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Old 11-17-2019, 08:39 AM
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Default Hard Apple Cider?



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I dont drink hard spirits anymore, just beer, wine, and hard apple cider.

So I was making a list of fruit trees to plant this spring, and I wondered how hard would it be to plant a few cider trees, and make my own drink.

I made my own beer and wine while I was in college. Not real hard. I dont expect the fermentation process is any different, but I do need to plant the right type of apple trees.

Anyone done this?
What type of trees, how many to start, advise?
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:22 AM
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You can use any trees really , the apples are all good for cider .
I had apple trees ?
I donít know what type , they where typical crab apple trees .
They gave garbage cans full of apples 2Ē round or a little bigger .
We would blanch them then squeeze them for juice / pulp and ferment in a 5 gallon buckets .
You have to get the sugar yeast Ratio correct ,I used a star champain yeast that gave me very fine bubbles and a dry cider with 4% alcohol content .
I would add some sweet apple juice or a tea spoon of apple juice concentrate to spring top 16oz bottles to adjust for taste .
If you donít end the fermentation the bottles explode if they warm up usually July , Donít ask me how I know
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:49 AM
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You can also plant specific pear trees for perry (Perrier) that is the pear equivalent of cider. For perry people talk of tannins as being required for a good fermented product. I thought the cider apples made superior fermented product also, but I am not the expert here. For apple juice maybe sweet apples could be superior due to the sugars.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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I use champagne yeast to give about 10% alcohol. I usually use about 5 gallons of pure apple juice squeezed from a mix of regular and crab apples to about 5 gallons of water that has been slow pasteurized and mix in a pound of brown sugar and a pound of honey.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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I did perry one year as well using about the same recipe.
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:36 PM
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I suggest you consider also raising some bees. The first couple of years I had a fellow coming up from Florida who would swap me a plat of honey for use of some of my land to keep bees, he liked the sour wood honey it would produce. But he hasn’t been back for two years and for two years I haven’t had much of an apple crop so next spring good lord willing I and going to try my hand at raising bees as well.
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Old 11-17-2019, 02:56 PM
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How about encouraging native bees is they are present in your area.


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I suggest you consider also raising some bees. The first couple of years I had a fellow coming up from Florida who would swap me a plat of honey for use of some of my land to keep bees, he liked the sour wood honey it would produce. But he hasnít been back for two years and for two years I havenít had much of an apple crop so next spring good lord willing I and going to try my hand at raising bees as well.
Honey bees are having a hard time these days due to an unknown or at least poorly understood syndrome that results in declining hive populations. Check with your county extension agent to find what is going on in your county.
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:52 PM
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There's a lot of blends out there, a lot has to do with your area. Around here Winesap, McIntosh, Cortland, Johnathan are some common ones. I have noticed that the apple cider is better with the late season apples. The number of trees, I guess, would depend on how much cider you're looking to get.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:47 PM
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As I posted, this year I made pear and Apple cider. (Not hard, canned it all)

With the pear it started with just over 1 gal per 5 gal bucket of fruit.

Towards the end we had refined technique so that we got more than 2 gal per 5 gal bucket.

I also picked 5 apple trees. (non cider type, related to a Macintosh and a Arkansas black at a guess... Owner bought the place with the trees so no idea.)

With those we got just over 6.5 gal of cider from 11 buckets of apples.

DEFINATELY plant cider type.
In fact that's one of the things I plan on filling in in my orchard.
More cider apples. (sorry can't help with suggestions.)

When your ready to do the press thing.... Hit.me up I learned a lot.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:03 PM
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A couple friends and I made some from their Apple tree. I don't know what type they were, but we made 2 gallons, and used a beer yeast. It worked well enough. Wasn't my favorite drink, but wasn't bad. I think it was 6%.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:31 PM
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I have 16 apple trees in my orchard.

I divided my orchard into two sections. One section is the summer-fall section of varieties that are known to harvest 'summer-fall'. The second section is the Fall-winter section of varieties that are known to harvest 'fall-winter'.

In each of these sections, I have four trees of varieties of extra high sugar content. and I have two different tart verities, two trees each.

I was hoping that I would get two distinct harvests from my orchard, so it would be less work all at once.

Here is the number of trees planted, followed by the catalog description of each variety.

4- 'Sweet 16 Apples': harvest Early Fall. Whenever anyone eats a Sweet 16 for the first time, you know they will be surprised. Fine-textured crisp flesh contains an astounding unusually complex combination of sweet nutty and spicy flavors with slight anise essence, sometimes described as cherry, vanilla or even bourbon. Truly excellent fresh eating, although it is too sweet for some pallets. Round-conic bronze-red medium-sized fruit, striped and washed with rose-red.

2- 'Prima Apples': harvest early Fall. Medium-large roundish fruit has rich yellow skin with a striking orange-red blush. Mildly subacid juicy white flesh provides excellent eating and makes good cider. Keeps a couple of months.

2- 'Cortland Apples': harvest early Fall Medium to medium-large slightly ribbed dull red fruit with a purple blush. Excellent eating and cooking. Slow-oxidizing white flesh is very good in salads; fine-grained, crisp, tender, juicy. Produces a surprisingly delightful cider, fresh or fermented, in a mix or even on its own. Vigorous tall upright spreading tree with reddish bark. Annual producer of heavy crops.

