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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > which apples to use?
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:36 AM   #1
lordbeermestrength
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Default which apples to use?

Hey all,

Another n00b question. Why does it matter which apples you use? I know it makes a more complex cider to use a variety of apples, but how do you decide what you want? Can you basically choose apples at random or is there some way to pick which varietys you want based on what kind of cider you want? Or is it more general, as in you want a certain pct% sour varieties and the rest sweet?

Just wondering. Most of the information I see online is pretty vague and general.

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And wearied with Fatigue and Toil/Can cheer each manly Heart.
Labour and Art upheld by Thee/Successfully advance,
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee/And Water leave to France.
Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste/Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast/With Liberty and Love!
(Rev James Townley, 1751)

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
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There are some single variety ciders, but you don't see many. For one thing, most orchards grow a variety of apples, so a blend is more practical and consistent.

A blend can give you complexity and balance. Some apples are tart and some are sweet. A blend can give balance. Not too sweet and not too tart. Other varieties might be added because they have good flavor or aromatics. Most cider (or juice) is pressed for immediate use and is quite sweet. I believe that cider pressed for fermentation usually has a higher percentage of tart apples.

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Old 10-28-2008, 06:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordbeermestrength View Post
Hey all,

Another n00b question. Why does it matter which apples you use? I know it makes a more complex cider to use a variety of apples, but how do you decide what you want? Can you basically choose apples at random or is there some way to pick which varietys you want based on what kind of cider you want? Or is it more general, as in you want a certain pct% sour varieties and the rest sweet?

Just wondering. Most of the information I see online is pretty vague and general.
Cider apples are very different from eating/cooking apples, you might find some useful info on the subject here: Cider Apple Varieties Regards, GF.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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If you can find a blend of sweet, bittersweet and sharp tasteing apples, that is the way to go, in the UK we do use cooking apples (good old Bramleys) mixed with eating apples if you cant find any cider apples. Im sure you guys do the same but once picked we leave them for 2 weeks before pressing, Im not sure if i can leave a web address on here but try this it may help? Real Cider and Perry

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Old 10-29-2008, 11:38 PM   #5
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I see you are in Portland. Cider apple varieties are accessible if you look hard enough. The coastal NW is a really great place to grow them. I don't know who grows and sells them in Oregon but I imagine they can be found. I've been able to locate them in Washington but it wasn't easy.

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Old 10-30-2008, 10:57 PM   #6
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Thanks!

Yeah, I grew up in Washington and still have family there. We made trips to Yakima about bi-yearly, picking up peaches, apples and berries. My parents had 3 apple trees that were really more apple pie-type-apples than eatin' apples, and now down to one, but I imagine could still use some for cider as long as it was a good blend. Thanks for the links!

Dave (new-timey dave)

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Beer, happy Produce of our Isle/Can sinewy Strength impart,
And wearied with Fatigue and Toil/Can cheer each manly Heart.
Labour and Art upheld by Thee/Successfully advance,
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee/And Water leave to France.
Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste/Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast/With Liberty and Love!
(Rev James Townley, 1751)

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