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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > West Country Cider (UK Residents?)
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default West Country Cider (UK Residents?)

Hi All,

I've read through the stickies on cider yeast and various experiments, and the problem I have is that my taste in cider differs dramatically from the ordinary American's taste. I'm addicted to dry, flat, appley ciders, not sugary or fizzy ones like (shudder) Woodchuck or Strongbow (west country name: "Wrongbow").

Here's the current plan: I'm getting 5 gals of pasteurized juice from a Rhode Island orchard and 5 campden tablets. I'm gonna add some tannin to bring the juice closer to the bittersharp apple varieties found in Somerset. Then I'm gonna bottle and cold crash it around 1.004-ish, maybe aiming for around 7% abv, and wait 2-3 months.

The major question I have is the yeast. There are many yeast varieties, but the experimenters on here tend to say things like "I liked this one better", which doesn't really help because you don't know what sort of cider they prefer. So, can anyone from the West Country, or anyone familiar with a proper westcountry cider, recommend a yeast variety? I'm considering Wp775, Safale-04, Red Star Premier Cuvee and regular old EC1118, and I can't find any info on which of these is best for this particular type of cider.

Also, any other tips on aiming for this type of cider in particular are much appreciated.

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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The best tasting cider I have made (which tasted most like a Weston's Old Rosie but not exactly) was dumping apple juice straight onto the yeast cake left over from a perry I made using EC-1118. Incidentally, after backsweetening a little, the perry tasted like a Weston's perry too.

I then oaked my cider which worked really well.

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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Thanks so much. I'm using something close to that and we'll see how it goes. Oaking is a possibility.

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Old 09-16-2013, 01:04 AM   #4
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We went to a cidery yesterday that makes the kind you are talking about, They grow European cider trees and traditional American cider varieties and blend bittersharps and bittersweets and goodness knows how many kinds like the BLack Kingston. Distillery Lane Ciderworks, very interesting to taste their apples. They are going to be making a cider for real hard cider makers from these apples and they have some very good ones like you described. The ones with oak in them were like drinking a fine white wine made from apples with a good touch of tannins. We have a wonderful crabapple that is a bittersharp, they told us to take good care of it as this kind of tree is exactly what we need to blend with our other sharps, most of our trees are wild and range from very sweet with no acid at all to pucker your mouth and shrink your tongue from the acid and tannins. We are making a special one from 100% bittersharp crabs, that one might even be a bit much for you Brits

You might be better off wondering around the suburbs until you see some nice crabapple trees and ask if you can pick some to add to your Americanized juice.

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Old 09-16-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oljimmy
Thanks so much. I'm using something close to that and we'll see how it goes. Oaking is a possibility.
I used 2 ounces of oak chips per gallon for the last 3 weeks before bottling. Tried natural and toasted chips, natural giving the stronger (and I say better) flavour.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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Thanks Fossey. I'm a bit worried about the EC-1118/Premier Cuvee strains because I don't know how to kill the yeast after fermentation to avoid bottle bombs. Currently considering testing Nottingham for this reason, but if you've got a method that neutralizes EC-1118, I'd be happy to hear about it.

WVMJ, you read my mind: I just discovered a crabapple tree down the street! Now to get at the little buggers without the neighbours thinking I'm some sort of weirdo.

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Old 09-17-2013, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oljimmy
Thanks Fossey. I'm a bit worried about the EC-1118/Premier Cuvee strains because I don't know how to kill the yeast after fermentation to avoid bottle bombs. Currently considering testing Nottingham for this reason, but if you've got a method that neutralizes EC-1118, I'd be happy to hear about it.

WVMJ, you read my mind: I just discovered a crabapple tree down the street! Now to get at the little buggers without the neighbours thinking I'm some sort of weirdo.
If you let any yeast run out dry, it won't make bombs. But if you backsweeten it can. You can bottle pasteurize it (there's a sticky here somewhere) if you're brave.

I know what you mean about taste. Everyone has their preference, but you don't know if you'll agree. We always taste ours and say it tastes good, if you like really dry wine or champagne. We don't like it, so were in search of the more sweet version... The kind you don't like!
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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I didn't need to pasteurise my oaked cider because I let it run dry and didn't carbonate it.

I only pasteurise in the dishwasher which I have discussed on here a few times before. IMO it is far safer and easier than the stove top and I've had repeated success doing it. I just bottle, monitor carb levels with a PET bottle and when done, stick all the glass bottles into the dishwasher on the longest, hottest setting. Leave the door closed until they have completely cooled off.

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