Hard Cider

LupusSublimisNovember 11, 2013

Does anyone have any experience making hard cider from their own orchard? If so, what are the best apple varieties in the southwest for hard cider? I plan to plant two Granny Smiths and already have a Cripps Pink and Cripps Red. I am considering scratching one Granny Smith and getting something like a Winter Banana or a Dorsett Golden.

Thoughts?

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megamav(5a - NY)

I'd think Newtown Pippin would be a good selection.
Golden Russet as well.

-Eric
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    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 5:51PM
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LupusSublimis

I don't think either of those grow in the Phoenix (9a).

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 9:30PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

If you're speaking in terms of low chill, Newtown Pippin is relatively low chill Golden Russet is not.
Take a look at Anna and Williams Pride for other low chill varieties.

Newtown Pippin is worth growing for cider applications.
Martinelli's (California) uses Newtown Pippin in a majority of their juices and sparkling ciders as a majority of the apple blend.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 11:55PM
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glib(5.5)

Tough question. AFAIK there are no cider apples that have been tested for the Southwest. They are all varieties originating from France and the UK, mild, moist temperate climates. They need their sour and bitter flavors to make cider. Cider with table apples is generally miserable, no matter how much oak chips and other gimmicks you use. I switched to wine eventually.

Around here (Michigan) Northern Spy and russet varieties are the best for hard cider using table apples. I will grind and press some NS drops Sunday for vinegar (probably 3 gallons all told). I suggest you look in the Kuffel Creek web site and let us all know what you found that is compatible with cider making.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 1:06AM
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