Mixing Varieties

We get plenty of emails similar to this one from Peter who said “I have a cooking Apple and an eating apple tree. No idea of varieties. Can I mix them and what else will I need for tannin quality?”

The good news is that cider can be made from single varieties or mixes of juices. Mixes are usually more balanced and if you don’t know the trees you are getting your apples from, then a mix is always a good idea.

There are two ways of doing things. You can mix before fermentation or after. Now that I have got many years experience with our little garden orchard I know that an approximate mix of 60% big tree on the right, 30% little tree at the back and 10% crab apple from round by the hedge is a good mix for me, so I just pulp and press in those quantities and ferment it all together.

However, if you want finer control you can do what I suggested for Peter which was to create two single variety ciders and then blend them to taste before final bottling. He may want to add crab apples for extra tannin or if he cannot find crab apples (unlikely in the UK) he could even add a teabag to get some tannin out of that (I know, not the best option, but it is still an option).