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2018 Apple Harvest Cider Thread

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Dutto

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Looking good!

For commercial brews, it costs many thousands of pounds to purchase a filter system that removes the yeast so there is no need to worry about "too little yeast". Even after 10 or so weeks in a fridge and as clear as a bell, there has still enough yeast floating around to carbonate a brew; albeit fairly slowly.
 

MattH1973

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in case freester doesnt reply, I used this method a couple of weeks ago and the bottles seem to firming up OK. My definition of "pinch" is that the grains of yeast i could hold between my thumb and forefinger were enough for about 3-4 bottles. Put another way, one sachet easily did 32 litres with quite a bit left over.

Hope this helps.....
 

freester

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Yep what Matt said. A 'cooking recipe' pinch as if I was adding salt to the ingredients of some food. A pinch per bottle.
 

MattH1973

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cider drinking very well this christmas....

- early batches darker and more appley - this is either the lalvin yeast or the different variety of applies used (more cookers)

- later batches a little paler but still very drinkable.

- tried the first bottle of au naturel last night but as I'd already had 4 others I have no recollection whatsoever of what it was like....

- and I found out what happens of one drinks 4 bottles of the strong stuff - not good..... i think i will water a little more down next year as the weaker batches are almost all gone.....

merry christmas all !
 

MattH1973

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tried the au naturel when vaguely sober tonight....

- very nice, but i would struggle to differentiate it from the batches with yeast. If pushed I'd say it is maybe a bit smoother, considering its 9% ish cider.

But certainly no regrets in making it.....
 

freester

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tried the au naturel when vaguely sober tonight....

- very nice, but i would struggle to differentiate it from the batches with yeast. If pushed I'd say it is maybe a bit smoother, considering its 9% ish cider.

But certainly no regrets in making it.....
Interesting, I would say my traditional is very different. But as you say at 9% it may be a bit difficult to discern!! Is it sparkling or still?

Most of my au naturel is still either conditioning (first batch) or still fermenting slowly (2nd batch). We've been tasting over the Xmas period but nearly all is 2017 cider. The only 2018 we've tasted is the Perry which is ready.

I reckon the 2017 will keep me going until the 'Cuckoo' in spring when I will crack open the 2018. Myself and a mate have some big plans for the 2019 harvest!!!
 

MattH1973

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Interesting, I would say my traditional is very different. But as you say at 9% it may be a bit difficult to discern!! Is it sparkling or still?

Most of my au naturel is still either conditioning (first batch) or still fermenting slowly (2nd batch). We've been tasting over the Xmas period but nearly all is 2017 cider. The only 2018 we've tasted is the Perry which is ready.

I reckon the 2017 will keep me going until the 'Cuckoo' in spring when I will crack open the 2018. Myself and a mate have some big plans for the 2019 harvest!!!
sparkling. I carbonate it with a pinch of yeast as i worry so much about oxidisation......

maybe next year I will try a few still bottles, but i actually prefer slightly carbonated cider.

lots of great feedback from friends and family on the quality of the cider, what a great hobby, and what a great resource this forum is.

Happy new year all - only 29 days of dry January left !
 

MattH1973

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drinking update, since, purely for the purposes of science, i am trying to rank the different batches...... here's where I am coming out:

1. Au naturel. Much smoother than the others. Is strong (8% +) but without tasting harsh. Definitely do more next year. Interestingly, if you drink one where yeast was used after the au naturel it tastes almost soapy by comparison. But on their own the yeast batches are fine.
2. Youngs mid strength (c6.5% iirc). Very smooth and refreshing.
3. Lalvin EC 1118. Probably my least favourite. Strog ones taste a but harsh and slightly soapy as per the above.

So for next year I think the plan will be to do the strong batches as au naturel. And water down the Youngs yest batches to c6.5%.
 

freester

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Ha you are coming round to the 'Traditional' way of cider making. 2017 I made about 30 litres, 2018 it's nearer 100L!

I need to bottle the first batch of 2018 trad. The last batch started bubbling again 2 weeks ago when it warmed back up!
 

MattH1973

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this cider is now nearly two years old and has really smoothed out in the last few months. Even the Lalvin, which was the most harsh, is really easy on the palate. Im glad I switched to bottling in glass, and the cider doesnt last long enough in plastic to go through this maturation.

Hopefully there will be enough 2019 left by this autumn to keep some well into next year - but I doubt it.

