Book Review: Craft Cider Making

February 19, 2010

I have recently been flipping though my cider making books, and so I thought I would be more in depth about them. The first book I will address is Craft Cider Making by Andrew Lea.

I have to admit that I’m a little biased about Lea. He has an excellent website which I reference all the time called The Wittenham Hill Cider Portal, and he is an active participant in the Cider Workshop. Therefore, I have had conversations with Lea, and I find him highly knowledgeable and easy to approach. Obviously, I’m going to like his book.

As a retired food biochemist, Lea writes this book about how to take apples and turn them into cider. While he is technical, he steps though the process slowly with a lot of detail, so you aren’t left scratching your head over what he was talking about and includes a lot of tables to refer to. My copy is riddled with little flags over various information such as making sweet cider, malolatic fermentation, and even a section on apple tree suppliers and equipment suppliers both in the UK and US.

He briefly mentions trees and caring for them, but for the most part, he leaves the topic of growing apples to others and focuses on making cider.

The biggest drawback to this book, which even Lea is disappointed in, is that it contains no reference index. Luckily, his website contains a lot of the same information and is easy to navigate by the table of contents.

But between his clear, detailed, step though process and his website, this is my primary go to book when I have a question about cider.

Note: There is now an update out for this book.

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