Cider
  • The Science of Cider

    If you ever wanted a better understanding of how cider is made, this short video helps explain the ins and outs of making this classic fall drink.

    In the US, we like to call alcoholic cider, “hard cider.” The rest of the world, just keeps it simple by referring to it as cider. The non-alcoholic stuff is called “sweet cider.” Understanding the science of cider has everything to do with understanding the conversion of sugars into ethanol by our favorite fungi – yeast.

    science of cider

    Glycolysis and Alcoholic Fermentation

    The process of converting the sugars to ethanol is really the story of glucose converting via glycolysis into two pyruvate molecules. Then, via alcoholic fermentation, those pyruvate molecules convert to carbon dioxide and acetaldehyde. Those acetaldehydes then convert to ethanol. This process is performed in the absence of oxygen. The end products from the glucose then are your alcohol and your carbonation! It really is as simple as that.

    glycolysis to alcoholic fermentation diagram

    More About Pat Spain

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    Written by Rob Nelson

    Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is also an award-winning filmmaker. As principle director of Untamed Science productions his goal is to create videos and content that are both entertaining and educational. When he's not making science content, he races slalom kayaks and skydives.

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