What apple is this?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
Now that everyone is in “cider mode” I thought I would try to see if someone can shed some light on what this apple is.

Attached are pics of an apple, the tree and the blossoms. The apple pic is a few years old but the others were taken today (Spring) but probably don't help too much... a tree, is a tree, is a tree!

The best guess so far is a Gravenstein (at least that is what we call it), but the tree was here when we bought the place and using an apple identification web site doesn’t really help because there seems to be a lot of apples with similar characteristics. It would be quite a large tree if I didn’t cut off the watershoots and prune it to a reachable height occasionally

They are typically quite large apples at around 2-1/2 inches (7cm) and weigh 5oz (150g) with a juice SG over 1.060 and pH 3.5. It has a “cooking apple” taste, but is also quite good to eat with just a touch of tartness. SWMBO uses them for pies, sauce, chutney, etc.

Of more importance, I use it a lot for a cider base where it blends well with Pomme de Neige or Cox’s Orange Pippin. A hundred or so of the apples usually give me more than a gallon of juice.

So, the name isn't all that important because for me it is a “good” basic cider apple, but it would be good to know what type it is if anyone has any clues. I like to list the apples on the back label when I bottle.

Front Apple Tree Blossom_1.jpg Front Apple Tree_1.jpg
Front Apple_1.jpg
 

Attachments

ncguire

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
22
Looks a lot like Gravenstein. When is bloom and harvest time relative to other apples? Not sure about Australia, but in the US, Gravenstein is early to bloom. And early harvest (late summer), ripening over several weeks and not all at once. Not a great keeper like most early apples. It's also triploid, so it needs two other apples for pollination, and has relatively large dark leaves.
 

docbot

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
6
Wait, your yield from 100 apples, at 5 oz each equals ~32 lbs, is only 1 gallon? That seems quite low in my experience. My very young trees gave me 45 lbs of apples this year, from which I squeezed 4 gallons, so call it 11 lbs of apples per gallon juice. Lets call the juice water, at 8 lbs per gallon, so my yield is 8/11 = 73% juice by weight.
 
OP
Chalkyt

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
Yep, this is a case of "gallons ain't gallons". In Oz we use the Imperial Gallon which is 4.5 litres, and the most common carboy is 5 litres, loosely called a gallon carboy.

The hundred or so apples for a bit over a gallon was just to "paint the picture" that they are useful apples and it doesn't take scratting and pressing too many to get more than 5 litres (our "gallon") of juice.

Typically I will do a primary ferment of about six litres which ends up as five litres in secondary, so something approaching a hundred apples gets me there. I usually get a yield of about 60% by weight and any surplus is put in the fridge for future topping up.
 
Last edited:
OP
Chalkyt

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
Thanks for the Gravenstein information. I am not sure that I have ever actually seen a Gravenstein and have just been going on descriptions and pictures, so Gravenstein seemed to be a good guess. Having said that, I still don't know what they are apart from "front tree apples".

I note that the Gravensteins are described as irregulary round. My apples certainly aren't round, they are more squashed round a little bit like a donut. Also, they really don't have a lot of red... more like yellowy orange.

Sooo... we still don't have a name and the detective work continues.
 

gregbathurst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
114
Location
Australia
I have a tree called "twenty ounce". Both the tree and the fruit look similar to yours. The fruit are quite large.
 
OP
Chalkyt

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
Thanks for that..."Twenty Ounce" seems like a good candidate as they are quite big apples (they ranged from 170g to 320g this year). It is listed on Specialty Produce and Trees of Antiquity websites and our apples seem to have the characteristic listed there as well as looking a lot like the photos. Also it is interesting to see from one of the web sites that "The cultivar is also grown in limited quantities in Australia and New Zealand"
 

gregbathurst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
114
Location
Australia
I got my tree years ago from a nursery in Victoria called Badger's Keep, sadly no longer open. The tree is very reliable for producing good crops.
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
5,247
Reaction score
10,289
Location
Albany
Looks like a Cortland apple to me. By me in ny they tend to have a little more green to them like yours does

 
Last edited:

MtnGoatJoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
109
Reaction score
18
When do they ripen? Here in the States, Gravenstein's ripen in August. Also, they ripen over a few weeks (meaning that some ripen sooner or later than others). If they're all ripening at the same time, then it's probably a different variety.

