Freester's 2018 Cider Thread

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Brewdays!' started by freester, Sep 14, 2018.

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  1. Sep 14, 2018 #1

    freester

    freester

    freester

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    Knocked off work a couple of hours early today. After last year's apple collecting I've got 3 or 4 nice locations with a good number of cider apple trees. One of these is a new one this year from a farmer local to me who found out I make cider and told me I can have as much as I want from his orchard. We nearly fell out in the pub as I wanted to buy him a pint to say thanks but he wanted to buy me a pint as I was doing him a favour!!!

    I only had a couple of hours this afternoon. It was hard work on hands and knees digging out a lot of fallers in very deep grass. But ended up with this lot...

    [​IMG]

    Will do some more in this orchard and another location on Sunday. Got two mates lined up for a press week on Sunday where I will pay them in as much of the 60 litres I have left from last year as they can drink while we are working!
     
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  2. Sep 14, 2018 #2

    Waynes World

    Waynes World

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    And you thin they will be pressing all them with free cider on tap lol.

    Good pickings there, i have been asking for weeks but not many folk seem to have apple trees around here.
     
  3. Sep 14, 2018 #3

    freester

    freester

    freester

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    LOL thank you. I'm actually at a point where I turn people away as I know where the good cider apples are. Cookers and eaters make good juice and OK cider but cider apples make better cider!
     
  4. Sep 14, 2018 #4

    Waynes World

    Waynes World

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    All mine are eating types, the pears that i am getting are eating also, Conference type, are there any different in pears than eating ?
     
  5. Sep 14, 2018 #5

    freester

    freester

    freester

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    Yes much like apples there are Perry pears and eating pears. The purists will argue you need perry pears to make good perry but I made some from eaters last year and it was good!
     
  6. Sep 16, 2018 #6

    freester

    freester

    freester

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    Another good haul today. A few more hours working at the orchard I visited on Friday. One tree was seriously big. And had dropped most of it's tiny apples. Bitter sweets I reckon. The farmer told me his grandfather said these were the best cider apples. I spent a long time on my hands and knees picking out the good ones. Back breaking work - although I grabbed quite a few bags full I haven't really touched the glut under the tree.

    In some respects I was a week or two too late for these as a lot had properly turned. On the other hand the ones that hadn't were properly ripe.

    I gathered a couple of other bags from other trees of bitter sweets, bitter sharps and one tree with some really bitter, erm bitters. A bit of tannin for bite!

    Garage smells gorgeous right now. I've checked my garden shredder scratter is working. I've got all the bits and pieces apart from some yeast. So I'm nearly ready for pressing next Sunday.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sep 18, 2018 #7

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    subscribed !
     
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  8. Sep 24, 2018 #8

    freester

    freester

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    First press yesterday with this lot...

    [​IMG]

    This is my setup...

    [​IMG]

    2 people (+my 7 year old son dipping in / out!) it took about 3 hours to scrat and press.

    Approx. 80 litres of juice. I'm fermenting approx 70l. I gave a demi-john's worth to my helper (who is going to try and make Apple Wine). The rest of the juice was frozen or given to the farmer.

    [​IMG]

    Carboy on right was juice of mainly one apple (the farmer told me these made the best cider). OG around 1046.

    Middle carboy a mix of all apples OG 1050 as is the fermenting bin.

    Campdens added to the bin with some pectolase. Will pitch yeast and nutrient this evening.

    The carboys are going 'au naturel'. I sanitised the carboys with VWP then rinsed before putting the juice in. I'll let them get on with it. Once the ferment has slowed down I'll rack off to another carboy and top up with some of the juice that is currently in the freezer.

    It's damn hard work, and easy to underestimate all the prep and post press clean up. Planning on doing one more press this autumn.
     
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  9. Sep 24, 2018 #9

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    A great effort Freester.....

    you are right about the hard work. I now find the actual scratting, pressing and siphoning quite theraputic. But the pre-sterilising, and post-cleaning is a real chore......
     
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  10. Oct 1, 2018 #10

    freester

    freester

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    Quick update. The fermenting bin is bubbling away nicely.

    The two traditional carboys are showing a nice froth on top so I guess things have started. One may have a bit of mould on but hey ho let's see how it goes. Planning another apple collection this weekend if the weather is OK...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Oct 3, 2018 #11

    freester

    freester

    freester

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    Well...
    ...are back.

    A good haul tonight with also a few other perry varieties. The other varieties were mostly on the ground and mostly 'over ripe' unfortunately but I'll scrat and press everything I gathered this weekend. Photos to follow...
     
  12. Oct 5, 2018 #12

    freester

    freester

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    Scratted the pears tonight...

    [​IMG]
    ^^^Bagged

    [​IMG]
    ^^^Mix of 2 unknown perry varieties

    [​IMG]
    ^^^Lumber Pear

    [​IMG]

    About 4x30l buckets of pulp. I'll let it sweat until Sunday then I'll press. Hopeful for 40 litres of juice. I'll press onto Campdens. Add sugar if required to get the OG up. Add Pectolase then pitch yeast and nutrient on Monday.
     
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  13. Oct 7, 2018 #13

    freester

    freester

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    Pressed the pears this morning. 47L approx total.

    Left hand FV a little stronger (probably had a bit more of the very ripe unidentified varieties) at 1060. Right hand FV had more of the Lumbers 1052. So assuming it ferments to 1012 (conservative estimate) that'll give 6.5% and 5.3% respectively. Last year I had to add sugar to the Lumbers as the OG was quite a bit lower but I won't this year.

    Pressed onto Campdens (roughly 1 per 5L) I'll add some Pectolase later and pitch yeast and nutrient tomorrow night.

    [​IMG]

    This fella came to visit a couple of times whilst I was pressing. A bit scary but impressive creature. Seen hornets buzzing about but never seen one at rest to look at before...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Oct 7, 2018 #14

    MattH1973

    MattH1973

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    funny - we get a few hornets here in spring and autumn only..... never see them in summer....
     
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  15. Oct 9, 2018 #15

    freester

    freester

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    Pitched yeast to both pear FVs on Monday night. One of the FVs was showing signs of fermentation before I pitched yeast even though both were pressed onto Campdens. That one is going like a train now. The other is showing signs of fermentation but not vigorous.

    The FV from the first apple batch pressed with yeast added is pretty much finished at 1.004. I'll rack off to secondary in the next day or so and whilst also bottling some of last year's that is still in 'secondary'.
     
  16. Oct 11, 2018 #16

    freester

    freester

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    I racked off the FV from my first apple press tonight. A full carboy (23l) and about 4 litres into a 4.5l DJ. No dregs left to taste :( but the little taster I got when I 'primed' the syphon gave me very high hopes. My first full press from proper cider apples and it tastes really good already. Not sharp or tart and a bit of bite from the tannin.

    I'm going to bottle my remaining from last autumn this weekend. There's a bit too much air in the top of the DJ from tonight's racking so I'll probably just top up with a bit from last year.
     

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