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Old 04-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #21
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One last note, you really have to taste the apples and try things to get what works. Apples grow differently depending on region. Some people swear cortlands make fantastic hard cider,... not in NY they don't....

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Old 04-26-2011, 09:32 PM   #22
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Hmmmm well I guess I might have to get some bushels in the fall!

So another question for you about cold crashing... So I typically add a bit of sugar to my brews at the beginning, get OG up to about 1.065. Then it ferments for a week and a half or two, gets down to about 1.015/1.020. What would be the best thing after this? Should I:

A: Cold crash, let sit in the fridge in the primary for a couple days, add sorbate, then rack and bring back inside to normal temps, repeat process if desired and eventually bottle

OR

B: Cold Crash, Leave in fridge a couple days, rack, leave it there some more and repeat for a while, finally adding preservatives just before bottling

Is there any need to bring it back in once I have cold crashed? Or does that not serve a purpose?

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Old 04-26-2011, 09:58 PM   #23
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One last note, you really have to taste the apples and try things to get what works. Apples grow differently depending on region. Some people swear cortlands make fantastic hard cider,... not in NY they don't....
Of the very few trees I know the names of cortland was one and it makes a terrible cider here in North Dakota as well, sweet sixteen was equally terrible.

Panda, I don't own any trees and the nearest orchard is 150 miles away in Minnesota. Probably some where near you. I've found most small towns in the upper Midwest have tons of backyard Apple trees going to waste every fall. I'm not shy so I go pound doors down asking if they want clean up the mess the trees are going to make. 9 times out of 10 they let me have all I want. If there not home ill leave a note asking the same and am suprised at how many times they call back. I also post on the local internet classifieds and put flyers up at the super market and they find me. A couple of parks also have trees and crabs and you can pick without asking. I could make 500 gallons a year easy and never pay for an Apple. It also helps my flavor since I have 30 plus varieties in the mix. Get creative and you might get all the apples you ever want. You should also research orchards in your area. There might be a couple.

The downside to pressing your own is the equipment is not cheap. I had to buy a press and build a grinder and will have to build a big press this summer to get the capacity that I desire.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #24
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Of the very few trees I know the names of cortland was one and it makes a terrible cider here in North Dakota as well, sweet sixteen was equally terrible.

Panda, I don't own any trees and the nearest orchard is 150 miles away in Minnesota. Probably some where near you. I've found most small towns in the upper Midwest have tons of backyard Apple trees going to waste every fall. I'm not shy so I go pound doors down asking if they want clean up the mess the trees are going to make. 9 times out of 10 they let me have all I want. If there not home ill leave a note asking the same and am suprised at how many times they call back. I also post on the local internet classifieds and put flyers up at the super market and they find me. A couple of parks also have trees and crabs and you can pick without asking. I could make 500 gallons a year easy and never pay for an Apple. It also helps my flavor since I have 30 plus varieties in the mix. Get creative and you might get all the apples you ever want. You should also research orchards in your area. There might be a couple.

The downside to pressing your own is the equipment is not cheap. I had to buy a press and build a grinder and will have to build a big press this summer to get the capacity that I desire.
Thanks for the advice! And I definitely have orchards all around me, there is one literally like 1/5 of a mile down my road. Plus I do have a few apple trees in my yard. I think there are a couple granny smiths, a crab apple, and then there is this one type that produces small but delicious sweet apples so thick that its branches break off. It can only really do it every couple years because it has to spend the next year recovering
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:51 AM   #25
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If you use a yeast that flocculates at low temps, dont add nutrient and are careful with your siphoning, then you dont need to add chemicals to stabilize the cider at room temp. Cold crashing does take a bit of practice, but its not complicated

In Virginia, Cortland makes a pretty good base apple for a mix - mixed with a tart and aroma apple. I wouldnt try to ferment it on its own tho.

