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Cider from apple juice and Dolgo crabapples

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MizooBrew

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On the campus where I go to school there are probably eight big crabapple trees, all Dolgo crabapples (I think...). I am getting a juicer today, and my plan is to juice A LOT of these crabapples, which yes I have eaten and they are pretty good imo. They are very tart with a slight sweetness. Anyhow, the plan is to juice up about a gallon or so of Dolgo crabapple juice and then add four gallons of Motts apple juice, or a similar brand without preservatives. I am thinking this will make a nice tart cider, with more depth than the typical cider brewed from apple juice. Has anyone done this? There are also at least two other apple varieties on campus which I am considering juicing as well. I realize this is going to be a ridiculous amount of juicing, but better than spending $250 on a press. Very excited for this project to begin, may also add some clover or wildflower honey.
 

gregbathurst

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I have heard of people using the Dolgo crab in North America, it is said to be good for cider making and high acidity.
 

dinnerstick

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hi i had just posted this inappropriately in another thread, but i will post my experience again here. i can't get cider apples here so on the advice of the above ^^ hbt member senor bathurst and others i have been incorporating crabapples in my ciders this year to substitute for the absent bittersweets in my blend. well, ciders i say- i've only done one so far this year as we are just into apple season. i make many small batches in a year from different apple sources, and i usually don't have access to a press, and i live in an apartment in a medieval city center, so i use the juicer a lot, or else grate and hand press, neither of which is terribly efficient with the apple varieties i use but both methods make for a delicious cider. so for my first crabapple trial i liberated a small bagful of firm golden yellow cherry-sized crabs from a bot garden, refractometer read them at 1.063, stuck them in the juicer and was amazed how well they juiced, the waste was very dry whereas for the dessert apples it comes out a bit wet and has to be run through again or hand pressed to get the efficiency up. so my admittedly long-winded point (i blame the second saturday afternoon orval) is that they are very likely to juice well for you, especially if they are firm when ripe. with my little golden crabs a very small amount, maybe 300 ml in a 5 L batch, gave a noticeable and nice tannin twang to the unfermented juice, but not very much acid, for that i used grannys. i bet yours are less tannin-rich and more acidic from the similar crabs i've tasted, so i'm hazarding a guess that your proposed ratio will be in the ballpark? and if they juice well it will be a snap- a gallon is 4 L- i call fill that using dessert apples in about 20 minutes. as for poaching other apples on your campus- why not? sounds like a forager's paradise; juice them all and ferment!
 
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MizooBrew

MizooBrew

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Awesome, thanks a ton you guys. I will try to post the results and my blends once I have them all fermented out and bottled! Definitely going to try a few different blends to see what works best. If they turn out well I will have to go a lot bigger next year!
 

Yooper

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I make crabapple wine (posted in my recipes) out of dolgo and centennial crabapples. I have mixed it with other apples in the past, but my favorite is the blend of primarily dolgos! They taste great, have a spicy tart flavor, and make awesome cider and wine.
 
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MizooBrew

MizooBrew

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I make crabapple wine (posted in my recipes) out of dolgo and centennial crabapples. I have mixed it with other apples in the past, but my favorite is the blend of primarily dolgos! They taste great, have a spicy tart flavor, and make awesome cider and wine.
Glad to hear from your Yooper, I had actually read about your crabapple wines in various posts on HBT, I just wasn't sure what variety of crabapples you were using. Now that I know you were in fact using dolgos I am off to pick a lot of these crabapples and start juicing!
 

Yooper

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Glad to hear from your Yooper, I had actually read about your crabapple wines in various posts on HBT, I just wasn't sure what variety of crabapples you were using. Now that I know you were in fact using dolgos I am off to pick a lot of these crabapples and start juicing!
Yep, they are dolgos mostly! I have two trees- the dolgo and the centennial. I use more of the dolgos, but I don't know the exact percentages. Whatever the tree gives me from year to year, but usually it's about 75% dolgo if I had to guess.
 
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MizooBrew

MizooBrew

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Just juiced A LOT of Dolgos in my $10 craigslist juicer, got almost 1/2 gal bright red juice. Tossed 1/2 campden tablet into it and am planning on adding it to 4.5 gal Mott's apple juice and fermenting as a typical cider. Wish me luck! Hopefully the next place this topic will appear is the recipes forum.
 
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MizooBrew

MizooBrew

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Alright, here is what I came up with. Got in the carboy now fermenting away quite nicely.
4.5 gal Albertsons brand Apple Cider (pretty much just apple juice)
0.5 gal Dolgo crabapple juice
2 cups alfalfa honey
5 tsp yeast nutrient
2 Red Star Pasteur Champagne packets

Put the 0.5 gal crabapple juice in a growler for a day with 1/2 Campden tablet. This cider has a beautiful rose color to it because of the Dolgos. Perhaps you shall be seeing this recipe in the recipes section once i've got a taste test on it.
 
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