4- 'Minnesota 447 apples': harvested Fall-Winter. Developed at the University of Minnesota before 1936, but never introduced. This massively flavored dessert appleónot for the faint of heartóprovides a whole new level of culinary experience. Likely the most distinctive and unusual apple Iíve ever tried. Astonished friends have described its flavor as strange, molasses, olives, fabulous, sweet, complex and sugar cane. The roundish fruit is medium-sized and entirely covered with dark bluish-purple stripes. The aromatic crisp crystalline flesh is an apricot-orange color with occasional red staining, so juicy itíll run down your hand. Years ago David Bedford of the University of Minnesota said they would never release it because it didnít taste like an apple. Joyfully they changed their minds.

2- 'Esopus Spitzenburg apples': harvest Fall-Winter. Without peer in flavor and quality. A choice dessert and culinary apple, mentioned in nearly every list of best-flavored varieties. Slightly subacid, crisp and juicy. Famous for being Thomas Jeffersonís favorite apple. Medium-large bright-red round to mostly conic fruit, covered with russet dots. Excellent acid source for sweet or fermented cider.

2- 'Golden Russet apples': harvest Winter
The champagne of cider apples, ripening late in fall, when the root cellar has finally cooled off and the best cider is ready to be made: sweet, balanced, thick and smooth. Also recommended as a ďsharpĒ acid source for fermented cider. Excellent eating; keeps all winter and well into spring. Round medium-sized hard fruit; uniform in size and shape, softens as winter progresses but maintains its superior sweet flavor. Solid deep yellow golden russeted skin!
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:15 PM
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Thanks for these reviews. I have considered apple trees but for some reason had not thought about cider. May need to add these to the plan
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:37 PM
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Some of the best "hard cider" I ever made was from this recipe.

https://www.backwoodsmanmag.com/imag...ardCider_2.pdf
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:50 PM
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cider, wine, mead, its pretty much all made the same with the same yeast right? just different main ingredients? if so, im not sure what value this information will have but i was doing some reading on early colonial stuff and it would seem they commonly made beverages out of maple syrup and molasses too which i guess would be closer to mead than to a wine or cider?

and ive heard of people making stuff from dandelions, and spruce needles
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin22885 View Post
cider, wine, mead, its pretty much all made the same with the same yeast right? just different main ingredients? if so, im not sure what value this information will have but i was doing some reading on early colonial stuff and it would seem they commonly made beverages out of maple syrup and molasses too which i guess would be closer to mead than to a wine or cider?

and ive heard of people making stuff from dandelions, and spruce needles
Maple beer was a common drink in the colonial frontier. James Townsend did an episode on it.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:45 AM
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While Iím a long time home brewer, AHA judge director, I usually make a gallon or three of hard cider this time of year. Champagne yeast will survive and produce alcohol in the mid teens percentage. The end product will be very dry without much apple flavor. You can counter this by blending additional apple juice in the hard cider after fermentation, just be aware the yeast is still waiting to covert this addition to more C2H5OH & CO2.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copymutt View Post
While I’m a long time home brewer, AHA judge director, I usually make a gallon or three of hard cider this time of year. Champagne yeast will survive and produce alcohol in the mid teens percentage. The end product will be very dry without much apple flavor. You can counter this by blending additional apple juice in the hard cider after fermentation, just be aware the yeast is still waiting to covert this addition to more C2H5OH & CO2.
if you let the brewing process stop itself, that should in theory kill off the yeast.. which probably isnt something you want if you're looking to make it sustainable.. racking, or cooling it could also stop the process
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:41 PM
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When I was making wine and beer in college, it rarely lasted long enough to worry about storage.
But I do remeber that yeast does not kill itself completely. It must be removed, or stabilized chemically.

How to Stabilize Wine

"There are different stabilization methods for different types of spoilage. The simplest forms of stabilization being*racking*and filtering. Both serve to remove undesired yeasts and other micro-organisms.

Additionally, there are any number of chemicals that can be used to kill off these organisms so that there’s not a party in your wine after you’ve bottled it. For example sulfur-dioxide is used to kill of yeast cells to prevent a second fermentation. Bentonite is used to remove excess protein (also known as hot stabilization).

Cold stabilization is when you reduce the temperature of your wine to nearly its freezing point to purposefully form tartrate crystals you can then remove through racking. These harmless crystals form when tartaric acid precipitates out of the wine. They have no effect on the flavor but they can put people off because they look like broken glass."
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:29 PM
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I just read a thing about making cider.

This person suggested letting the cider ferment all the way, until the yeast dies. Then you decant/filter/do whatever to pull the clear fluid off the top. This will be between 10-20% depending on your yeast. Then you take either honey water or fresh sweet apple juice, and mix that in to bring the abv down to around 6-8 percent.

Iím guessing the reduction in Abv is to make it less dry? I donít know, but I may need to try this when I get some fresh apples.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:53 PM
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I have a few apple trees, and am interested in learning to make hard cider. All the recipes seem to include yeast. If a person were worried about running out of yeast if the SHTF, is there a way to do it without yeast? Or to keep re-growing it like sourdough? (Would sourdough starter work--has anyone tried that?)
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