From the HBD Archive
From: (Michael Bergman)
Subject: Homebrew Digest #325 (December 18, 1989)
Date: 1989-12-18 15:12:17 GMT

Chris Wilson ( writes:

...I think the problem is that one needs a mix of tart
and sweet apples. Jug apple juice here is primarily
from just sweet apples. I had found some juice with a
great tart flavor , but it would not take a
fermentation. There must have been some anti-oxidant
or preservative which supressed the yeast.

Since I can't get tart juice, I may experiment by
making the same cider but adding some crushed
raspberries or blackberries. It will probably look
like sin (purple beer?), but I think the berry/apple
combination would be nice. Has anyone else tried this?

Out here (massachusetts) there is quite a variety of
flavor in the available ciders. Even within a particular
brand, there will be a difference through the season. Out
of season, most of what's available settles down to one
brand, I presume that they are the only company that
bothers with the expense (whatever that expense may be).
I find their cider to be good in season, but the
out-of-season stuff is not so tasty. But I digress.

What caught me attention recently was that at the very
beginning of the season, all the cider available was
extremely tart. So next year, you might try with the
earliest cider you can get your hands on. The other thing
to mention is that some orchards just use one variety of
apples for their cider, whereas properly to make good
cider you need a blend, to balance tannin, tartness,
sweetness. Of the local orchards, only one (of at least a
half dozen) seems to really do this right. Most of the
rest are on the "too sweet" side. So sample a few more
before giving up.

Some preservatives (sulphur based ones) can be gotten rid
of by allowing the cider to "breathe" for a few hours. Of
course, that also risks some sort of infection...

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