dmtaylor wrote:I know Tony Dembski grows a few of these in Zone 4 -- look him up at Maple Valley Orchards.
Tony lists many varieties on his Web site
. He says the following may be used for cider making. He raises them and can usually provide scion wood to order in the early spring:
- Ashmeads Kernel
- Bramleys Seedling
- Grimes Golden
- Hadlock Reinette
- Manitoba Spy
- Pink Sparkle
Additionally, his descriptions, borrowed from various sources, call out these varieties as traditional cider apples:
- Black Oxford
- Crimeson Spire
- Golden Russet
- Jersey Sweet
- Kingston Black
- Plum Cider
- Roxbury Russet
- Smoke House
- Sops of Wine
- St. Edmunds Russet
- Sweet Alford
- Yarlington Mill
Fair warning: Tony is more interested in traditional varieties than traditional spelling of varietal names.
Yet more .... It has reached me, o reader, that these mentioned by Seed Savers' Exchange are good cider varieties:
- Caney Fork Limber Twig
- Cox's Orange Pippin
- Gravenstein, Red
- Maiden Blush
- Northern Spy
- Stayman Winesap
- Tompkins King
- Wickson Crab
A local orchard that sells good cider raises Golden Russet
among other varieties. Their blend is confidential of course, but I imagine a russet is a staple ingredient. I have a Golden Russet
tree. The fruit is late and keeps well and has been fairly sweet with a strangely grassy bouquet.
I have a tree of Fameuse
, which is called Snow Apple
. It's an early sauce apple. It's fairly sweet with a Mac-like flavor, so it probably makes a decent early cider.
I have a tree of Wealthy
. It's a heavy bearing, mid-season, general purpose apple. Whether the cider from it is all that great is probably not so important historically as that it is available before the stronger flavored varieties mature.
I have branch grafts of Kingston Black
. It has a weedy habit. Fruit is abundant but small like crab apples. It has a strongly medicinal flavor.
I've not made my own cider. Instead I buy nondescript frozen juice in plastic jugs and thaw and ferment a gallon at a time on my kitchen counter. Three or four days of rapid fermentation of the juice, such as occurs at about 75°, is plenty for me. Then I pop it in the refrigerator because I like mine sparkling and a little sweet. The hard cider I've bought bottled is still, dry, and fairly insipid to my taste, so I suppose what it needs is a strongly flavored variety in the blend like one of the old English cider apples.
Also, I have branch grafts of MN1734
but no fruit yet, though. When I've bought fruit from Tony, I've found it woody but with an over-the-top, winey taste.
... so you get the idea: Any kind of apple can be pressed for juice, and any juice blend can be fermented ... and is.
Finally, I have to say I like Sweet Sixteen
a lot as well as Idared
, Ellison's Orange
, and Egremont Russet
. All but Egremont Russet
have borne for me. These are strongly flavored varieties and would probably be useful in a cider blend.
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