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Headline

Brown's beer: Why cider is the world’s most misunderstood drink - part one

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Nice column, but in fact the minimum juice content allowed by HMRC is closer to 23% than 35% - and here's why. Although HMRC's Notice 162 Cider Production Regulations define the minimum juice content as 35%, that standard also includes a reference to the sugar content of the juice: the full minimum juice content standard is "35% at a specific gravity of 1031". I apologise in advance for the technical nature of this explanation, but it is a key point. The average specific gravity of cider apple juice is, in fact, more likely to be around 1045, and what happens in industrial cider factories is that juice is concentrated immediately after pressing to facilitate storage. When the concentrated apple juice is 'reconstituted' by the addition of water, the 'juice content' is actually measured - in accordance with HMRC guidelines, I might add - at the specific gravity in the regulations ie at 1031. What this mean in practice is that industrial makers industrial makers have managed to cut the amount of actual apple juice content by a further third, while remaining within the bounds of Notice 162 - resulting in an ACTUAL juice content of around 23%. Bear this in mind - most industrial cider makers work DOWN to that magical '35%' (or actually 23%) figure, so around 77% of that glass of mainstream brand cider you are drinking is just water. Nice work if you can get it!

Posted date

Thu, 6 Mar 2014

Posted time

11:00 am

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