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Old 08-14-2008, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default Had an eye opening today

I stopped by a guys house who is an excellent brewer and tried a whole bunch of things that gave me all kinds of ideas and new perspectives on things, but anyways, something I tried was some amazing French ciders. I mean these things were awesome. Very complex, tart, all sparkling, not dry and one dimensional like when you just ferment out apple juice. So obviously like with any fruit wine, apples made for consumption do not in any way make a good cider just like red grapes from the supermarket are not going to make anything most people would even consider wine.

So after all that, has anyone made cider from apples, what apples have you found to be best and how many apples does it take to yield 5 gallons?

After looking at designs online, I'm pretty sure I can build a press for much less than they cost. So some other fruit wines may be in the future as well, and while I'm on that, what types of pears make a good perry?

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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I am planing to put some fruit trees in my yard and I was looking at traditional cider varieties. The BJCP guidlines for french cider suggest: Nehou, Muscadet de Dieppe, Reine des Pommes and Michelin. I'm sure these might be hard to find at a nursery.

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:27 PM   #3
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I'm no cider expert- but I found that it's the tart varieties that make good apple wine and cider. Crabapples (the actual eating ones, NOT the ornamental trees most people have) added to the mix are fantastic.

I don't have a cider press- so I smash by hand, which is not nearly as efficient as a press so I don't know how many pounds/gallon you'd get with a press. I'd have to guess that about 12-20 pounds of apples would give you a gallon of juice.

If you build a press, could you post it so we can see it? That would be awesome!

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Old 08-14-2008, 01:54 PM   #4
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"Eating apples" are a relatively new idea, in part an off-shoot of Prohibition. The older tart apples make better cider. Winesap, Baldwin, Rome Beauty & Granny Smith are ones you might be able to find.

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effigyoffaith View Post
I am planing to put some fruit trees in my yard and I was looking at traditional cider varieties. The BJCP guidlines for french cider suggest: Nehou, Muscadet de Dieppe, Reine des Pommes and Michelin. I'm sure these might be hard to find at a nursery.
Farnum Hill Cider (www.farnumhillciders.com) lists some of their apple varieties right on the bottle: Kingston Black, medaille d'Or, Somerset, and Redstreak. They also list other varieties on their site http://www.farnumhillciders.com/Apples_varieties.html Here is a link to a nursery that should be able to supply you with traditional cider apples: http://www.raintreenursery.com/catalog/producttype.cfm?producttype=Apples-Cider I'll bet they even ship 'em bareroot, you'l have to wait & plan ahead, but you could save boku bucks by getting them bareroot, ask the nursery about it. Hope you find this info useful, GF.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Cider apples fall into one of four groups, depending on their acidity (malic acid content) and tannins. These are: sharps, bittersharps, bittersweets and sweets.

A blend of three or more varieties is generally pressed together when crafting fine hard cider, but a few choice apples make a toothsome stand-alone vintage brew. A traditional mixture is one-third each of sweet, bittersweet and sharp apples. However, most artisan cider makers develop their own favorite blends.

Anyone living in USDA zones 5 to 9 can grow cider apples. Orchardists two zones farther north or one south can press new or antique all-purpose sweets and sharps. Crabapples, many of which flourish in zones 3 and 10, make acceptable bittersharp apples.
I've done a bit of research on the subject, but I live in the city, so getting these types of apples is nigh impossible. French cider is made using more sweets if I remember right, and spanish basque-country cider uses more acid-ladin fruits, more along the Sharp catagory. Hope this all helps
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