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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: September, 2017
Sep 20, 2017

This episode of Cider Chat was recorded by Alex Kroh, cidermaker, roving podcast reporter and super, duper nice guy in Ciderville!

This chat begins with Alex and Melissa and Garett venturing outside to the orchard and the asparagus polyculture planting just south of the cider house. They then walk east down the hill to the new dwarf orchard and talk about the differences between the two planting styles.

In the second half of this chat, Alex and Garrett are in the production space below the tasting room and get into the weeds talking cidermaking technique.

  •  traditional method (champagne method)
  • encapsulated yeast vs. loose yeast
  • tank carbonation
  • making sweet reserve
  • fermentation tanks
  • yeast combinations
  • and the ciders on offer in the tasting room.

Alex writes,

"When I visited the Finger Lakes Cider House in July of 2017, I was completely taken with the vibe of Good Life Farm, which is the on-going vision of Garrett Miller and Melissa Madden. More than just an orchard and more than just a cider house, Good Life Farm is a diverse ecological farm that was designed to do the most good for the land and the community that surrounds it.

Central to their management philosophy are permaculture design principles, a system for managing the human impact on the planet by working with nature instead of against it. The difference between a “conventional” farm and one that incorporates permaculture design principles was immediately apparent to this midwesterner who is used to driving by the country miles of soy and corn. By contrast, Good Life Farm feels like stepping back in time before the Green Revolution transformed the agricultural landscapes of the United States into a patchwork quilt of monocrops with “high tech” petrochemical farming. Instead, Good Life Farm has picturesque orchards interplanted with asparagus, high-tunnel greenhouses downhill from the beautiful ciderhouse, apple trees grown along the contours of the hill, with vegetable rows, ponds and cow pastures interspersed. The methods used at Good Life Farm are decidedly low-tech. They use draft horses to accomplish many of the tasks that a tractor would normally do today. Other animals, such as turkeys, geese and beef cows, help with various tasks like insect control and soil fertilization."

So what does this mean for their cider?

  • Garrett and Melissa believe that by managing the land in this way they can grow apples that are more flavorful than apples grown under other management systems and will translate into better cider.

Another component of their farm that contributes to their cidermaking paradigm is their tasting room. The Finger Lakes Cider House showcases their house ciders, Kite and String (previously Good Life Cider), and three other nearby cidermakers including Black Diamond Cider, Eve’s Cidery, and Redbyrd Orchard Cider. Melissa comments that because these other three cidermakers are tending toward the drier end of the sweetness palate, Garrett and brother/cidermaker Jimmy have created a number of semi-sweet, medium sweet and sweet ciders in addition to their dry ciders to appeal to drop-in traffic from patrons on the Finger Lakes wine trail. This range of cider style varieties gives them the opportunity to experiment with ciders that span the sweetness palate as well as develop some interesting cider styles that you likely won’t find anywhere else, such as a young cider, a royal cider, and a Rosé cider consisting of fermented apple juice and unfermented Riesling and Marachal Foch red wine.

 Below you’ll find the map that Melissa and I are standing in front of at the beginning of the chat while we discuss permaculture management zones.

 Contact Fingers Lakes Cider House 

website: http://www.fingerlakesciderhouse.com/

telephone:  607-351-3313 

email: melissa@fingerlakesciderhouse.com

Good Life Farm website: http://www.thegoodlifefarm.org/

Mentions in this chat:

Permaculture:

Other cideries at the Finger Lakes Cider House:

 Ask for the following 9 #ciderGoingUP Campaign sponsors - By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Cider Chat

  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 Co. Virginia

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

Sep 13, 2017

Making a 1-gallon batch of cider is easy! And a 3-gallon or 5-gallon batch of cider is just as easy to make too! Learn how to make cider at home and begin upping your cider knowledge today. In this episode I cover all the basics on how to make cider at home.

Below find the basic equipment needs for making cider.

Hint: Do get these items before getting your fresh pressed apple juice to ferment.

Real basic cidermaking - 1 gallon jug

Equipment needed:

  • 1 gallon jug that came with your cider
  • Rubber stopper with a hole big enough to fit an airlock
  • airlock - S-shaped

or go deluxe and put the cider in a glass jar

Making a 3-gallon or 5-gallon batch of cider

  • What to consider before you get your juice
    • How much money do you want to spend and how much cider do you want to make?

