We have a number of old apple trees in our walled garden. One is an unknown variety and could not be identified by the RHS. However, this has proven good for juice and cider making and normally ripens September.
The other varieties are Cox, Beauty of Bath and Bramley. All varieties that relate to the age of the property.
The Beauty of Bath, is a very early variety, and in my view is nice to eat, but only good for a short period of time. It doesn’t keep very well, so has to be consumed immediately.
The other day, we picked 160kg of fruit from this tree. What do you do with this quantity of fruit?
Juice it and make apple wine! So that is what we have done.
160Kg yielded 46 litres of juice. After adding pectolase and letting the juice settle we ended up with about 40 litres of clear fermentable apple juice.
The juice tasted of apple with a slight astringency on the tongue and a warm aroma of strawberry. The juice had a sugar content of 114 grams per litre, which would give a final alcohol of 5.83% potential alcohol. Aiming for about 12% alcohol, I topped up the juice with additional sugar, about 137 grams per litre.
So in a few days we should have an apple wine. I think it is sometimes difficult to predict what this is going to taste like as although it starts out tasting nice as juice, sometimes the resulting malic acid after fermentation can make it rather unpleasant to drink, too acidic (apple green tasting) and a rough mouth feel (furry teeth).
The way around this is to take it through a secondary malactic fermentation. But we will see.