Mixing Cider Apple Varieties

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Cynara

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Mixing Cider Apple Varieties
« on: November 09, 2007, 10:26 »
Given a choice, is it best to mix apples of different sorts together to make cider or do I stick with apples of one variety in each pressing? Two years ago I mixed them all together and made still cider. Turned out OK but a bit bland. Last year I made pure Cox, pure Bramley, and pure Prince Albert.  Cox and Bramley were fantastic but I dont know if this is because I also did the secondary fermentation thing and made them sparkling this time. :?
Also, what do people use to crush the apples? I use one of those cutters that core and segment the apples, then into a bin and crush them up with a six inch square fence post, poly bag on the sticky end and a dowel through the top to make a handle. Is there an easier way? I don't think I'm ready to shell out for one of those hopper jobbies yet.

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David.

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Mixing Cider Apple Varieties
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 16:12 »
I tend to mix apples either 50/50 eaters & cookers or 60/30/10 eaters, cookers & crab apples, as general guidlinesactually, but adjusted for acidity/taste of what I'm pressing.

I use a pulpmaster bucket (approx £20):

Pulpmaster

You might find another supplier (such as a homebrew shop) works out cheaper overall if they use Royal Mail to deliver, rather than a courier service.

As the buckets are standard 10" 'Lucy Hardwares" buckets sold by smaller hardware shops, I have 2 extra buckets (approx £2.40 each) and 2 bucket lids (approx £1.20 each) which really speeds things up. Earlier this week I pulped 155 lbs of apples (previously quartered - there is no need to remove cores) single handed in less than 1hr 30mins. However, it was a lot slower when my wife & I did an 'Apple Day' juice pressing for the village guides last week and had all that extra 'help' (not letting them use the drill to pulp though), and I've cleared and pasteurised what they didn't drink fresh from the press (brown, but they loved it) to have clear & golden juice next week.

So the above is only a fraction of the cost of a scratter type mill (approx £225) and I expect to produce enough pulp with my cheap Pulpmaster arrangement to produce 100 galls of juice this year (over 80 already).

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Cynara

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Mixing Cider Apple Varieties
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 17:35 »
Thanks for all that David, really useful. I'll definitely go for the pulpmaster thingy that you recommend. I think there's a home brew stall in Shrewsbury market this weekend. I've just posted a pic here of a load of Laxtons that I'll be working my way through next. It's been a great year for apples!  :D Much appreciated.

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Cynara

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Mixing Cider Apple Varieties
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 16:18 »
http://www.chat.allotment-garden.org/album_pic.php?pic_id=819

Cheers David, the pulpmaster was a great piece of kit.

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David.

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Mixing Cider Apple Varieties
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 17:04 »
My wife and I pulped 167lbs of apples (which pressed over 9 galls of juice) in 1hr 10mins yesterday (excluding set up & clear away) using a Pulpmaster with 2 spare buckets with lids, and that was inside in a galley layout kitchen which makes things a bit difficult.

I don’t see a towel around in your picture, which is really useful for drying hands before using the electric drill.

Still a few more to press:




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