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:35 PM   #26
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If you use a yeast that flocculates at low temps, dont add nutrient and are careful with your siphoning, then you dont need to add chemicals to stabilize the cider at room temp. Cold crashing does take a bit of practice, but its not complicated

In Virginia, Cortland makes a pretty good base apple for a mix - mixed with a tart and aroma apple. I wouldnt try to ferment it on its own tho.
And this speaks right to my point - I have had decent hard cider from cortland's as a base apple in more southern regions, but here I tried a similar blend (one of my neighbors has a bunch of cortlands) it just didn't do much for me. i.e. you have to play with your apples at home. Unless you have a tried and true like a kingston black (if you do share the wealth!) Another example is the cox pippin - probably UK's most prevalent and popular dessert apple. Here, it looks different and tastes different (still good), due to the extra sunlight it gets here (the grower from eves cidery was schooling me on this stuff a while back when I was choosing my apple tree).

scavenging for apples is a great tactic - my neighbor does that. I should do that but it does take time and we have done so much work on our house I couldn't do that last year. However if you have the time
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:14 PM   #27
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Regarding orchards. They are everywhere. If you have some locally then go local. In Boston, I picked some out of street side trees and one on the property of my hospital/employer. It was probably one of the original Roxbury Russets as it was located in Roxbury, MA. Now I have a local orchard and will try another in the fall. I have my own planted but expect maybe 3-4 apples this year. In future years, I will get bushels but have to let the grow first. I have also discovered the neighborhood crap apples and am actually going to graft some scion wood to one of the neighborhood crabs today. I've also asked property owners from some of their apples. This fall I plan on canning or freezing extra juice. So basically, don't be shy, apples are everywhere.
Scott

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Old 04-27-2011, 02:30 PM   #28
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Regarding orchards. They are everywhere. If you have some locally then go local. In Boston, I picked some out of street side trees and one on the property of my hospital/employer. It was probably one of the original Roxbury Russets as it was located in Roxbury, MA. Now I have a local orchard and will try another in the fall. I have my own planted but expect maybe 3-4 apples this year. In future years, I will get bushels but have to let the grow first. I have also discovered the neighborhood crap apples and am actually going to graft some scion wood to one of the neighborhood crabs today. I've also asked property owners from some of their apples. This fall I plan on canning or freezing extra juice. So basically, don't be shy, apples are everywhere.
Scott
Scott - I plan on getting into grafting next year as well - very cool to hear you are doing this too. For my mini orchard I still want a couple crab apple trees and a few more english varieities, but I am going to wait and see what trees do well before I buy more of certian types.

Cummins Nursey is a great resource for english and all other varieties. They sell rootstock for grafting as well as the trees. Getting the english varieties often requires a phone call and a favor from them (companies have been buying out the entire stock of cider varieties lately - they usually will break a bundle to sell you a few).

I planted two roxbury russets this year - how are the apples? I actually have never had one.

Most of my apple rootstock is M7, because that was what was available. I also am trying some G30 (very excited about this one) and I two G11/m111 interstems that I am interested to see how they work out.

I recommend freezing the juice over canning - it tastes almost as fresh as fresh pressed when you thaw it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:37 PM   #29
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roxbury russets are kinda tangy and a little tart. Still an eating apple (barely for my taste) but they make absolutely incredible cooking apples. The tangy-ness is offset by all the sugar you add to any cooking and makes them absolutely incredible. Of course I am assuming they were roxbury russets. The apples fit the description and the location very fit the description. My golden and roxbury russets will probably produce this year and will probably go into an apple cake.
Grafting was easier than I thought but the final word will be if my grafts grow. I used this place. http://www.maplevalleyorchards.com/Pages/Home.aspx Tony was incredible. He might respond to an email but if you get him on the phone, its like talking to an encyclopedia of grafting. I grafted cox orange pippens and yarlington mill on one crab on my property and both varieties on a crab down the road I have adopted. Hopefully they work.

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Old 04-27-2011, 08:40 PM   #30
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I had good success with the rootstock from Cummins Nursery. Made about 30 trees 4 years ago (could have been 5 years ago actually, loosing track of time). The scions came from a very old tree at my folks places that throws early apples (august) that are nice and tart. I'm hoping to get some apples this year from the new trees but I'm not seeing signs of flowers yet so we'll see.

The parent tree has loads of blossoms ready to burst but we've been getting hammered year after year by the winter moth. We're going to spray this year but its a real battle as they have invaded with vigor. I'm hoping to make some cider from the apples this summer. I've got about 30 gallons in 5 gallon batches under my belt with about a 50% success rate thusly.

For what its worth, Tower Hill Botanical Garden http://www.towerhillbg.org/ in Boylston, MA has been collecting and cultivating old varieties from throughout New England for quite a while now. People can call them if they spot a really old tree and they'll investigate and propogate it if they think its an ancient cultivar. I've walked through the orchard and its super cool, some trees date back to the 1600's as their origin. I've called to inquire about scions and they sell them during pruning time in late winter.

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