I thought of this recipe several years ago but never got around to making it. Given the high levels of tannins found in walnuts, I thought it could be a great natural adjunct to help balance ciders lacking Bitter apples. When I learned that one of the orchards I pick had a walnut tree, I grabbed some so I could finally make this recipe. As is my standard, I still recommend using apple peels in any cider you make to improve color, aroma, and phenolics characteristics. For my hard cider, I used the entire nut shell and nut meat but you could also use shelled walnuts. As a tip, save the soaked nuts and use them as a salad topping. Besides imparting their flavor on the cider, they will pick up some of the cider flavors. Using them in the secondary means you should have less sediment one the nuts, but you could always give them a quick rinse too. If you have different apples varieties, try using my blending template to assess a potential blend of different apples. This one is best made when you don’t have access to bitter apples.
I used Pichia Kluyveri yeast. I’m offering a strain on the Cider Yeast section of the Prickly Cider Shop. You can also get it from various yeast culture centers around the world if shipment options don’t work. I would suggest using a non-Saccharomyces strain like Torulaspora Delbrueckii. White Labs (WLP603) offers a good option that is usually readily available. If you don’t have access to walnuts, consider other tree nuts like pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts. Walnuts definitely have the most tannins, but the others will add interesting flavors. If you are in a more tropical environment, consider cashews. I would recommend you even consider the cashew apple (fruit) versus the nut.
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