At Paksuniemen juomatehdas
(Paksuniemi’s Drink Factory)
we have a strict outlook as to
what cider is and is not.
Cider is 100% apple juice,
It is not made from natural aromas, flavourings or apple concentrates which are diluted nor is it high proof grain alcohol, diluted and mixed with some concentrate and aromas. Those solutions are financially cheaper alternatives.
So if your bottle or tin of cider costs less, read the ingredients. Cider-legislation is not very strict but we hope that it will change: CIDER is 100% pressed apple juice, with nothing else added. If the ingredients list begins with: water, apple wine, sugar and so on … then you know …. It is not cider.
Each batch is different depending upon the apples pressed. Jyrki specializes in single variety pressings of Finnish apples. Finnish apples are not true cider apples as one would find in England or France, for instance. Because of his continually expanding experience with apple varieties local people and producers are beginning to understand that not all apples are created equal. Each variety has its own panicular scent, juicing level, taste (from toffee to cinnamon and in between) and tannin levels. All play a part in creating our cider batches.
Some folk in the cider business mix apples before pressing while some mix the juice after pressing. Still some cidermakers mix the pressed juice, now fermented, into batches for bottling. We do a combination of all.
It is all up to the cidermakers and the apples!
Even when tasting apples we may think one thing about the apple (taste and aromas) and make a conclusion about what kind of cider might be born after careful fermentation. When the cider varies from our human conclusions,
they are not wrong but are the direction of the aromas.
Apple juice, natural airborne yeasts, the apples own yeasts and sugars, the pressing and pumping into tanks, temperature and storage of fermentation tanks, how often one opens and checks…all has an effect on the final cider. There can be many surprises with cider!
The trend of SLOW food, SLOW life, SLOW anything has been the mainstay of cider-making since someone discovered cider. Cider is the ultimate SLOW! Cider is not ready until it says so.
All of the apples used in our cider are from North Karelia. Sulfite is added in the barest amounts to destroy any undesired bacteria. Special yeast is used to assist fermentation of the natural sugars found in pure apple juice.
Sugar may be added to bring out the qualities of a cider batch and also manipulates the alcohol content. Water can be added to meet the strict alcohol limits of Finland. Carbonation is added in most of our ciders but the Barrel cider (Tynnyrisiideri) is planned as a more still-cider product.
The main thing is real cider is made from 100% apple juice. In England and France where there is very long and strong cider culture this is the rule. Anything else is not cider.