How many crab apples to add ?

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Apr 19, 2017
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Snowy Mountains, Australia
It is nearly apple picking time and I have a bumper crop of Crimson Knight Crab Apples. The other trees seem to be having an "on" year as well. So I would like some views on what amount of crabs should be included with other apples.

At this stage I plan an early batch of cider using two different yeasts but the same juice blend in order to see what difference the yeasts make. My normal "go to" yeast is SO4 but I am keen to try M02.

The apples available now are...

Pomme de Neige (Snow Apples) which are a crisp "off sweet" eating or cooking apple SG 1.045 pH 3.8
Cox's Orange Pippin SG 1.060 pH3.5
Ballerina (a Flowery slightly "off sweet" eating apple) SG 1.060 pH 3.4

As I have plenty of the Pomme de Neige, they will provide the base juice and my thoughts are for a 60/30/10 blend. i.e. 60% PDN, 30% COP and/or Ballerina, and 10% Crabs. At this stage the COP seem to need a bit more time to ripen although the others are ready now. Similarly I have plenty of Red Delicious but in the past I have only used them for "fillers" as they are too sweet and didn't make a very good cider when I first used them (back in the "olden days" when I thought they would make a sweet cider... Duh!).

Also, not quite ready are a "mystery" apple, quite large and probably a cooking apple. They might be some sort of Pippin but we haven't been able to identify them. I have used these before as a base juice and will probably do a larger batch with them towards the end of the month. The Granny Smiths are also coming along and actually make quite a good single variety cider.

So far, so good. However I am not sure about the amount of crabs since in the past I have been limited by the number available.

All opinions are welcome.
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Apr 13, 2009
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Hi, I'm near Bathurst, was a very good year this year apart from vermin and rot - a lot of the apples that fell were munched by vermin or just rotted. I had an unidentified tree on my place with big apples that turned out to be peasgood nonesuch, I think it was popular in the old days. I think you need at least 20% crabs or they won't add much tannin.