Consider:

  • 3 gallon = approximately 22 pounds filled
    • calculated as 7 pounds per liquid gallon + 1 pound for glass carboy
  • 5 gallon = approximately 37 pounds filled

I like 3 gallon carboys because they are easier to lift

Equipment needed for either a 3-gallon or 5-gallon batch of cider

A. Two Carboys - always choose glass over plastic

B. Rubber stopper

  • with hole in center, that fits in your glass carboy

C. One Airlock

  • use either an S-shaped or 3 piece fermentor
  • The airlock release CO2 as the cider is fermenting and prevents Oxygen from entering.

D. Yeast

You can spend hours googling which yeast to use - For your first batch of cider keep it simple

Tried and true yeasts. Each come in a packet and are dry yeast with approximately 5 grams.

  • Lavlin 71B, nice all-round yeast that helps to mellow the sharpness of high acid apple blends.
  • M2 Lavlin - this yeast makes apples sing in delight as it enhances their character. Might even get a richer mouthfeel. Extra bonus - a finish that suggests residual sugar, even though it is fermented dry!
  • Cider House Blend
  • English Cider Yeast

E. Clear food grade tubing (1/2inch diameter) to rack cider once fermentation is done

F. Campden Tablets (Sodium metabisulfite) - Used to arrest the yeast that in currently active in the juice, so that your cultured yeast can go to town once it is pitched.

  • 1 tablet per gallon. Add to fresh juice and let sit overnight

G. Fresh pressed unpasteurized apple juice

  • Cider Blends are best!
  • Why not use pasteurized juice?
    • It usually contains sorbet, sorbic acid, benzoate or benzoic acid which not only affects the taste, but can affect fermentation.

Extra Yeast Tips

  • Refrigerate both liquid yeast and dry yeast packets. Each contain millions of yeast cells and you don't want them to dry out or over heat

Making a yeast starter solution - a.k.a. double your yeast money by doubling the yeast

By making a yeast starter you

  • Increases yeast population before pitching
  • Revs up the fermentation
  • Make sure you are "pitching" yeast that is viable and healthy

1. Use a clean sanitized glass bottle, such as 750 ml wine bottle and have an extra rubber stopper and airlock.

2. Pour in:

  • 1 cup of fresh pressed juice heated for 5 minutes
  • Let it cool to the point that if you stuck your finger into the solution it would not burn your finger.

or

  • 1/2 cup of fresh pressed juice that has been sulfited overnight, so you know the yeast are no longer viable in that juice.

3. Put the stopper on, with airlock and let the yeast go to town.

Figure 2-days and now you have enough yeast for 10 gallons instead of 5.

Can you keep doubling the yeast starter?

- Yes, you can!

Do the same process as before to triple the amount

Mentions in this Chat

Nathan Pierce's Micro Brewr podcast

Ask for the following 9 #ciderGoingUP Campaign sponsors - By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Cider Chat

  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 Co. Virginia

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

Sep 6, 2017

Ramborn Cider Company located in Luxembourg is helping to revive the cidermaking tradition  as the country's first commercial cidery.  Ramborn offers a range cider styles from Farmhouse,  Somerset Blend (Luxembourg and English cider apples) and a New World hopped cider. Ramborn has an eau de vie which is a apple brandy produced by means of fermentation and double distillation.

In this chat I speak with Adie Kaye and discuss his upcoming trip to the Seattle Cider Summit on September 8 & 9, 2017. Make sure to say "Hi" to Adie if you see him at the Summit and tell him that you heard him speak on Cider Chat!

Ramborn is available in Luxembourg and in the state of Wisconsin in the US.

Cider Vocabulary:

Luxembourg word for cider is "viez" - comes from Latin word for second wine "viez vinum"

Contact Ramborn Cider Company

website: https://ramborn.com/en/

address: 23 Duerfstrooss, 6660 Bur, Luxembourg

telephone: +352 26 72 92 04

Mentions in this chat:

075: Alan Shapiro | Cider Summit USA

Cider Writers:

Ask for the following 9 #ciderGoingUP Campaign sponsors - By supporting these cider makers, you in turn help Cider Chat

  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 Co. Virginia

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

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