2022 Apple Harvest Cider Thread - Drought !

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MattH1973

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So here we go...... a reasonable amount of apples on the trees - much better than 2021, but some of the younger trees are struggling in the heat and dry, and I am losing some early fallers. but I just tasted a faller from one of the old trees and it was pretty nice and juicy.... so i think it is that kind of time again. What effect will the drought have ? the apples appear smaller but i hope the sugar content will be just as good and that i might end up with a "denser" juice.... only one way to find out.....

This years gadget is an apple picker, to make it easier to reach the high apples and the ones that fall into the brambles...

Ive also invested in a decent carbuoy for the au naturel, as one of my cheapo amazon ones is now allowing a little oxidization, I think.....
20220816_095150 by MattH3764, on Flickr

20220816_094937 by MattH3764, on Flickr
 
quite a few fallers so started picking today - the younger tree didnt yield much as i suspect the roots werent deep enough to get moisture but the older ones (c400 years) were better than i thought - 4 big sacks already and less than halfway......
20220822_193540 by MattH3764, on Flickr

Might do a first press on Bank Hol Monday......
 
I Did my first press of the year today as i also had a abundance of fallers on the ground. Nice and juicey with dark brown pips, pretty much ready maybe a week or two early.

First 25l had an og of 1.042. This is down on last year as i averaged around 1.050.

Ill leave the rest of the apples on the tree now for another week or so and see how much it helps.
 
We had the offer of a tree full of apples from another chap on the allotment. No idea of the variety, but I had a quick squeeze of juice on the refractometer and it suggested over 6% pa.

My daughter and her husband were due to visit from Scotland, so with the help of them, my other daughter and granddaughter, we stripped the tree, took the fallen apples and had a smashing day scratting and pressing.

I had brought a whole apple scratter from Vigo and an 18 Ltr press. I didn’t expect the little scratter to crush whole apples to be honest, but it did!

Anyway, we ended up with just shy of 11 gallons of juice. I popped in some pectolase and crushed campden tablets to kill off the wild yeast, I’m not clever enough to play with those guys just yet.

I used Gervin GV 13 and started fermentation on the 16th August, a few days later. Racked into barrels with a pressure release on the 16th.

Started at 1050, racked at 1005.

I planted 3 Dabenett trees a few years ago, and it looks like we will be getting some usable apples soon. I was wondering if anybody had Dabenett tress, or experience with them. Only according to the information I can find, harvest is the end of October/November.

It’s still August and a quick test with a fallen apple is a pa of around 6 already.

Wondering whether to wait or take soon.

Quite a few on the ground, more in the trees.

All good fun though!
 

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I Did my first press of the year today as i also had a abundance of fallers on the ground. Nice and juicey with dark brown pips, pretty much ready maybe a week or two early.

First 25l had an og of 1.042. This is down on last year as i averaged around 1.050.

Ill leave the rest of the apples on the tree now for another week or so and see how much it helps.
did my first press this weekend too.
mix of drought and codling moth larvae have caused an earlier drop. With the larvae bits cut out got 2x5L OG 1.046 which is up on the fir batch of last year, but lower than 1.050 that most 2021 batches were.
 
Pressed on Friday - happy with the results. It all came out at a density that implied it will be around 9% when fermented, so i have the option of diluting some a bit. In recent years the "au naturel" hasnt been quite as good so I am doing the majority with love brewing champagne yeast this year. I ended up with

- 26 litres, in a fermenter, 9%, pH 2.5, added pectolase and chalk when pressed, and just added yeast and nutrient 24 hours later. I expect this should be fermented out in about 3 weeks, and i will probably bottle it a month or so later.

- 10 litres, in a new carboy, as my old cheapo demijohns were allowing some oxidisation i think. From experience this will take about 3 months to ferment and clear so I will bottle in Dec.

Plenty of apples on the trees so I will pick more in the next few days and press again in a week or so. My plan is to try a batch with added tannin, as I have never done this, with the remainder following my traditional yeast, pectolase, chalk (due to very high acidity) recipie.

20220902_111224 by MattH3764, on Flickr

20220902_113208 by MattH3764, on Flickr

20220902_140810 by MattH3764, on Flickr
 
what apples do you have? pH 2.5 and need to tannin implies you have something Bramley like?

what are the advantages of yeast nutrient as I have never found I needed it?
 
Back at it again tomorow after another picking another 10 sacks off the allotment today,

Bought a cheapo juicer off amazon this week and suprisingly it proforms very well, after testing for a little bit today its speeds through the apples a dream. One down side is the froth it creates been a centrifuge juicer however after pooring through a sieve and cloth makes good juice in no time at all. The pulp it creates presses extreamly well for a even better yeild and the pressed cakes are great for the chickens and ducks. Also its pretty child friendly my 3yo son and 6yo daughter loved dropping the apples in and watching it "magically" make juice.

