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  •  Drinking my porter, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsegel, texasmom, bwren, mungley

    contemplating brewing a chocolate porter on Sunday. I have a hoppy amber ale ready to keg, and a Dortmunder lager ready to rack to carboy and age for another month or so.

    I pondered over which cider apple trees to order from where last night. I settled on Ashmead's Kernel, Harrison, Kingston Black, Albemarle Pippin, Medaille d'Or, and Esopus Spitzenburg. I have Orleans, Muscadet de Dieppe, York Imperial, and something for which the tag is lost or eaten by a deer. It should be on an old diagram when that turns up.
    Ordering from Vintage Virginia Apples.
    https://www.albemarleciderworks.com/...
    I have a 19th century two-basket cider mill which I bought at auction for $80 in the late 80's, and spent a month fixing up. Now it needs some more fixing.

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:18:13 PM PST

    •  So is this a blend? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bwren, mungley

      Or are you making separate batches?

      •  I'm buying trees, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bwren, mungley, bsegel

        so there will be many batches and much blending. Cider apples are categorized as sharp, bittersweet, and bittersharp, depending on acid, tannin, and sugar balance, and most ciders are blends, but a few varieties such as Kingston Black and Muscadet de Dieppe are good alone. Then there is the matter of terroir, as with grapes. Not all apples are great everywhere. Until the trees are bearing full crops, mostly it will be a blend. If I can keep the deer away. I've probably never had a really good cider, but I make what I can when the apples show up. At my former house there was a tree that bore red apples in late July. I never knew what it was. I made all the cider I could from that one variety, but I'm sure a blend would have been better.
        I had a batch that was not that great, so I made applejack (the same way you'd make Eisbock) by putting it outside on a cold (like 5 degrees) night in a plastic bucket, then siphoning off the unfrozen cider, and putting that out the next night, and so on, until no more water could be separated out. That concentrated the flavors and alcohol, without distilling, which would be rough on the more delicate flavors, and it was much better that way. I went from about four gallons of cider to about two fifths of applejack.

        The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

        by Grainpaw on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:55:51 PM PST

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