I have a Clapp’s Favourite pear tree. I am looking for a high tannin source to add to my apple cider mix (50% sweet apples, 35% acidic apples, 15% high tannin). Would these pears be a good choice?
Pears mixed into apple cider?
Clapp’s favorite is not high in tannins its a sweet pear.
Not sure if you are looking to buy or just need information on the variety of pears you have available already but Cummins Nursery has a list of Perry Pears they sell that gives a good description of low/high tannins and desciption of acid/sweetness for each variety listed.
Purists may not like it, but I find mixing in other fruits really helps many fermentations. One drawback of a straight up apple cider is that it’s hard for hobbyists to retain sweetness to counter acidity. Pears, even when fermented dry, will retain a sense of sweetness even though all of the sugars have fermented out. With some pear juice, one might avoid having to pasteurize or play Russian roulette with sorbate after back sweetening. (Yeah, one can Keeve or rack til they’re blue in the face, but that’s work!)
I’ve done a few ferments with foraged apple and wild pear that were divine! I’ve also had some that, shall we say, needed some help!
Bigger picture every fruit/cultivar brings something different to the table, potentially making a more well rounded flavor profile for any fermentation. The trick is to find things that work in harmony.
As for personal taste, I try to augment only to the extent that a cider is helped by an addition, not dominated. I’ve really struggled to endure many commercial ciders that add another fruit to the extent that it dominates the flavor profile… cherry is often waaaayyyy overdone, in my opinion. I feel that I’ve done an addition right when 1) people like it and 2) they say something to the effect of “there’s something else here that I can’t identify.”
So… Pear in Cider… have at it!
I am no expert, but, can you still use the dessert pears/apples and add in some grape leaves, currant leaves or even black tea leaves for the tannin you need? I have no idea how much you would need to add to get that 15% tannin.
If you have time and juice to spare, try it! I’m not a wine guy, but my memory says that grapes are de-stemmed because the stems add a ton of bitterness to wine. The leaves may well add off flavors. If you try it, I’d start the ferment until it slows considerably, then add a fermentation bag with a few leaves. Monitor the flavor and pull it immediately if things taste like they’re going south.
I’ve never heard of using leaves in general, but have tried ciders with both tea and coffee.
The tea version: it’s never suited my fancy, but I can see how others might like it. A particular black tea version I recall seemed like the base cider was thin and watery and the cider maker was trying to save it. Meh. Another used a chai tea infusion. It was well done, but I don’t like chai… I really don’t like it.
The coffee version… I think it was fermented with grounds, not a mistake of someone dumping a cup, then a few pots into a 1000 liter vat, was a mixed bag. I bought a six pack. The first one hit me as weird, but with a nice lingering aftertaste. The second can… didn’t like it at all. The rest were all post working-in-the-field beverages and hit the spot. I enjoyed them if I forgot I was drinking a cider and accepted them for what they were.
Really… purists will have a cow over many additions. I say give it a whirl and see what you think. Most importantly, report back on it!
Thanks. Just what I needed
Well stated, LTCider. I’ve yet to try homemade cider, but maybe someday. (I’ve done beer but not recently.)
I have some super sweet apples I’ve grafted, and I have a number of red fleshed apples, most are high in tannins. I also have Campfield, Redfield, and Kingston Black…just grafted the Kingston early May this year, but it has over a foot of growth at this point.
Thanks, appreciate it.
Just planted a Cox Orange. Any thoughts on what apples to blend, if any, to make a hard cider?
You don’t list your zone. Claude Jolicoeur outside Quebec City (Canadian zone 5a?) has success with Winnal’s Longdon and Thorn.