Looking at a decent year this year with 47l last week down to 1.000 and fermentation stopper added this morning, will add finnings tomorow evening and then racked off into the cornies maybe tuesday/wednesday. This will leave the fv ready for next weekends rotation. (Refusing to buy more than 4fv)

I suppose at some point i am going to have to switch to the blackberries and elderberries in the freezer for the better half but for not its cider time.

Ill upload pictures in due course as the day goes on
 
Alex - Sounds like great progress, pics please ! The one thing I have never nailed is finding a use for the apples post p;ressing - some friends have chickens so maybe i will give it to them.

Vindicator - i dont know what apples they are... but to be clear i dont need to add tannin - I never have and the cider is always light and smooth..... i just want to see what happens if I do.....
 
So todays proceedings was cut short by swmbo. School supplies and dinners took priorty. Managed to get fv1 with finnings added fv2 still hadnt stopped as had a little more in.

35ish litres juiced and pressed today. It went so much faster with the juicer even with the added downsides of scooping off the gunk thats created and filtering through a seive and fine cloth.

25l into fv3 and pitched yeast sg. 1.052. Alot better than the last 2 however we did have apples from another allotmenteer this time around so i am happy about that. With a promise to bag the rest. (However it comes with a 10 bottle price) for the apples.


Only managed a couple of photos today totally forgot with been rushed. Picture before sieving and straining through a tight cloth and photo of the fine pulp it creates. Plus a photo of the juice off the press. I use a series of smaller buckets for collecting off the press as it fits under the press real nice when screwed to the decking step for better pressure. Also means any extra i can keep seperate and have as just apple juice for the kids.
 

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bumper haul today - 60 litres. One disaster - i cracked my large fermenting bucket whilst sterilising it - so it's back to the little Amazon DJs. I was so short of space, i have had to sit 10 litres (which will eventually be Christmas mulled cider) in the cracked and taped up fermenting bucket.....the liquid is below the crack and i will try and get a replacement tomorrow.......

It all came out at 8-9pct and very acidic. So this years breakdown is as follows:

From last week ago:
- 26 litres in the fermenter, traditional recipe - 9% - bubbling now slowing down
- 10 litres in Carboy - au naturel - 9%

From today
- 30 litres in various vessels, 9pct
- 20 litres in various vessels, 8pct (more recently picked apples)
- 10 litres mulled cider (I will update the other thread).

20220911_120437 by MattH3764, on Flickr

20220911_154127 by MattH3764, on Flickr

20220911_170149 by MattH3764, on Flickr
 
Looks like a great day 🙂
I picked up some fallen Dabenett yesterday, about a wheelbarrow full. Surprisingly, I got 2 gallons!

Total this year so far is 14 gallons, and it’s all free 🕺
 
All big amounts! ashock1

Yesterday I obtained my first 5l cider by filtering it through a fine cloth. This is from my summer apples (got 30 kg of them, believe me, this is a record in my garden, from two half-stem (is this correct?) trees). Still got to harvest my autumn apples, although this will probably be earlier than normal. One part of it will also be for cider, these are a bit more bitter, so I will blend them, and let it lager over winter and spring.
 
Thinking about this further - the large amount produced this year gives me a chance to experiment. Of the 50 litres of standard recipe I produced yesterday I think I will bulk age half in secondary and bottle half in about 6 weeks. I have always wondered if secondary makes any difference and this is the way to find out......
 
Thinking about this further - the large amount produced this year gives me a chance to experiment. Of the 50 litres of standard recipe I produced yesterday I think I will bulk age half in secondary and bottle half in about 6 weeks. I have always wondered if secondary makes any difference and this is the way to find out......
When starting out i loved bottling, when volumes were low. As soon as i started hitting higher volumes it became more "functional" to keg and bulk age. Having a lads nights watching boxing or football becomes easier as its just a matter of washing glasses as apposed to washing rinsing and sterilising so many bottles twice a month.


As for taste wise i think there is always some benefit of bottling as you can always hide a few away to mature further and see the cidre grow and mellow in age but with kegging its harder to let it do the same as you need to empty it ready for the next batch and without having the luxury of this there is always the feeling of missing out, what if i just left it 4 months longer 6 months longer.

The beauty of cornies is that after racking and clearing there is always a few litres left after filling the keg i normally stick them in a old rosie jar and keep them deep in the back of the garage for a rainy day.
 

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