Freester's 2019 Cider Thread

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Clint

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So...does the juice just ferment under its own steam with no yeast or additives?
I have a big old Bramley tree in my garden and over the past five years or so I've been learning pruning. As a result last year it cropped quite heavily having been rubbish for years....we couldn't eat all the apples...could I make cider with them?
 

freester

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So...does the juice just ferment under its own steam with no yeast or additives?
Yes

I have a big old Bramley tree in my garden and over the past five years or so I've been learning pruning. As a result last year it cropped quite heavily having been rubbish for years....we couldn't eat all the apples...could I make cider with them?
You *could*. However cider made from solely Bramley would be VERY tart and acidic. If using cooking apples general consensus is 30% cookers to 70% eaters is about the maximum. A mate of mine actually made a small batch of Bramley cider one year. It was erm very tart ;)
 

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Thanks for updating us Freester. Crazy times and I hope you and yours are doing OK. Thank goodness we all have large alcohol stores to get through this - it can only be a matter of time before the govt tries to ban sales of that, too.

Fascinating re your 2018 - so did it sit in secondary for over a year ? Or did you leave it in the initial fermenting bin ? I have not been bothering with secondary recently, as it saves a day of sterilizing, but maybe I should reconsider........
 

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Thanks for updating us Freester. Crazy times and I hope you and yours are doing OK. Thank goodness we all have large alcohol stores to get through this - it can only be a matter of time before the govt tries to ban sales of that, too.
Thank you Matt yes everyone here is OK apart from climbing up the walls. We are lucky to live in a quite rural location so can at least get out on our one a day quite easily without the crowds. Yep I've got about 200 in the garage so should be OK for a year! I've actually cut down my drinking quite a bit. I lost 2.5 stone and cut out the booze completely for 6 weeks back in Jan / Feb and drinking a lot less so it should last until this autumn at least!

Fascinating re your 2018 - so did it sit in secondary for over a year ? Or did you leave it in the initial fermenting bin ? I have not been bothering with secondary recently, as it saves a day of sterilizing, but maybe I should reconsider........
Yep sat in the carboy in the picture. I'm not sure entirely of the benefit of secondary apart from a clearer product?
 

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hey freester - well done on the health drive - with the quantity of cider you make you must be planning to give quite bit away....

I have been drinking some of my 2018 diluted (6.5 % I guess) this weekend in the sun - very nice and refreshing......
 

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Well I guess this should go at the beginning of my 2020 thread. I'm drinking the last of my 2018 cider which is the best I've made so far (haven't tasted the 2019 yet). A lot of the apples came from this orchard which appears to be bi-annual so I didn't collect any last autumn. Excited by the blossom this year even one of the trees got blown over but has blossomed.

 

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A long day in the cider garage today. I bottled the last of my 2018 batches today.

I racked off around 105L of my 2019 cider today that had been sat in brewing buckets all winter.




This is all traditional. Initial taste was ermm ok. Could do with being a bit sharper. All averaging out around 5.5-6.5%. Looking a bit cloudy right now hopefully it will clear.
 

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Hey Freester - are your carboys glass or plastic ? If plastic then I would worry about oxidisation with how long you are leaving it - but apparently that isnt an issue for you ? All the best.

Quite a few apples forming here, although a bug appears to be going after one of my trees, the others are in a different paddock and seem OK. Encouraging, the new ones i planted 4-5 years ago are showing signs of some fruit.....

I also found 7 high yielding trees on one of my regular walks, I must see if the owner uses the apples.....
 

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Hey Freester - are your carboys glass or plastic ?
They are glass. The last lot I bottled from 2018 yesterday had been in one of the glass carboys for over 12 months. Oxidation not an issue. athumb..
 

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This is all traditional. Initial taste was ermm ok. Could do with being a bit sharper. All averaging out around 5.5-6.5%. Looking a bit cloudy right now hopefully it will clear.
Getting close to winding up last year's Cider making thread. This batch never cleared. The risk of making traditional I guess. I need to get on and bottle this lot and report the tasting!
 

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Well I spent most of this summer finishing off cider from my 2018 batch. In my opinion some of the best cider I've made in my short cider making career. Every time I headed into the garage I was reminded of my cloudy (see pics in post above) 2019 all 'trad' batch and struggling to find the enthusiasm to bottle this.

Well after a good haul of apples on Sat afternoon I realised it was time to get the production line moving again so I bottled one of the 23l carboys into 660ml glass bottles yesterday. 50% still, 50% with half a teaspoon sugar and a pinch of yeast to carbonate. I had a taste of the still last night. When poured it didn't look so bad - not that cloudy. Not crystal clear but clear enough and more importantly tasted good. Not as sharp as previous years but perfectly drinkable with a good tannin bite. 6.1%. Just 3 more carboys to bottle now...

 

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I bottled another 23l of my 2019 this Sunday. Into 660ml bottles. I've got a good work flow going now takes me probably 2 hours to clean, sanitise, rinse bottles, prime fill and cap. I did half the bottles with tsp sugar and pinch of yeast, the other half will be still.

I've put myself under pressure to bottle one more 23l carboy in the next few weeks so then I will have enough glass to rack off 2xFVs from my 2020 press.
 

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Well another 30+ litres bottled yesterday. Mainly because I needed the carboy for my 2020 batch. I bottled 8 litres into 4x 2L sparkling mineral water bottles (17p a bottle from Tesco just poured the water away - no need to sanitise) and the rest into 660ml bottles. Half I added sugar and yeast half will be still.
 

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Well my Autumn 2019 Cider thread ends today. I bottled the last Carboy. 23L into 660ml bottles. The majority I added sugar and yeast to carbonate but bottled a few still...
 

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Hope you have plenty of sunny summer days to spend sitting in the shade with a cool glass in hand, and fingers crossed for the 2021 season.
 

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