Subject: Happy Hops (I mean HOLS)!
Date: 1988-12-22 19:33:00 GMT
Re: Wild yeast ciders
When I was in Maine, I had my own apple tree, and
used to borrow a friend's cider press yearly and
make some of "the GOOD stuff." I mentioned that
experience when I first started corresponding with
this network, and got a few sticky responses, so I
dropped the subject. However, I simply chopped and
pressed 2-5 feedbags (the kind that come with 100
lbs of farm animal feed in them) of apples and let
the product sit (covered, but not completely air-
tight) in my big plastic buckets until it had
dropped a sufficient amount of precipitate (LOTS,
about 3-4 inches!). Sometimes I drew off and used
the fizzy stuff while it was still "going." When
the primary stage had apparently approached comple-
tion, I drew the result off and bottled it in used
Strongbow bottles. Then I poured the detritis into
ONE 5-gallon bucket, and put it in the barn to
freeze into Applejack. Out of five years of product,
only one was vinegary. That one was NOT securely
covered at the outset. The resultant cider was
usually cloudy, but had a very nice flavour and kick.
The Applejack compared well with Calvados -- you
either like it or you don't. I didn't, but had
friends who did, so I gifted them annually.
I also made perry (pear cider) in a similar fashion,
but added apples to the pears before pressing, as
the pear pommace is too squishy, and you get pulp
out of the press instead of juice, if you don't put
in something crisper to hold the thing together.
Once the wild yeast fermentation failed on the
perry, and I added a champagne yeast and got a
delightful pear wine -- sort of Chablis-ish, but
with a very pear-like nose and aftertaste.
I commend our new member, the mead-maker, on coming
to this group before her first batch of beer. Mine
is almost gone, and it was GREAT -- much thanks to
the rest of you. By the way, a visiting prof from
England, who brews at home, said, "It tastes like
BEER, and I've had quite a few that didn't." The
Folklore Archivist got some at the Department party
and drank it for the rest of the evening -- he's
also a brewer. My "significant other" can't keep
his hands off it (I'm beginning to get jealous).
I'm about to start another batch over the hols. I
don't know if it's available in the States, but the
stuff I used was "Geordie Scotch Export." WAZOO!
It may interest the group to know that I recently
took a chance and used an immature (not completely
fermented) melomel -- about a liter's-worth -- as
the sweetening additive in a batch of mulled wine
for a party. It was a SMASH HIT! Much more satis-
factory than plain sugar or honey, as it was
already fairly high in alcohol and already contained
Have a good time! Be wise with driving! See you all
Warmth and cheer,
Ye Olde Batte
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