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Old 10-11-2009, 04:31 PM   #1
MikeRLynch
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Default New Englanders: how have ciders made from fresh local juices turned out?

Like almost everywhere in the New England, I've got my choice of local orchards to get cider to make hard cider from. Usually I use store bought Motts and Nottingham, with very nice, clean, flavorful results.

With the fresh pressed ciders available, is there any change in technique (fermentation temps, yeast, nutrients) that I should use? I did one a while ago with natural cider (cloudy, not pasturized, etc) and it had some significant off flavors, sulfur if I remember correctly. I wonder if the extra bits floating around in there effect the fermentation profile.

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Old 10-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #2
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I'm not in New England but I refuse to make cider anymore with stuff from the store and only use juice straight fromt he orchard, unpasteurized. The only thing I have done different since then is I use betonite after about 3 months to help clear it and I bulk age it for a total of a year .

I'm a purist, no sugar not extra anything. The only reason I even use prepackaged yeast is I'm too cheep to waste 5-6 gallons of juice if local wild yeast would bugger it up. I will say this yeast since I got a few new odd sized growlers I am going to experiment with local wild yeast and if that turns out you can wave goodbye to me even using prepackaged yeast.

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Old 10-11-2009, 05:08 PM   #3
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Its all about the type of apples. Commercial cider presses like red and golden delicious because they are sweet and produced a lot of juice. But they ferment out like water.

Call around the orchards, tell them you are making hard hard cider and ask them what they are pressing. If its mostly RD and GD, keep looking. If its good cider varieties like Northern Spys, Staymans, Jonathans, McIntosh, Winesaps, Yorks, etc. thats what you want.

If you can pick up the juice on press day, so it isnt sitting around, skip the k-meta - that might have been where the sulfur was coming from. skipping the nutrients will make the cider easier to stop with some residual sugar.

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Old 10-12-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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I just picked up some cider from a local orchard in Ledyard, CT, going to bottle today as a matter of fact. I 'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 10-12-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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May I just say as politely as I can.
I hate all of you that can get great freshly pressed juice straight from the trees!
OK, I got that out of my system.
CvilleKevin - That was a nice list of varieties I have never even heard of. I wonder how much shipping would be... More than the cost of the apples. Frack.

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Old 10-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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What he said!

Man Oh Man...I might have to start rethinking my future retirement plans. Wouldn't it be nice to live where you could have your own Honey Bee Hives, Pear & Apple Orchards, Barley & Wheat, Hop Vines, Grape Vines... And a freshwater spring to boot. A small lab in the basement to culture your yeast bank. I don't think I would have much idle time...it would be a full time job keeping up with trying to deplete the output

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Old 10-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #7
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Usually cider mills around where I live mix 5-6 different apple varieties. I just made a cyser from a mill that used a HoneyCrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, and Idared. The cider was sweet with just the right amount of tart bite. Should I be looking for cider that is more tart than sweet for hard cider making?

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Old 10-12-2009, 04:39 PM   #8
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The batch I bottled today was an early season juice made from Cortlands and McIntosh apples. Next week I will see what they have. They grow Jonathan, Gala, Empire, Red and Golden Deliscious . The stuff I just bottled today, is a bit dry, but VERY smooth and quite good. Should be better after it sits for a few months. Have to say, not bad for my first try. Kauai_Kahuna, here is the URL (http://www.holmbergorchards.com/index.html) for the orchard I go to, you might call them and see what they can do.

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:03 PM   #9
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It should start sweet and appley when it first hits your mouth, then when its in your mouth for a few seconds, you should be getting a lot of flavor, then a tart, but not too sour finish.

Golden delicious are OK for bumping the sugar content a bit but dont use too much and try to avoid the reds. Galas, Cortlands and Empires are all good. I havent used HoneyCrisp or Idareds - I'm not sure what those taste like

The last batch I got from the main press I go to was 50% Stayman, 25% york and 25% empire. Yorks can sometimes taste a little gritty when they are fresh but that stuff settles to the bottom during the ferment and the flavor is good.

This weekend I pressed 10 gal by hand with some friends. It was a mix (going from sweeter to tart) of Grimes Golden, Fuji, Cameo, McIntosh, Jonathan, Winesap and Granny Smith.

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:22 PM   #10
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Ok I'm picking up 20gallons of fresh unpasturized cider tomorrow, I'm getting it as soon as he is done pressing, I have a few recipes I have used in the past, but I'm planning making 4-5, 5gallin batches so I would love to have a few different recipes, my dream is to make something that taste like an apple pie, please send me as many as you guys can think of.

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