My wife and I are long time beer and wine brewers, and have just moved into a house with 5 different verities of apple trees:
Old Fashioned (like Yellow?) Transparent,
McIntosh (or something similar),
In particular the first three are producing a ton right now - we have almost 100 ponds of apples ready to use! While we are excited about making cider (and have access to a small crusher and press), we have no idea about which mix would make good cider. We have decided to make a dry carbonated cider, but do not know if these apples would be good for it. Does anyone have experience with using Lodi or Transparent apples as a base? I couldn't find anything online for either. They are supposed to be good for applesauce, but we'd rather have cider. We have so many of them, but they aren't supposed to keep for long, and the other trees are still a bit underipe. Can we use slightly underipe eating apples to make up for a lack of tart apples? Should we try a batch now and save the other varieties for a late-season mix? What would you do?
We also have a crab-apple tree that produces the small (<1/2 inch diameter) burgundy leaves, blossoms, and crab apples and don't know if they are usable to bring up the tannins (or even useful for any type of human consumption). Would it be better to throw in a handful, or add grape tannin powder, or just let it be?
Thanks a ton for your advice, I look forward to reading sharing & brewing tips!