How to Make Good Breton Cider

Jean-Yves Jacob, from Brittany in Western France, is an old hand at making authentic Breton cider. Here is the first part of his article telling how it's done.

Breton Cider

The steps:

  1. Good choice of apples
  2. Collecting apples at the right period
  3. Brewing with mature fruits with no disease
  4. Clarify the wort immediately when it get out of the press
  5. Transfer the wort as soon as it's clear
  6. Low fermentation temperature in a fresh cellar, with airlock
  7. Bottling

1. Good choice of apples.

The good apples varieties must give the wort a density above 1055 (i.e. more than 115 gr of sugar per litre )

Different categories of apples:

Example of a "pommage" apple's mixing/blending : 4/10 of sweet apples + 3/10 bitter/sweet apples + 2/10 bitter apples + 1/10 acid apples.

2. Collecting apples.

There are 3 periods for collecting apples:

As soon as they are collected, the apples are stored in a safe place (to protect against soil humidity and bad weather). Apples which are not mature are poor in sugar, and the cider will not be clear and will be low in alcohol.

3. Selection and Pressing of the Apples

Remember that in the second part we said : collecting good apples, that means:


This must be done to get a cider which will keep; drain off the water.


Grinding produces a thin pulp and makes the extraction of the juice easier; it's done with an apple mill.

Leave the pulp to rest for about 6 hrs (at about 8C; or 2hr at higher temperatures) to get a better aroma, more juice and a better colour of the cider.


There are a lot of different types of press available, most of them are good, but the most important thing is to press slowly, 1 000 kg per hr or more, to get the best of the juice ( quantity and quality ).

What Is The Wort Made Of?

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