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Old 12-24-2012, 03:36 AM   #1
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Default Historical cider factoids.

Been doing a lot of research recently on the history of cider, both foreign and domestic. Spending time combing through the Cornell University library catalogs and rare book depository, sifting through a lot of unhelpful text and occasionally uncovering some hidden gems.

Thought I'd share a few with you guys . . .

- In 1813, a popular war tune about how American Perry was better than British cider as often sung in US bars. A reference to a naval victory by Commodore Perry over British naval forces on lake Erie. Also a nod to the fact the the Brits halted all imports of US apples following the revolution. That is until 1838 when US politician Andrew Stevenson brought a bushel of Newtown Pippins as a gift for Queen Victoria and the ban was lifted.

- From the 1840s until prohibition, one of the larger cider producers was the Genesee Fruit Company, now known as Mott's.

- Keeving cider seems to have been a common occurrence through the mid 1800's in this country, but by the turn of the century seems to be relatively unknown here while remaining typical in Europe. I'm thinking that innovation in grinding & pressing technologies may be responsible, which resulted in more efficient workflow and less time between grinding and pressing and thus less pectin in the juice.

- Think hopped cider is a new development? I sure did, until I came across a recipe from 1867.

More to come if people find these as interesting as I do.

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Old 12-24-2012, 04:24 AM   #2
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Nice! Love little bits of History like this. Cider should be the official drink of New England.

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
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I don't know if you can find it, (and sorry that i have pimped this book on here before) but i highly recommend following re-issue of an old english publication from the late 1600's that was edited and released by my friend and former colleague Barrie Juniper at the university of oxford (and world expert on the history of the apple; see 'the story of the apple' by juniper and mabberly, also a very interesting read on how and why the apple came to europe from the forests of kazakhstan and china, or this little write-up
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/history-apple-247957/ ), anyways the title is this:

The compleat planter & cyderist, or, Choice collections and observations for the propagating all manner of fruit-trees: and the most approved ways and methods yet known for the making and ordering of cyder, and other English-wines

err, yep.
anyways Barrie and his daughter dug up this manuscript somewhere, footnoted it so it's legible to the modern reader, included color plates of apple, peach, plum, nectarine varieties from the time. it has detailed descriptions of not only the varieties and propagation techniques, but very precise description of the whole process of cider making at the time. not so much historical factoids, but a genuine and very specific look at the english cider making of the 1600's

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Old 12-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips Dinnerstick. I'll definitely search both those titles out. Dr. Juniper certainly makes some large claims in his thesis, from bears to glaciers to horses and I'd love to see the supporting research.

Most of the things I've come across have been gleaned from similar works as 'the complete planter . . .' that someone else has carefully scanned or preserved. Cider production has changed relatively little over the course of the centuries it seems, with the exception of materials science and the use of steel which allows for mechanical pumps, presses, grinders, and tanks.

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamSlayer View Post
Cider should be the official drink of New England.
You've got my vote!


Looks like batch pasteurizing cider was being done in the mid 1800s to halt the yeast in order to preserve the sugars as well as to kill off microbes to increase shelf-life of still cider.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton View Post

You've got my vote!

Looks like batch pasteurizing cider was being done in the mid 1800s to halt the yeast in order to preserve the sugars as well as to kill off microbes to increase shelf-life of still cider.
'Canning' cider. Guess I'll give this a try next season. I have a sister and brother in law who can/make bread/raise chickens etc. I'll recruit them to make sure I do it properly!
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBreton View Post
Thanks for the tips Dinnerstick. I'll definitely search both those titles out. Dr. Juniper certainly makes some large claims in his thesis, from bears to glaciers to horses and I'd love to see the supporting research.
he is a funny guy, super opinionated, in his talks he would present half tongue in cheek tirades for example about how london's traffic problem is due to poor planning by the stupid roman invaders, etc. should be some interesting kernels of truth in there among the hyperbole
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Very fun topic.... Feed my Brian more please..


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Old 12-26-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Well now, it's not really fair to blame the Romans. From what I understand they got pretty sloshed on the local cider.

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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Nice! Kill 'em with gallon jugs of 'kindness'!

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