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Cider Chat

Interviewing cidermakers importers, orchardists, foodies, farmers and cider enthusiasts around the world. Let’s delve into the semantics of cider…or is it hard cider, cidre, sidra or fermented apple juice? The truth is out there in Ciderville and we are going to find it. We toast in celebration of cider; As a libation, a gift from the gods, a taste of terroir, and a hard pressed good time. Ready to quench your thirst? Grab a glass and join this chat! See you in Ciderville!
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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 16, 2017

Find this episode and all episodes at the page for Cider Chat's podcasts.

If you missed part I of this chat (episode 90) with Eve’s Cidery, you’ll want to go back and listen as we tour the orchard with Autumn Stoscheck and Ezra Sherman and talk about where their ciders begin. In part II of this chat, we move down to the ciderhouse to talk about:

  • the champagne method
  • what it takes to run a small cidery
  • and Autumn shares some tips for home cidermakers.

Disgorgement is often regarded as an art. In removing the closure of a bottle, the pressure built up in the bottle pushes out the yeast that has settled at the top, but it also pushes out some cider. The art is in timing the turning upright of the bottle with the removal of the closure so that, as Ezra explains, the pressure can do its job removing the yeast, but gravity can act to keep the cider in the bottle. Obviously, the goal is to waste as little cider as possible and it takes practice to master this.

Thankfully, there is a video to show exactly how this is done to accompany Ezra’s explanation. Follow this link, where you’ll also have the opportunity to sign up to receive free shipping on orders from Eve’s for the month of August.

https://www.evescidery.com/ciderchat/

Of note, is Autumn’s analysis of the cider industry and the value of a bottle of cider produced using their methods. I think it speaks to the passion that most small cidermakers have about what they’re doing. They aren’t doing it for the money, that’s for sure. That point is often lost on the consumer who might balk at a $15-$20 bottle of cider. The equivalent methods used in winemaking in the production of high quality wines of place would fetch many times the price just by virtue of the fact that wine culture and the market is older and more developed.

 The cidermaking tips shared towards the end of this episode are really valuable and go beyond basic issues of making cider. It highlights the dynamic nature of cider microbiology and the techniques that can be used to maximize your cidermaking success. Some of them are:

  • Monitor your primary for off flavors and aromas
  • Aerate the must if you smell sulfur compounds
  • Once primary is finished, immediately chill the cider to limit microbial activity
  • Maturing cider on the lees (if they’re clean), stirring the lees acts as an antioxidant
  • Drink it! Don’t wait around for it to develop off flavors unless you think you have achieved microbiological stability in the bottle. Some things that help this happen is having very low levels of nutrients in the must, high acidity, low to no residual sugar, and higher alcohol content.

Bâtonnage defined is simply stirring the lees periodically. This technique can be used in cidermaking and is done after the initial vigorous fermentation is complete.

The lees is brown slurry that settles to the bottom of carboy, stainless steel tanks or barrels. It is comprised of dead yeast cells and heavy particles that were initially floating in the solution.

There are two different types of lees

Gross Lees - the first drop of heavy precipitants that float to the bottom.

Fine Lees - the slurry that can form on the bottom of your carboy after the first racking.

If you leave the lees on the bottom of your cidermaking vessels there is a risk of the lees consuming all the oxygen and causing hydrogen sulfide to form as the cider goes through the process of reduction. (Yes, lees consumes oxygen). The result can leave an off smell such as rotten eggs.

Contact Eve's Cidery

website: https://www.evescidery.com/

telephone607-229-0230

address:

308 Beckhorn Hollow Rd

Van Etten, NY 14889

Ask for the following 9 #CiderGoingUP Campaign supporters - By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Ciderville.

  1. Kurant Cider - Pennsylvania : listen to Joe Getz on episode 14
  2. Big Apple Hard Cider - NYC : listen to Danielle von Scheiner on episode 35
  3. Oliver’s Cider and Perry - Herefordshire/UK ; listen to Tom Oliver on episode 29
  4. Santa Cruz Cider Company - California : listen to Nicole Todd on episode 60
  5. The Cider Project aka EthicCider- California
  6. Albermale CiderWorks : listen to Chuck Shelton on episode 56
  7. Cider Summit : listen to Alan Shapiro founder of this cider fest on episode 75.
  8. Ramborn Cider Co. Luxembourg.
  9. Big Fish Cider Company Monterey, Virginia
     
    Please Help Support Cider Chat Please donate today. Help keep the chat thriving!

