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Old 01-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfrost
Very good info Jack but what do you think about this selection? I have a good source for these only
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #12
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Are all of these available from local orchards? I guess what I'm getting at would be to find local orchards, visit them, chat it up and find out what they use in their blends. Describe to them what characteristics you are looking for in what you want to produce. Buy apples from each of the orchards based on their recommendations of what you said you liked and make some test batches. If their recommendations don't work, or you didn't like the guy/gal...then you know you can't buy from him/her.

I'd also look into what is most prevalent in your growing area. If one particular variety does better than others and is suitable to cider...then that would be the one I chose if it made a good end product. This way you will have a reliable source for your base and then you can blend with others that might be hard to get from year to year. (Plus you could market the product as "MONTEREY GROWN" or "Such&Such County Apples" or hell, you could create an apple region like Sonoma is for grapes. (It could happen ) - make your own style...not necessarily English Cider...if you like that style use it as an example.

In my opinion, if you are going commercial you really need to make sure you can get the bulk of your recipe at a decent price every year. I typically look at things from a conservative business aspect I guess. It's one thing to make a batch this year with X, T and Z apples...but if you can't get them next year, you are looking at reformulating all the time.

Just my 2¢.

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Old 01-26-2013, 10:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper
Are all of these available from local orchards? I guess what I'm getting at would be to find local orchards, visit them, chat it up and find out what they use in their blends. Describe to them what characteristics you are looking for in what you want to produce. Buy apples from each of the orchards based on their recommendations of what you said you liked and make some test batches. If their recommendations don't work, or you didn't like the guy/gal...then you know you can't buy from him/her.

I'd also look into what is most prevalent in your growing area. If one particular variety does better than others and is suitable to cider...then that would be the one I chose if it made a good end product. This way you will have a reliable source for your base and then you can blend with others that might be hard to get from year to year. (Plus you could market the product as "MONTEREY GROWN" or "Such&Such County Apples" or hell, you could create an apple region like Sonoma is for grapes. (It could happen ) - make your own style...not necessarily English Cider...if you like that style use it as an example.

In my opinion, if you are going commercial you really need to make sure you can get the bulk of your recipe at a decent price every year. I typically look at things from a conservative business aspect I guess. It's one thing to make a batch this year with X, T and Z apples...but if you can't get them next year, you are looking at reformulating all the time.

Just my 2¢.
You 2¢ is worth 2,000,000 bud, I can get all of these apples from the same orchard and I am building a good relationship with the owner so I think I would be set with all of the apples listed.
So now all I need to do is refine a juice... But with all these apples there are a million different combinations... I like the process of elimination style that Krackin mentioned...
If you had to pick a few of these varieties to blend what would they be?


Side note:
Someone said straight Pippin makes a really good cider, do you agree?
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:35 PM   #14
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Honestly, I'm a drinker...not a real blender. I'll ferment just about any apple juice I can get my hands on. If it works within my methods, I'll have a batch I really like, if it doesn't, I'll still choke it down. Most of my ciders don't age more than a couple months, so I don't really work with tart juice...other than some crabapples this year. Sweet apples (for me) turn out a nice cider in less than a month...but I guess it all depends on the methods you use and what you like.

I haven't seen a lot of pippins grown here in Georgia. They could be grown here, but I haven't seen them.

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Old 01-26-2013, 10:54 PM   #15
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BB, no combination of those apples will give you and English style cider.

Instead, focus on making a unique CA cider. Maybe start fermenting of single varietal test batches with a range of apples to see what characteristics are lost or emphasized based on your local growing conditions. Don't force their fruit to suit what you want to do. Instead, let the fruit guide your palate, and build on your experience from test batches to make a nice balanced cider.

I've had several Newtown Pippin single varietal ciders and only one that I though was good. Personally, I think the buzz around this apple is overrated.

That being said, I don't believe in 'cider' and 'non-cider' apples. In the right hands, any apple can make good cider when used properly.

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Old 01-26-2013, 11:58 PM   #16
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Those honey crisps are the best apples I've ever eaten. Crisp at room temp, always sweet. But man they are expensive.

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerBrigade View Post
Gravenstein

Macintosh

Honey Crisp

Pinova

Royal Gala

Winter Banana

Golden Delicious

Red Delicious

Newton Pippin

Winesap

Braeburn

Mutsu

Fiji

Prime Gold

Black Twig

Granny Smith

I know some of these will not do but I think a blend of some may be okay...
Does anybody have any ideas of what I want to try to blend?

I am just learning but I am thinking about Gravenstein, Winesap, pippin and black twig...

If you wanted to get a blend going what do you think would make the best blend ?
And What do you think would get close to an English cider taste?
Winesap, Macintosh, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn.

Those would be my blend, and in the ratio I listed (largest ammount to smallest ammount). There are several varietys I don't recognize on the list, so the ones I picked are from a New England cider makers perspective! :-)
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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I’m not familiar with all these types, but am with some. Being from Minnesota we have a good selection of cold hearty varieties like a few you listed: Honey Crisp, McIntosh, and Winesap. The Winesaps and McIntosh are good for blending into cider without much planning. I have found ways to make pretty good ciders with Honey Crisps blended at over 50% of the must with other varieties like Haralson, but it is definitely not an English style dry cider by any means.

There are some others you listed that many may consider cider apples when blended. The Red and Golden Delicious are fragrant when used in cider. The Newton pippin is heirloom cider apple that is said to be fragrant and tart, I've never even seen one though. The Granny Smith is of course tart and will produce juice like little else when pressed. The Grannies tend to be used as a base in my ciders because of their low cost and productiveness when pressed.

I’ve not had good luck with Braeburn, Fuji or Gala. They might work if you blend them with other varieties to properly compliment them.

If you were to make an English style dry cider from the apples you listed, I would use Granny smith, McIntosh, and Newton Pippins. But I have no idea about some of these other varieties.

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krackin
Maybe it would be better to start with what not to use. I would say to leave out Pinova Royal Gala Winter Banana Golden Delicious Red Delicious. Although these will work in cider they are pr'ly not in the realm of English cider.
No winter banana? Someone told me this is really good in a blend because of the aroma... Have you ever used this? And was the result negative?
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton
BB, no combination of those apples will give you and English style cider.

Instead, focus on making a unique CA cider. Maybe start fermenting of single varietal test batches with a range of apples to see what characteristics are lost or emphasized based on your local growing conditions. Don't force their fruit to suit what you want to do. Instead, let the fruit guide your palate, and build on your experience from test batches to make a nice balanced cider.

I've had several Newtown Pippin single varietal ciders and only one that I though was good. Personally, I think the buzz around this apple is overrated.

That being said, I don't believe in 'cider' and 'non-cider' apples. In the right hands, any apple can make good cider when used properly.
Okay, first I will try a test batch of the varieties by themselves....
I was already planning on doing this with the pippin but I will try a few of the others as well.

Before I read this I was thinking during my single batches I was planing on a few blends just for s**ts and giggles of 40% Pippin, 40% Winesap, 20% Winter banana?
Or 40% Pippen, 40% Winesap, 10% winter banana, 10% Gravenstein?
And maybe also throwing in a few crabapples!?!
OOH, QUICK, SOMEONE GRAB ME AND SHAKE ME.... IM GOING CIDER CrAzY... Lol
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