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Old 01-09-2012, 10:01 PM   #51
phaem
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You must have a good bit of space to drop in over 2 dozen near-standard size trees. Hopefully they won't all yield real well, or you are OK with wasting lots of apples, or you have lots of energy to press. It takes me quite a while to hand-pick and press 50 gallons and that gets but a small fraction of the available fruit most years. Lots going to waste, I reason, is better than running short.

I haven't grafted for over a decade and my familiarity with the rootstocks is waning down from modest. I'll be reaching for plain old seedling rootstocks again, but I recall that M111 with a dwarfing interstem is pretty good stuff. M7 works very well here in Iowa; the few trees I have on it are around 70% of full size. I don't even know if a person can get Mark anymore, but it works great here to hold trees down to around 35% (my estimation of canopy volume). A little graft incompatibility (like with Hornburger pancake) can yield an interesting knot at the union, but they self-support here very well in some horrific wind loads. I have a handful of P22 trees self-supporting in sheltered locations and they are around 15% of standard.

I have some issues with sun scald over winter, and this can cause some leaning of the trees over years - the southwest exposure bark dies and then the tree leans a bit to the northeast (prevailing winter winds are out of the northwest), exposing more trunk and yielding enhanced winter scald in subsequent years. Seems to be somewhat variety specific. This year in particular, asian beetles really took their toll with defoliation and outright eating of the apples. There were thousands per tree and they completely covered the apples as they ripened, consuming them down to little husks of apples. For the first time in many years, I pulled out the sprayer to salvage a portion of the crop. Occasionally beaver will journey up to the orchard and fell a tree or two, and the deer are ever vigilant for anything low enough to destroy.

For the first time in years nevertheless, I'm planning to graft a few more trees. I NEED a Knobbed Russet and figure to add Minnesota 1734, Chestnut Crab, and Grimes Golden (don't know why I didn't do the latter one before). Mostly, though, I want a few more Golden Russet.

If you feel like grafting do it! Most of mine were good old whip grafts wrapped with nothing but parafilm - they are easy to do and reliable as long as a person makes sure to line up at least one side of the whip. Seeing as I enjoy puttering, I tended to set the rootstock out first and then field grafted dormant wood after the rootstock buds were swelling or even leafing out. I did some cleft grafts (work great too) and bark grafts (like falling-off-a-log easy if your bark is slipping good). If you set out some rootstocks in the ground you can graft on them in future years for a super-fast growing tree on established roots. I've taken scionwood from trees not even planted yet, so trees being too small shouldn't stop you. In fact, a freshly planted tree is unlikely to grow as fast as a little tiny scion grafted onto an established rootstock. My bark grafts needed support for a couple years because they grow so fast they can't hold the weight until they put some wood on the union. I did a few T-buds, but there isn't the quick gratification factor involved so I didn't keep doing it. Perhaps I haven't done it for so long I only remember the success, but as I recall the only graft failures I had were due to physical dislodging of the scion or to rootstock failure. I'll remember better in a few months when I try it again.

If you have the room, continue to have trouble with Cox, and haven't tried Kidd's, I'd strongly encourage you to try Kidd's. It satisfies my need for the Cox taste without Cox troubles.

I don't have 'frequin rouge', but I do have 'brown snout' and 'herfordshire redstreak" (which brown snout brings to mind). Do I need a frequin rouge?

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Old 01-09-2012, 11:27 PM   #52
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No no no haha . I only have three standard trees on the property edge. All the rest are semidwarf sized - so lot of trees yes, but not standards. My apples won't get wasted that is for sure (I usually buy bulk and press 80 bushel a year and don't think it will get wasted as friends will be after my apples too). We usually press a total of about 200 gallons between my property, getting some from neighbors and the apples I buy. We make a family/friend day out of it.

Thes pests for the trees will always be an issue. I have good airflow so hope that will help, but admit I will probably have to plan for spraying a bit.

Sounds like I have to read up more and learn about the grafting.

I almost went with the kid originally but thought I would try the original. But I too was concerned about the robust nature of the kid over the regular cox.

Brown snout I wanted to get but they were out. Frequin rouge is supposed to be a great hard cider apple, french in origin. But truthfully I have never tried it so in 5 years I will let you know! haha I need to add to my russets as well. I have roxbury but planned on adding my sweet apples next year (maybe 4-6 more trees and I am done.... for now).

Thanks for the encouragement on the grafting. If you don't mind I might reach out to you when I take the plunge.

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Old 01-09-2012, 11:54 PM   #53
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Just my $.02...I have been consuming my cider for a while now (month or so). I bottle carbed. Turned out great and is nearly gone after holiday parties. Boo!! I set aside a gallon to test xylitol for back-sweetened bottled sparkling cider. My research indicated digestive issues were a result of individuals replacing all their normal sugar intake with xylitol. I guess you need to gradually increase intake over a period of time to acclimatise your system. Anyway the usual threshold of intolerance is fairly high.
I sweetened at just under a teaspoon per bottle. I warned everyone about it and nobody hesitated to have one or sometimes three. Of ten or so people, myself and wife included, no one had a noticeable reaction.
My point is I have used it successfully, with no problems, and will do so again at a lesser amount. Cider was very good but most agreed it was too sweet.
Cheers!

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:13 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuceontap View Post
Just my $.02...I have been consuming my cider for a while now (month or so). I bottle carbed. Turned out great and is nearly gone after holiday parties. Boo!! I set aside a gallon to test xylitol for back-sweetened bottled sparkling cider. My research indicated digestive issues were a result of individuals replacing all their normal sugar intake with xylitol. I guess you need to gradually increase intake over a period of time to acclimatise your system. Anyway the usual threshold of intolerance is fairly high.
I sweetened at just under a teaspoon per bottle. I warned everyone about it and nobody hesitated to have one or sometimes three. Of ten or so people, myself and wife included, no one had a noticeable reaction.
My point is I have used it successfully, with no problems, and will do so again at a lesser amount. Cider was very good but most agreed it was too sweet.
Cheers!
Wow! I use 3 teaspoons of truvia per gallon! I bet yours was some sweet cider!
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:09 PM   #55
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I'm making my wife a raspberry cider and would like to know the best way to back sweeten it, without yeast starting up again? I would think, adding more sugar just before bottling would only cause more carbonation. Is there a smart way of doing this? The cider will be bottled and stored as needed at room temperature.

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Old 12-07-2012, 08:23 PM   #56
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The quick answer is:

Artificial Sweeteners / Lactose,
Keg and Force Carbonate,
Pasteurize It, or
Kill the yeast and serve it flat.

Details on all 4 are here in the thread, just ignore the argument halfway through.

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