If they ripen in the Southern Hemisphere equivalent of early October, then they might be a Jonagold. Jonagolds are EXCELLENT apples. Very large, very tasty juice. Good bakers and eaters. Hands down some of the best apple juice you can drink. And it supposedly makes a good base for cider.
 
OP
Chalkyt

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
They ripen around April (sort of the equivalent of your October). I am not too fussed about what they are, it simply would be nice to know rather than call them Front Apples (because they are from the tree at the front of the property). I will scratch around next year when they ripen to see if I can find any Jonagolds which isn't an apple I am familiar with.
 

PCABrewing

Recreational Brewer
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
162
Reaction score
149
Here in the States, Gravenstein's ripen in August. Also, they ripen over a few weeks (meaning that some ripen sooner or later than others).
I grow Gravenstein and Ida Red.
Ida Reds ripen late October and while they are good apples they are no match for the Gravensteins.

Strange year this, with a drought the trees produced so heavily I had some broken limbs.
Gravensteins are all gone for three weeks now but I still have Ida Reds on the tree.
 
OP
Chalkyt

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
In the meanwhile I managed to track down some information about Jonagolds in Oz. Yep, the pictures make them a good candidate. Apparently they ripen in May here, which is just about right, as I used them for cider in May this year as a base for a "premium" blend with Pomme de Neige and Cox's Orange Pippin. Interesting that they are triploid (like the 20 Ounce) which means that they aren't really self polinating and need a couple of other varieties including Grannys Smith and Cox's Orange Pippin nearby (which I have about 100 metres away).
 

ncguire

Active Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
22
In the meanwhile I managed to track down some information about Jonagolds in Oz. Yep, the pictures make them a good candidate. Apparently they ripen in May here, which is just about right, as I used them for cider in May this year as a base for a "premium" blend with Pomme de Neige and Cox's Orange Pippin. Interesting that they are triploid (like the 20 Ounce) which means that they aren't really self polinating and need a couple of other varieties including Grannys Smith and Cox's Orange Pippin nearby (which I have about 100 metres away).
Usually when people say to have two other varieties for pollination with triploids, it is because the triploid tree's pollen is sterile. Triploids only require one other tree for pollination, but will not be able to to pollinate the other tree back. That's why they say to have a third non-triploid tree around for pollination, otherwise the triploid would be the only one with fruit. Unless you have a triploid and self-fertile variety, like Golden Delicious or Granny Smith, then you don't have to have a third, as it will pollinate both the triploid and itself. But I've always heard self-fertile varieties usually bear fruit better when cross pollinated, so it's better just to have a third.
 

Kees

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Messages
136
Reaction score
22
Location
Laar 49824 Germany
IMHO they look more like a Bramley's Seedling than a Jonagold. Jonagold is rounder, Bramley's Seedling a bit flatter.
 

gregbathurst

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
1,170
Reaction score
114
Location
Australia
If they ripen in april they probably aren't twenty ounce. Mine ripen from february, though they will stay on the tree till late april. They aren't Bramleys and I doubt that they are Jonagold, not a variety grown much in Australia.
 

MtnGoatJoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
109
Reaction score
18
OP
Chalkyt

Chalkyt

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
591
Reaction score
297
Location
Snowy Mountains, Australia
It is all quite interesting. When we first moved in the tree was in a very messy state (as was the rest of the place), overgrown, dead branches, crossing branches etc and we were going to take it out. In fact we had planted another tree nearby with the idea that once it grew to fill the gap, the big apple tree would go.

Anyhow after a bit of a clean-up we forgot about it and when autumn came along we got a heap of big apples, so the tree survived and its replacement was moved.

When I started down the cider path (because what do you do with eight apple trees) I tried the "big" apples and SWMBO claimed them for pies, chutneys etc. Glad we left it alone!
 

MtnGoatJoe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2015
Messages
109
Reaction score
18
Yeah, sometimes you just get lucky. My mom planted two trees a few years ago. She didn't consult me, and she ended up with a Honeycrisp and a Jonagold. I think they were the last two trees available at the big box store. Anyway, the Jonagold has turned out fantastic.
 

Kees

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Messages
136
Reaction score
22
Location
Laar 49824 Germany
Big apples, good for pies. If ripening late that makes the case for Bramley's Seedling only stronger. In my neighbour's orchard B. S. is the last apple tree to drop its apples. Still many apples in the tree right now. How is your tree doing early May in Oz? They are strong growers. Is that your experience as well?
 
Top