Maybe i go scrumping for more apples this year to try and build up a backlog......

Hope all are well....
 

Dutto

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..........

Maybe i go scrumping for more apples this year to try and build up a backlog......

.......
We all need to reach "Critical Mass"! This being enough of what you fancy to allow you to pick and choose what you make next and what you lay down for the future.

Get out there and get more apples on!

I usually say "There's nothing worse than finding out that the last bottle lifted from the shelf tastes better than the other thirty-nine!" It's a great mantra for Conditioning a brew for many weeks, months or even years.

However, recent experience has taught me that there is a "nothing worse" and that is keeping a wonderful brew until it goes past its "Sell-By" date and tastes foul.

The only way you can avoid the latter is by experimentation. Personally, (as a Rule of Thumb), I drink brews with an ABV less than 5.5% within a year and only lay down brews above 5.5%ABV for a year or more.

Enjoy!

PS

Aged about eight, I was up this tree throwing apples down to my mate when it all went quiet below! I looked through the foliage and all I could see was a pair of shiny-black boots. The man attached to the boots was Bobby Oliver and rather foolishly, I decided to drop down the other side of the tree and make a run for it.

As soon as my feet hit the ground I was running to the sound of "I see'd yer! I know who you are!" a phrase that struck terror into every kid in the village. I carried on and leapt the orchard fence like a young gazelle. Unfortunately, I didn't quite clear the fence and finished up hanging by my shorts from the top strand of the fence which happened to be barbed-wire.

Bobby Oliver ambled over "What's your name boy?" (So much for "I know who you are!" eh!), I told him and then went through the following (please bear in mind that I was hanging from the fence with four barbs firmly lodged in my buttocks as well as my shorts):
  • "Do you want a Summons?" I didn't know what a "Summons" was but the answer was "No."
  • "Do you want me to tell you Dad?" Absolutely and definitely a "No!"
  • "Do you want me to tell your Mam?" This was the kicker! Despite four wounds in my backside I had four rips in my shorts and I was due a hammering anyway. Being dragged home by Bobby Oliver would make it ten times worse so yet another heartfelt "Nooo!"
  • "Well, there's only one thing left ain't there?" I nodded and I can still feel the the crack across the back of my skull as he inflicted the "only thing left" with an amazingly hard hand!
Bobby Oliver had the decency to lift me off the fence (on the right side for me) and let me go with a warning of "And don't let me catch you here again!"

Needless to say, I got a genuine hammering when I got home for the rips in my shorts. (The rips were darned and the shorts were put back into service the next day!)

However, the most surprising thing happened about 60 years after this incident. I was talking to my mate (the one who had done a runner) and he said "Yes, I remember that. Me and David loved going scrumping with you because we could always outrun you; and we knew that you'd never tell on us!"

So much for friends eh? clapa clapa clapa
 

MattH1973

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so i kept 3 bottles of 2018 to see how it aged - had one this week (Feb 2021) so its now nearly 2.5 years old. Still smooth, but i think it peaked last summer - so i am starting to think around 2 years, or a bit less, is the optimum age....
 

prog99

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so i kept 3 bottles of 2018 to see how it aged - had one this week (Feb 2021) so its now nearly 2.5 years old. Still smooth, but i think it peaked last summer - so i am starting to think around 2 years, or a bit less, is the optimum age....
Oh I need to check my stash from 2018 as well. I remember in year one 1 bottle would give the mother of all hangovers!
 

freester

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so i kept 3 bottles of 2018 to see how it aged - had one this week (Feb 2021) so its now nearly 2.5 years old. Still smooth, but i think it peaked last summer - so i am starting to think around 2 years, or a bit less, is the optimum age....
I think I would agree. I am now lucky enough that I've got volumes of cider in stock that the earliest I will drink cider is ~9 months after press. The following summer (so year + 1/2) seems to be best, it doesn't improve appreciably after that...
 

johncrobinson

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Thats the secret,A good stock of aged but not ancient wines/beers/ciders is the key.
Its surprising how difficult it is though to keep to a good stock.
 

MattH1973

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i made quite a lot in 2020, and still have a good amount of 2019 left. So I hope with a decent harvest this year I will always have the option of drinking 1 year + old cider....
 

freester

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Sounds like you've got the conveyer belt sorted. I was looking at mine this morning. I've got 2 carboys left of 2019 - well one carboy bottled, the other to be bottled. And all of the 2020 either in primary or secondary.
 
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