MMmmm now theres a thought!. I have a shed load of quince trees near me - all just about ready as some are dropping off already. I was going to do the CJJ Berry wine recipe for a 2 gallon batch, but i may try a cider with it too.
I am also thinking of adding 1kg of minced sultanas to the recipe as well to add more body to it, and fermenting on the pulp for around 4 days too?
What a coincidence, I'm currently researching/experimenting into this.
It certainly ought to be possible and there are vague references to it being made in antiquity. Quinces are in the same family as apples and pears and the latter certainly perform well! I have just got hold of about 70lbs of quinces but right now they are very hard and would produce little juice so I'm holding on to see if they ripen up and soften before attempting to press them.
With a few of the partially-manky ones I boiled them up and made quince jam, which was lovely. If a cider from them retained the super quince taste it would be a great drink!
Does anyone else have experience of the fruit? Do they ripen to softness of their own accord in this country, on or off the tree? Boiling up such a quantity just isn't practical.
However, I'm hoping to get a few pounds next week from a friend (it's like rocking horse wotsits around here).
Most will go into making membrillo, but I'm hoping to have enough left to try a gallon of Quince Cider.
following thr Berry recipe, I made quince wine. Grating them is laborious but the wine is good. I dont get enough quinces to make wine anymore. I wonder what would happen if a whole fruit juicer was used?
Has anyone actually tried making quince cider? On consulting my wife - my in-house horticultural expert - she said that even ripe quinces never really soften before moving on to the rotting stage. It's her opinion that even if I were to mill these, using the powerful internal combustion engined garden shredder that I use for my apples for cider, and then press the pulp (?), the fruit weight/juice yield ratio probably would be so low as to make it a worthless exercise. The reason that I ask is that on taking the last of the apples from a friend's orchard, she asked me if I wanted any quinces as her trees by the river are heavily laden and she has no use for the fruit. Based on my wife's opinion I declined the offer - but now I'm wondering..........!
Carrying on from my earlier post - i set out to make a quince wine and set about grating my quinces after a good wash and soak with campdens in a bucket.
Not an easy task - i gave up grating after 5 and ended up cutting the fruit off the core and whacking it in a food processor to blitz it.
I then put it in a stock pot with 4 ltr ish of water and boiled for 14 mins then boiled a kettle and poured that onto 3kg of sugar then mixed the two together and left it to cool. Day later i minced 500g of sultanas and added them then nutrient, pectolase and youngs super wine yeast compound and left it in the bucket for 5 days stirring daily.
Today i have just strained it through a mesh bag and muslin and have 2 galls of very milky light beige looking liquid fermenting in a 10ltr water bottle.! ::
I have the impression, from the posts to date, that whilst it may be feasible to make quince wine, nobody has tried to make quince cider - i.e. using the fruit alone without the addition of sugar and suchlike - and that probably it is not practical (or, maybe, even possible) to do so.
Okay guys,I'll update you with where I am.
The earlier comments confirmed quinces don't ripen to softness so I attacked the problem from another direction. Chopped up the 75lbs of quinces into small pieces then put half in a beer boiler I hired from my local homebrew shop. Added 3 gallons of water, turned on the power and simmered it all for about two hours. After that time the fruit was very soft so I strained it out and put it aside before adding the rest of the raw quince to the already hot 'liquor' and simmered that away for another couple of hours until soft. Strained off the liquid (which smelled wonderful) and set it aside. I then pressed the still-warm pulp in my cider press and was amazed to get another 3.5 gallons of liquid out of it. Added this to the simmering liquor. The gravity was about 1045 which I increased to 1055 with sugar. The whole lot of the liquid (which was very gloopy with released pectin) then went into a 7 gallon fermentation barrel to which I added camden tablets and a double dose of pectoalse. Pitched with yeast the next day and and off fermentation went. Two weeks later and fermentation has almost ceased. The liquid is a lovely pink-orange colour.
To be continued...
Funnily enough Quinces press better than you would think, I reckon the "dry" texture is the tough cell walls, and they actually let the juice out, like real cider apples that often seem like a coss between cardboard and cotton wool when you chew them.
We pressed a tonne or so of quinces using a fairly poor cider set up (hammer mill/hydropress) and got >600L/t juice! I was pleasantly surprised.
As a pure cider it is a bit weird (strange aromatics), sharp and tannic, and lowish SG as someone commented, but as a blender with apples it is lovely, 10% or so is ample.
Hi Pomme Homme
Have blended juice and then fermented. Not tried fermenting separately, the acid from the quince seemed like a good idea for the apple which was a bit flat acidity wise.
Have also tried Quince juice in a finished apple cider as a sweetner, gives stability issues, but good if you drink quick.
Use 1 lb of grated (right down to the core using a cheese grater) quince/gall to get a distinctive quince flavour/fragrance, or 18 ozs for a 5 litre PET fermenter. You will get 80% by total weight of quinces as grated flesh, so that's X 1.25 which means you'll need 20 ozs of quinces/gall, or 22 ozs of whole quinces for 5 litres.
Boil the grated quince flesh for 15 mins and strain. If you add 1.5 litres of water you'll get just under a litre of liquid after straining through a kitchen seive (so handy for fitting into a 1 litre jug) which will contain approx 1.5 ozs of sugar, so additional sugar will be required even if quince flavoured cider. Use 2x pectolase.