Making Li’l Apple Cider

Li’l Apple Cider

Li’l Apple Cider - A cider crafted with manzanita berries. If you are ever near where manzanita trees grow, I encourage you to find one. They are a gorgeous tree. In southern Arizona you can find them on some of the mountains and they surround one of the orchards that I pick, which is around … Continue reading Making Li’l Apple Cider

Grafting: Bud Versus Scion

Grafting: Bud Versus Scion

This is my second year learning to graft apple trees. Last year I learned the important lessons of making sure your rootstock is growing before you graft scion wood. I also learned not to unwrap your scion graft too soon or at least not without first having some staking in place. This year, I did … Continue reading Grafting: Bud Versus Scion

Apple Tree Chill Hours

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Apple Trees: Chill Hours Chill hours are defined as the number of hours below 45F (7C) but above 32F (0C) that your tree will experience in a given calendar year. Most apples trees need at least 1,000 chill hours each year. That’s around 42 days or 11% of the available days or hours in a … Continue reading Apple Tree Chill Hours

Apple Tree: The Pollination Impact of Ploidy

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The impact of ploidy on apple tree pollination. Apple trees are generally not self fertile and even those advertised as such will often be more productive if there is a second variety nearby(1). That doesn’t mean a second tree of the same variety. That means a second variety of apple: GoldRush, Arkansas Black, Dabinett, Yarlington … Continue reading Apple Tree: The Pollination Impact of Ploidy

Exploring the Colors of Hard Cider

Exploring the color of hard cider.

I’ve talked about the color of hard cider and how the process for making wine can be used as a reference. This is because like wine, cider color can be influenced by the fruit as well as the process. In another post on hard cider color, I explored how to make what I call silver … Continue reading Exploring the Colors of Hard Cider

Aroma Apples

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Aroma apples add complexity to a cider blend. Cider apples are often referenced as Sweets, Bittersweets, Sharps, and Bittersharps. However, this doesn’t highlight a key element that contributes to great hard cider: Aroma. Aroma in hard cider come mostly from esters and alcohols but aldehydes, ketones, and ethers can also contribute. These compounds are created … Continue reading Aroma Apples

Crabapples: The Native Apple

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Crabapples: The only types of apple native to North America and Europe. The only apples native to North America and Europe are crabapples. Modern apples, Malus domestica, are genetically linked to Malus sieversii of Central Asia. However, the European crabapple, Malus sylvestris is also prevalent in many modern apple varieties. You can find North American … Continue reading Crabapples: The Native Apple

The Origin of the Apple

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Welcome to the new weekly feature, Mālus Trivium, a visual presentation in apple and cider information. The modern apple originated on the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains in Asia. Genetic research has shown that all our modern day apples, including cider apples can trace their DNA back to the wild apples on the Tien … Continue reading The Origin of the Apple

My Favorite Apples of 2020

Best Apples of 2020

Something good needs to come from 2020. For me, its all about the apples. I was able to try some great new apples along with my usual favorites this year. While my main focus is always on hard cider, better understanding apples helps me choose the best ones to use for my cider. Part of … Continue reading My Favorite Apples of 2020

Hard Cider: The Local Way

Local Cider

I am a big advocate that hard cider should reflect your local area. If you are lucky enough to live in England, France, Spain, or even some places in the US that have cider apples, maybe local hard cider would means a traditional cider. That could be dry, tannin-rich and farmhouse, keeved and sparkling, or … Continue reading Hard Cider: The Local Way