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Kudzu

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I've got a few apples trees and have decided to have a crack making some cider this year and have a couple of questions.

I have Cox's Orange and Granny Smiths and will be blending them. 2 Cox trees one Granny so should be a rough 2 one ratio as they are about the same size and yield. Will this make a decent cider? I'm keen to make it fully home grown so unless this is going to be absolutely terrible I don't want to mix in any "outside" apples.

I will be juicing the apples, they haven't really been looked after very well and a lot of them have blemishes and grub holes. Do I need to cut these out? The juicers capable of taking whole apples, so would save a lot of time if I can just wash them and juice them.

Do I need to do anything to kill the wild yeast, campden tablets? Or can I just chuck to juice in a fermenter and pitch away?

What's a good yeast to use? I may potentially be able to score some yeast from a nearby cider house, so will use that if I can, but would like a good backup.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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I've got a ton of Cox's orange, reds, pink ladies and the like.

With the Cox's - if you've picked them ripe, you'll find that they will be really sweet, and the grannies tart (obviously), so your cider will be pretty mellow.

I've made one (in Brisbane) from 100% pink lady and nice aroma, but I reckon you need tart apples to give it that punch.

The other alternative (and I know Punkin has said he might do this - he's in New England) - grab some of the other apples slightly unripe.
 

mitch.flint

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I think most cider operations don't bother to cut this stuff out, they sometimes use windfall apples as well, which are not the nicest. The blemishes and grub holes probably mean they would have a strong wild yeast population though.

Because apples have lots of acid and a low pH you can use PottasiumMetaBisulphate very effectively to control yeast/bacteria. You just need to check whatever yeast you pitch is tolerant to them. I've made cider this way using wine yeast and it turned out well. Very clean, no nasty flavours or aromas.

I'm guessing you'll be making dry, not sweet, cider??
 

Airgead

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Grannies can be quite high in acid so be careful with them. I usually use about 20% along with a mix of other sweet apples to get the balance right. More and it can be too tart.

Chuck out any really nasty apples. A little grub hole or bruise is OK. Wash them well.

I don't use anything to control wild yeast except a good sized pitch of wine yeast. 71B works well as does the one I used last year which I can't remember right now.

Cheers
Dave
 

Kudzu

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Cheers guys.

I didn't get a great yield this year, if I've got enough Cox's to do a 80/20 ratio I'll try that. This years probably going to be a bit of an experiment.

Yep prefer a dry cider, which is good as I've read it's not so easy to home brew a sweet cider.
 

Greg.L

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The best bet usually is to just use what you have, it isn't that predictable anyway. Ripeness is important for flavour, but if your year is like mine they will be pretty ripe. I don't use campden tablets, just rehydrate and pitch the yeast.
 

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