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Epond83

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A local place that presses apples just got some specialty ones in. I'm looking for suggestions on which to use. I'm only set up for small batches and need to pick two:
Brown Snout
Harrison
Harry Master's Jersey
Winesap
Franklin
Crab

Thanks!
 

ncguire

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Are you using only two from the list or will you be blending them with other apples/juice?

I would definitely use Harrison. Some say it is the best of the American cider apples. I have a young Harrison tree myself but it will be a few more years before it starts fruiting, but I understand it is very flavorful with some acidity, good mouthfeel and maybe a little tannin. Then maybe Winesap if you want a more acidic cider. If you want more tannic cider then Brown Snout or Harry Master's Jersey. Not familiar with franklin. Crabs can vary, so not sure what you will get. But might be a good choice if you plan to also blend with dessert apples.
 
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Epond83

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I should have mentioned my full plan.
I have a gallon of Pinata and also Jonagold aging and ferminting currently. I plan to run 4-5 one gallon batches this fall. Then mix and age until spring.
I'm thinking I'll get a gallon of two types on the list above and freeze one for a few weeks until I'm ready to ferment it.
 

AzOr

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A local place that presses apples just got some specialty ones in. I'm looking for suggestions on which to use. I'm only set up for small batches and need to pick two:
Brown Snout
Harrison
Harry Master's Jersey
Winesap
Franklin
Crab

Thanks!
My pick would be Winesaps and Harrisons.

My favorite cider from last year is a single varietal Winesap. It took a bit of aging but it's delicious. The first 6 or 7 months the cider tasted bland but at about 9 months it really came through.

I used brown snouts but it was in a mix. The cider came out delicious but it was no more than 20%.

I just pressed Harrisons and Winesaps this past weekend. It's my first time using Harrisons but the pre-fermented juice was delicious.
 

madscientist451

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If I could get juice like that, I'd get 5 gallons of each and worry about blending later.
Brown Snout, Harrison and Harry master's Jersey are bittersweets.
Brown Snout is probably better suited for a blend.
Harrison could be used in a single variety cider or in a blend.
I've had a commercial example of single variety cider made with Harry Master's Jersey, it was just ok, I'd probably use it in a blend.
I'm not sure what Winesap is classified as, but its a well known cider variety, its not as hard to find as the others on your list.
Franklin is a relatively new apple and could be used as a blend or as a single variety.
There are thousands of varieties of crab apples, so I can't make any recommendation, other than perhaps use 5% as part of a blend.

So If I had to choose just two, I'd pick Harrison and Franklin.
Real cider apples are rare in my area, so my 2 cents would be to figure out what blending ratios are recommended for the type of cider you like and buy it while you can, there's no guarantee you'll be able to get any next year.
 

rivalry15

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I would agree with Winesap and Harrison’s.
I have Northern Spy, Baldwins and Winesap waiting to be pressed and I like the flavor winesaps give. I would love to try Franklins but that’s a few years out.
 

AzOr

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I would agree with Winesap and Harrison’s.
I have Northern Spy, Baldwins and Winesap waiting to be pressed and I like the flavor winesaps give. I would love to try Franklins but that’s a few years out.
I posted a thread about my recent winesap pressing. The og was 1.068! The juice was almost syrupy. Delicious but a bit high in sugar. I had good luck fermenting winesaps last year so I’m excited to see how it turns out. Just have to wait a short 12 months.
:(
 

ncguire

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If I could get juice like that, I'd get 5 gallons of each and worry about blending later.
Brown Snout, Harrison and Harry master's Jersey are bittersweets.
Brown Snout is probably better suited for a blend.
Harrison could be used in a single variety cider or in a blend.
I've had a commercial example of single variety cider made with Harry Master's Jersey, it was just ok, I'd probably use it in a blend.
I'm not sure what Winesap is classified as, but its a well known cider variety, its not as hard to find as the others on your list.
Franklin is a relatively new apple and could be used as a blend or as a single variety.
There are thousands of varieties of crab apples, so I can't make any recommendation, other than perhaps use 5% as part of a blend.

