Yummy cider and on a summers day! Truly nothing else can surpass that. Well what about your own homemade cider on a summers day?
Cider production in Ireland is going through a mini revolution and we at the garden shop want to do our bit and help you choose the best and juiciest varieties of Cider Apple trees for your brew. First, a brief overview of apple production; Apples are divided into 3 categories: cooking, desert and cider apples.
Three different Apple Categories:
Cooking Apples: Larger apples, used in cooking and not eaten raw. Good pollinisers for desert apples
Desert Apples: Huge range of varieties, smaller & sweeter apples
Cider Apples: Developed for cider production. Higher sugar levels for fermentation & alchohol production
Crab Apples: Wild Apples, soar to taste and of little culinary or production value
Cider production requires the mix of cooking, desert and cider apples. These can be grown anywhere in Ireland provided you have good, free draining soil and a sheltered location. Choose a good cider apple that suits your growing conditions and then blend with a selection of desert and cooking apples.
Cider apples themselves are also divided into different categories:
Sweets: Low in Acidity, Low in Tannins, High Sugar. Some varieties include Golden Delicious, Morgan Sweet,
Sharps: High in Acidity, Low in Tannins, Low Sugar. Some varieties include Browns Apple, Tom Putt,
Bittersweet: Low in Acidity, High in Tannins, High Sugar: Some varieties include Michelin, Dabinett, Hereforeshire Redsteak, Red Stock & Yarlington Mill
Bittersharp: High in Acidity, High in Tannins, Low Sugar. Some varieties include Somerset Redstreak,
Two Recommended Cider Apples Varieties:
Dabinett: A good choice of cider apple would be Dabinette. Red skinned apple is classifies as a bittersweet and gives a medium dry flavour. This Variety of Cider apples grows well in Ireland as it originates from the UK. It gives good yields on good soil and is also self pollinating which cuts out onb any confusion. This will give you your own unique flavor. Blend with the Bramley cooking apple for a sharp yet sweet tasting cider
Michelin: Originates from France, this Bittersweet variety is now more popular in irish cider. Its Bittersweet taste blends well with Dabinette.
If you want to create something on a par with Bulmers cider then you will need to get a little more productive as they pack 17 different apple varieties into their cider. Both Dabinette and Michelin feature as the two most prominate varieties but others include: Harry Masters Jersey, Yarlington Mill, Tremletts Bitter and Brown Snout to name a few