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Follow on twitter @ciderchat

 

 

Aug 9, 2017

Guest Podcaster and cidermaker, Alex Kroh, bring us into the orchard at Eve's Cidery. This episode 90 is Part 1 of a two-part show with  the makers at this New York State cidery! Find Part 2 when it goes live next week on episode 91.

Pulling up to Eve’s Cidery in the small town of Van Etten, NY, you would be forgiven for thinking your GPS is broken. There’s no indication you’re in the right place unless you happen to peer in through the barn door to spot some inconspicuous ferment ers back beyond the wooden apple bins. I don’t know what I was expecting. Perhaps because of the reputation Eve’s Cidery has for producing some of the finest ciders in the country, I thought their operation would be more… built up, perhaps. After spending a generous four hours touring through the orchard and ciderhouse, I realized that the humble infrastructure that supports Eve’s is secondary, or even inconsequential compared to the place, the apples and the people.

I see, now, that this is a reflection of the values and aspirations of Autumn Stoschek, co-founder of Eve’s cidery, and Ezra Sherman, a lawyer in his previous life, who would both rather spend all of their time growing apples and making cider than tending to the various other aspects of running a business. The ciderhouse is just enough to support that. For instance, there’s no tasting room at Eve’s. When we got the chance to taste through some of their amazing ciders, we sat on wooden crates on the concrete barn floor. Later I would learn from Autumn that the entire operation grew organically from year to year through the hard work and grit that must accompany any agricultural and small-business endeavor. “There was no million dollar investment.” In fact, the “seed money” to start Eve’s came from her saved tip money from waitressing.

There were other forces at work, too. A formative experience working at an idyllic organic Vermont farm at the age of 15, and later a job with James Cummins, co-founder of Eve’s and son of famous rootstock breeder Dr. Jim Cummins, and finally an article about Steve Wood’s cider apples (Farnum Hill Ciders and Poverty Lane Orchards, Episodes 32 and 33) in Fruit Growers News all convened in the life of 21 year old Autumn and compelled her to drive to Poverty Lane Orchards in New Hampshire to see it all for herself.

It was a risky move, dropping in on Steve Woods a busy orchardist and cidermaker, but one gets the feeling that he was more impressed than anything. He subsequently tasted Autumn through his catalog of ciders and sent her home with scionwood from his own trees. She grafted that budwood onto trees at James’ Littletree orchard and the next year planted more grafted trees on her father’s land before she had land of her own. Then began the life-long journey of learning to grow apples specifically for making cider.

Growing great fruit is the key to making great cider, and this is clearly the focus at Eve’s Albee Hill orchard, which we toured during our chat. There’s a way to do it that maximizes the juice qualities that contribute to flavor and complexity, and it tends to fly in the face of “conventional” modern apple growing. Instead, it turns out that these methods have a lot more in common with organic growing methods. Cider fruit doesn’t have the cosmetic standards that dessert fruit does and there’s an opportunity for cider apple growers to align their practices with a more ecologically responsible way growing.

 So how do you create the conditions that maximize the apple’s potential for making great cider? Briefly:

  • Create or utilize mineralized soils and maximize mineral accessibility to the tree’s root system through the use of deep-rooted companion crops, healthy soil microbes and mycorrhizal fungi (and don’t spray chemicals in the orchard that will kill these)
  • Encourage a healthy, functioning tree immune system that will produce secondary plant compounds, the phytochemicals that contribute to flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, etc… The trees need some pest and disease pressure, enough to keep the immune system active, not so much that the tree is stressed (again, fewer chemicals to spray)
  • Don’t over-irrigate - less water in the apple means a higher concentration of sugar, tannin and other phytochemicals

 Growing cider apples this way lends itself well to an experience of terroir in the glass, too. Of course, the cidermaking techniques employed are just as important. If you have too much residual sugar or cover up subtle flavors with additives or faults, you won’t likely get a hint of what terroir is contributing. In Part II (episode 91) of our chat, we discuss cidermaking techniques that transform great apples into great cider at Eve’s Cidery.

Eve's Cidery special August 2017 deal for Cider Chat listeners - free shipping on orders of Eve's Cider!

 Mentioned in Part I:

 Steve Wood, Farnum Hill Ciders and Poverty Lane Orchards - http://www.povertylaneorchards.com/

 Finger Lakes Fruit Geeks:

Garrett Miller and Melissa Madden of Finger Lakes Cider House/Kite and String Cider/Good Life Farm - www.fingerlakesciderhouse.com

 Eric Shatt Redbyrd Orchard Cider - https://redbyrdorchardcider.com/

 Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots Consulting - http://knowyouroots.com/

Contact Eve's Cidery

website: https://www.evescidery.com/

telephone: 607-229-0230

address:

308 Beckhorn Hollow Rd

Van Etten, NY 14889

Ask for the following 8 #CiderGoingUP Campaign supporters - By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Ciderville.