So If I had to choose just two, I'd pick Harrison and Franklin.
Real cider apples are rare in my area, so my 2 cents would be to figure out what blending ratios are recommended for the type of cider you like and buy it while you can, there's no guarantee you'll be able to get any next year.
Curious if you have used Harrison before to confirm its status as a bittersweet? Most descriptions I see of it just say something like dark viscous juice or something. Cummins nursery places it in the bittersweet category, but then I look at WSU cultivar database and their data would classify it as a sharp, with acid and tannin levels very similar to golden russet (but more tannin than dessert apples). I guess I will find out which it is in a few years when my tree starts producing fruit.
 

madscientist451

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I have one Harrison tree, but no apples yet. The categories for cider varieties indicate a range of acidity and tannins. I've seen some varieties referred to as "a full bittersweet" for example. Some bittersweets (and apples in other categories) can be made into single variety ciders, some need to be blended.
Commercial cider makers have been using Harrison as both a single variety and a blending apple for many years, so it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.
 

AzOr

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Curious if you have used Harrison before to confirm its status as a bittersweet? Most descriptions I see of it just say something like dark viscous juice or something. Cummins nursery places it in the bittersweet category, but then I look at WSU cultivar database and their data would classify it as a sharp, with acid and tannin levels very similar to golden russet (but more tannin than dessert apples). I guess I will find out which it is in a few years when my tree starts producing fruit.
I just pressed a little over 3 gallons of Harrison’s. To my taste buds they were more of a sharp. I did detect a little tannic bite at the very end but it was subtle.
I know what everyone means about not finding much info. Everything I found on the net just referred to them as a historic apple but not much in the way of sensory descriptions.
 

wasully

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Curious if you have used Harrison before to confirm its status as a bittersweet? Most descriptions I see of it just say something like dark viscous juice or something. Cummins nursery places it in the bittersweet category, but then I look at WSU cultivar database and their data would classify it as a sharp, with acid and tannin levels very similar to golden russet (but more tannin than dessert apples). I guess I will find out which it is in a few years when my tree starts producing fruit.
It will vary somewhat between harvests, and especially between climates. I'm not sure how much, but enough to swing classifications for some apples, definitely.
 
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Epond83

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Thanks all for the input! I got a gallon of Brown Snout and also Franklin. Both taste interesting, I've never hard cider with a bite to it. I'm excited to ferment them and see how they turn out.

I dosed them with a Camden tablet and stuck them in the freezer until I can ferment them in few weeks.
 

AzOr

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I pressed a couple of gallons of brown snouts last year. I shoulda done small test batches but instead I combined the juice with others.
The orchardist that I got them from told me that cider w 100% of that juice makes a cider with more body. He actually said it turns out more viscous. Seems counter intuitive to me but who am I to question.
Either way the cider turned out great as a blend.
 
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Epond83

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I pulled the Franklin out of the freezer and brought it up to temp so I can start fermention this weekend. I knew it tasted sweet but I didn't realize how high the gravity was 1.086!
 

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AzOr

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That sounds really high.
When using thawed juice make sure you give it a good stir before taking a reading or your juice could stratify.
 
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Epond83

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In the future I plan to check SG before freezing. But yeah I mixed it up and it was up to 62 degrees. So I'm pretty sure that reading is accurate.

The Brown Snout was 1.062 which was higher but not like this.
 

AzOr

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That’s impressive. The highest I got was this year’s winesaps at .068. They sweated in my garage for almost a month before pressing.
 

AzOr

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Thanks to @Chalkyt
Who said this in another thread...
I haven't needed to do this, but in his chapter on Juicing and Fermenting, Andrew Lea (Craft Cider Making) suggests the following...

"In practice it is an empirical fact that dilution of cider up to about 15% (that is, 85% juice equivalent) has little impact on flavour. So a fermented cider at 9% alcohol could be taken back to 7.5% with water without too much adverse effect."

That was helpfu and I plan on adding about 10% water to a couple of batches.
 
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