I'm thinking about bacterial/wild yeast contamination etc.... Or will just washing them under the tap be suffice?

Also can I use the cores?

  • In a mash? Please specify. Are you planning to mash with Apples and grain? May 24, 2018 at 2:03
  • I am planning cider (or hard cider) May 24, 2018 at 4:39
  • i use a juicer to grind up hole apples i picked off ground. juice is brown and sour as hell. i use 1 tsp salt per gallon to kill the sour taste. it,s better still a little tangy and empty taste. am i going to die.
    – hale
    Sep 14, 2019 at 21:06
  • The best advice I heard for small amounts of cider is to wash then freeze all the apples. It's makes it 10x easier to squeeze the juice out of them. You use the whole apple, stems, seeds and everything. Sep 17, 2019 at 17:39

3 Answers 3


As you are making hard cider you just need to juice the apples then add your choosen yeast to the juice. You don't need to boil or even wash them, but you can. Many traditional ciders are fermented with the yeasts and bacteria found on the skins of the apples with no additional yeasts added.

Yes, you can mash the whole lot up cores/skin and all if you want, I would juice or press them personally.

I don't know what apples you have but if you only have sweet eating apples I would advise adding some cooled black tea to up the tannin levels or your cider can sometimes lack body. Cider apples are far more bitter than eaters and have far higher levels of tannis.

If you were to use them in a beer mash, you should heat them to >70C to ensure that you gelitenise the starches and can extra all their sugars in the grain mash.

  • 1
    I was wondering if adding tea to cider was actually done. This confirms it.
    – chthon
    May 24, 2018 at 14:28

If you make cider, you do not need to mash.

As explained by a French cider farmer I visited once, crush your apples and let them turn brown, then press them for juice. Also, try to make a mix of apples, do not only use sweet apples, also try to add sour and bitter apples.


I do recommend at least pasteurizing the juice of from fresh pressed apples. Bring the juice to 160°F for a few minutes, then cool to 65°F before pitching yeast.

Boiling the cider can be done but this changes the flavor and boils off water increasing sugars.

Not all cider makers pasteurize or boil. But Not doing so will have other microbes working along side your yeast and doesn't always have good results. While others have amazing results from wild or spontaneous fermentation. It really is a gamble untill you have the skills to insure your pitched culture dominates.

Yes it's ok to use the Apple cores if you press the apples. Just 1/4 them and press. You shouldn't use the cores if you use a juicer as it may cut or break seeds allowing unwanted chemicals into the juice. (Cyanide)

  • I would think boiling apples would set their pectin, which I would assume is not desirable unless you are going to add pectic enzyme.
    – Dave
    Sep 15, 2019 at 16:59
  • You need pectinase even if you don’t pasteurize. Apple is horribly cloudy.
    – Escoce
    Sep 18, 2019 at 20:37

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