  1. Kurant Cider - Pennsylvania : listen to Joe Getz on episode 14
  2. Big Apple Hard Cider - NYC : listen to Danielle von Scheiner on episode 35
  3. Oliver’s Cider and Perry - Herefordshire/UK ; listen to Tom Oliver on episode 29
  4. Santa Cruz Cider Company - California : listen to Nicole Todd on episode 60
  5. The Cider Project aka EthicCider- California
  6. Albermale CiderWorks : listen to Chuck Shelton on episode 56
  7. Cider Summit : listen to Alan Shapiro founder of this cider fest on episode 75.
  8. Ramborn Cider Co. Luxembourg.

Please Help Support Cider Chat Please donate today. Help keep the chat thriving!

Find this episode and all episodes at the page for Cider Chat's podcasts.

Listen also at iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher (for Android), iHeartRadio and where ever you love to listen to podcasts.

Follow on twitter @ciderchat

 

 

Aug 2, 2017

Find this episode with photos and all archived episodes at the page for Cider Chat's podcasts

Subscribe and Listen via iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher (for Android), iHeartRadio and wherever you love to listen to podcasts.

Barrel aging cider is as old as time. Considering that, one would think that it should be pretty straight forward to pour fresh pressed apple juice into a barrel and create a delicious end product.  Right? Wrong!

Barrels require preparation and maintenance to make sure that the end product is well balanced. In essence, you are not only managing the cider, but the wood too since both are alive with microorganisms.

In this chat we delve into reusing a barrel that was originally charred, then had whiskey added. Brooklyn Distillery the orginaial owner of the 25 gallon barrel sold it to Exhibit A Brewing Company. Matt Steinberg owner and brewer of Exhibit A put an Imperial Stout in the barrel.

I purchased the empty barrel from Matt for cider and share with you my long weekend of discovery on preparing the barrel for cider.

The goal is to keep the wood staves moist and swollen so once the cider is added it doesn't leak. In addition, funky bacterias like acetobacter and wild yeasts must be kept out so your barrel doesn't begin to smell like vinegar.

But How to Set up and Prepare a Used Barrel for Cider?

First a warning everyone should heed: If your barrel had spirits avoid using a sulfur stick as it can inflame the residual spirits and make that barrel explosive.

  • Some say add citric acid and SO2.
  • Matt said to rinse the barrel with warm water, empty it, and then wrap in in plastic wrap. I figured this would become an even more inviting environment for those funky bacterias that can really messed up your cider.

I decided to add water and SO2.

Fingers crossed, as I will be getting back to how the barrel rolls in follow up episodes of Cider Chat.

Cool words and Vocabulary you should know

Amphora - clay vessels used to hold wine. Made by potters and used by the Egyptions and Romans

Kveri - a larger version of the amphora that was placed in the ground and used to make wine. Listen to episode 011-Geoff Richardson | Castle Hill Cider, Virginia Castle Hill makes cider in their onsite Kveris! Too Cool!!!

Vinny Nail - Vinny Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Company is the man behind the nail that brewers put into a barrel and use it to take samples.

Mentions in this chat!

Eve's Cidery special August deal for Cider Chat listeners

Breukelen Distillery

Beer and Winemaking Supplies, Inc

057 Eric Bordelet | Normandy, France Part 1

058 Eric Bordelet | Ancient Pears Chay Tour Part 2

087: Cyzer, Mead & Kombucha | ArtBev, MA With Garth Shandyfelt

Ask for the following 7 #CiderGoingUP Campaign cider supporters - By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Ciderville.

  1. Kurant Cider - Pennsylvania : listen to Joe Getz on episode 14
  2. Big Apple Hard Cider - NYC : listen to Danielle von Scheiner on episode 35
  3. Oliver’s Cider and Perry - Herefordshire/UK ; listen to Tom Oliver on episode 29
  4. Santa Cruz Cider Company - California : listen to Nicole Todd on episode 60
  5. The Cider Project aka EthicCider- California
  6. Albermale CiderWorks : listen to Chuck Shelton on episode 56
  7. Cider Summit : listen to Alan Shapiro founder of this cider fest on episode 75.

Please Help Support Cider Chat Please donate today. Help keep the chat thriving!

Follow on twitter @ciderchat

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