A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

It might have been a touch early but I was itching to get to the orchard and pick some apples. Here in Arizona, we tend to get our first apples in late July. These are usually a small variety called Earligold. They are a green apple and turns gold as it ripens. The problem is … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: First Fruits

Grafting: Lessons Learned

Grafting Lessons

Whether you are making your first hard cider or grafting your first scion to a rootstock, everyone who has done it hundreds or even thousands of times had their first attempt at some point. Maybe that attempt resulted in a great outcome but my guess is that nobody, success or failure, is using the same … Continue reading Grafting: Lessons Learned

Hard Cider: Think Local

In the US, there is a small but growing trend called Farm-to-Table. It could also be called eat local or know your farmer. Personally, it speaks to me, and the way it speaks the loudest is through the hard cider that I make. My wife and I love to cook and try new foods and … Continue reading Hard Cider: Think Local

Hard Cider Tip #15: Pectic Enzyme

Pectic Enzymes: Hard Cider Benefits

What is pectic enzyme and why would you add it to your juice or cider. Pectic Enzyme is also know as pectinase, which is an enzyme that breaks down pectin. In other words, it is a protein that acts as a catalyst to degrade the pectin naturally found in fruit. Pectin is a complex carbohydrate … Continue reading Hard Cider Tip #15: Pectic Enzyme

Making Pippin Magic Hard Cider

Making Pippin Magic - Hard Cider

Pippin Magic has been one of my favorite hard ciders of the 2019 harvest. I used Newtown Pippin apples, which are also known as Albemarle Pippin apples. The apple was a chance seedling, grown from an apple seed or pip, found in Newtown, New York in the late 1600s or early 1700s. It was taken … Continue reading Making Pippin Magic Hard Cider

Making 520 Hard Cider

520 Cider: A Hard Cider of Southern Arizona

This hard cider represents the local area where I live: Southern Arizona. 520 is the area code and my goal with this cider was to reflect the apples that we have here in that area code, which are dessert apples. However, I wanted to also include other local fruits or adjuncts that would be good … Continue reading Making 520 Hard Cider

Apples of Unknown Origin

Apples of Unknown Origin

I talked about how old some apple varieties really are (How old is that apple tree?). But America wasn’t settled using grafted apple trees from Europe. It was settled with apple trees grown from seeds and those seeds were often of unknown origin. However, it’s from this time period where many of the heirloom varieties … Continue reading Apples of Unknown Origin

A Day at the Orchard: Grafting

Early spring at the orchard.

I love going to the orchard. Besides being the place I get wonderful fruit to craft hard cider, it’s located on a beautiful hill overlooking the valley. It’s an extremely peaceful place, and the flora and fauna in the area are always amazing. The owner and I have established a good relationship and he has … Continue reading A Day at the Orchard: Grafting

How old is that apple tree?

Apple Tree Age

It seems like a simple question: How old is your apple tree? Maybe, you planted the tree a couple years ago. Maybe, your dad planted it when you were a kid. Maybe you wouldn’t know without cutting down the tree and counting the rings. Please don’t do that! I’m just speaking hypothetically. But, my question … Continue reading How old is that apple tree?

Making Japanese Sunrise Hard Cider

Apples for Hard Cider Recipe.

The orchard I pick has Mutsu and Shizuka apples. These along with Orin apples were all discovered in Japan in the early to mid-twentieth century. What I find interesting is all three apples have the same parentage: Golden Delicious and Indo. They are siblings and just like humans, you can see the likeness at times … Continue reading Making Japanese Sunrise Hard Cider