Cox's and Crab.

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Oct 6, 2023
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I've been cidermaking for a few years now, biannually, since that's when my Fuji tree fruits, and I'm too optimistic and lazy to thin the fruit when it sets. Fuji juice is sweet but low in tannins and acidity, requiring adjustment, but that isn't the topic for today.

I also have in my garden 3 bittersweet saplings that aren't yet yielding (Ellis, Nehou, Brown Snout), a Red Vein crabapple and a Cox's Orange Pippin.

This year, for the first time, the crab and Cox's have both given me a good yield. The Cox's has before given me a few to eat, but never enough to make cider with. The crab has before given me a small yield, that I've refridgerated until the Fuji were ripe and blended in to help adjust. (A few crabapples don't do much in 35 gallons of must though.)

Anyway, this year after crushing, I ended up with two 5-gallon buckets of must, that after pressing resulted in about 6 gallons of juice. I milled and pressed over two days. The first evening I milled the Cox's and crab picked from the trees, and let them macerate overnight. The next day I washed, trimmed and milled windfalls and those that wasps had gotten to, including a few not-quite-ripe Fujis, and pressed everything. I'd estimate 45% each of Fuji and Red Vein Crab, and 10% unripened Fuji). I should note that the Cox's ripened 9/15, and the Crab 9/22, and given the warm weather we've been having here (70s), they were all very well-ripened. (I had left half a dozen Cox's on the tree that had fermented from the inside out.)

After pressing and filtering, I filled a 5G fermenter and placed an airlock containing vodka. I'm pretty fastidious with the StarSan, having sanitized everything with it along the way. Juice was pH 2.87, OG 1.047, tasted great, and has a slight fizz on the tongue.

I had been planning to bisulphate this batch, and pitch Ciderhouse yeast in it 24 hours later. I didn't get to that last night though, and 8 hours later I awoke to a great looking Krausen. So much so, that I'm wondering whether it's going to blow the airlock off. Now I'm tempted to leave it and see how the flavor develops. Temp is 72F.

Yeah, I'm definitely leaning that way. This was after 8 hours, the krausen reached the stopper by the 12 hour mark. It seems to have settled there, so maybe it won't blow the airlock off.
Given how fast this took off the yeast strain must have already been thriving on and within the apples. Hopefully that is a good omen for it being one that results in a good cider.


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