Seedling Apples for cider

It’s that time of year again to start harvesting some of my seedling apples for making cider. I did not bother to spray them this year and they don’t look terrible all things considered. We will slice off the best parts for the cider and plant all the cores peels etc under a few inches of soil. I wish everyone would plant some apples to do this with. This is the best part of life. I use a juicer to make the cider rather than a press for small amounts


I admire your patience , I have grafted over all but of one of my seedlings. Those apples look nice for no spray.

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Thanks Derby most years I would not have gotten by with that. I brought all the birds up around my other trees by allowing 10 or so mulberries to grow up here and produce fruit for them. They are helping to keep insects down. The weather was perfect this year and devastated the Japanese beetles and grasshoppers. It was in the 40s last night so this fall is changing to winter fast which makes what bugs are left move slow for the birds breakfast. All the conditions were on my side this year.

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Yes, it is cool here tonite too, down in the 40’s , kind of a nice break from the heat but you know what is just down the road, snow and freezing temps. Oh well, that is what makes you appreciate the seasons.

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I didn’t spray my apples and they really don’t look that bad. Some cutting around the bad spots but sure beats putting on 10 sprays or more… The biggest hassle was picking up all the drops back in June… I wish i had a pig to eat them all. Then the pork tenderloins would be apple flavored :slight_smile:

I love apple cider. My favorite.


I picked seedling apples for cider over the weekend, did a 3 generation pressing with my dad and my son. Near my folks place are hundreds of seedling apples, sampled many sour fruit to find a couple trees producing sweet ones! We pressed 3.5 gal that went into primary fermentation…


Will be doing the same thing this week! We had our first frost here already but in the 70s the next few days.

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I’m somewhat allergic to cider. Drinking more than a small sip, especially on an empty stomach, would make my joints severely aches. I think bones aches are whole lot harder than stomach ache or muscle ache! But I have no problem eating apples, go figure! (Probably the fermentation is the culprit!)

Anyway, I’m just curious on how do you make a small batch cider. At least if I ever have a surplus of apples, I can turn them to cider to give away?


I usually dont make the hard cider in small batches. This is for non hard cider. There are proably people that drink more with better recipes. For me my jam recipes are always 1 to 1 fruit and sugar regardless the fruit. My wine recipes are about as precise lol.

Tom, I know what you mean about the achy bones. That’s the same way I react to alcohol.

Interestingly, I have no problem drinking alcohol, of course not excessively! :innocent:



My haul from today. The only thing is I am not sure if these are random seedling apples or some named variety. Took everything on the ground (trees are still loaded) and will sort out the rotten ones and let the deer have those. The good ones will be either put through the press or put in the dehydrator ! However I did check out a large property with hundreds of random seedling apple trees today…


Here are a batch of seedling apples from today destine for fresh cider in the next couple of days. No spray or any attention ever given to the tree that produced these apples!


I found some seedling trees that have (hard) cider potential with characteristics like tannins or high sugar. Acidity I usually get in my blends with dessert fruit, mostly Cortland. Today I pressed a bushel or so from the first picking of a tree I am nicknaming ‘SugarScab’ for the very high sugar content of the juice and the fissures and spots which adorn the exterior.
Another local tree is a true spitter with off the chart tannins, but also has amazing aromatic quality. BUMPER crops on most apple trees makes it a great year to fruit explore.


We do nearly all the family cider from seedling/feral trees along the the roads.i don’t mind blemishes and damage for cider. And it makes it easy to get a really complex and flavorful blend going. No one apple needs to hit all the bases, and texture is irelivent. I love coming home with the truck filled up with crates, maybe 10-15 distinct and unamed apples. The variety is beautiful.

The managed fruit at home is consistently clean, far better for eating out of hand and storage…much too valuable to pulp, with the exception of a few V"vintage" cider trees
It has been a simply incredible year for apples, after last years crop failure, pest pressure was very low, then such a heavy set that pristine fruit was common most everywhere.


@SugarScab tested 24 brix today at Great Maine Apple Day. A couple dozen different cider apples were tasted for suitability, and evaluated on the qualities they would impart on hard cider, very interesting exercise that left the taste buds a bit jangled.


Chris, they very well could be seedling apples, but do you think there is a chance those are a selected variety. How do they taste? They certainly look good.

We pressed a few batches from seedling fruit, and I enjoy sampling single varietal juices made from a single apple type, as this allows me to determine the qualities that type may bring to a blend. See the color difference between the two glasses, the flavor contrast was much more extreme- the darker cider has very little acidity, my son said it tasted like chocolate milk!


Great ides JesseS that looks like a lot of fun.

I would love to see us someday get a seedling apple seed exchange going. Growing the seedlings from wild apples like those here could be a labor of love for people like us. Every time I grow them I get excited like it was the first time I ever did it when they produce fruit. I can understand how Johnny Appleseed must have felt.

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