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Cider Digest #1415

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Cider Digest
 · 9 Apr 2024

Subject: Cider Digest #1415, 17 October 2007 

Cider Digest #1415 17 October 2007

Forum for Discussion of Cider Issues
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor

CO2 blanket (Andrew Lea)
UV and wild yeast. (Andrew Lea)
Cider Day is nigh! (Benjamin Watson)
Fermenting Kingston Blacks (Donald Davenport)
Speidel plastic tanks in US?? (Dick Dunn)
Freezing cider for topping off (Bradley Hunter)
Apple grinders (
(more) More on film yeasts (Michael Arighi)

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Subject: CO2 blanket
From: Andrew Lea <>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 09:59:57 +0100

Eric Fouch wrote:

> .....and I won't point out that CO2,
> while denser than air does not form a protective blanket, but mixes
> completely with the air, since gases expand to fill the entire space
> they are given.

Well that may be theoretically true in a completely open system where
access to air is completely unlimited. Even then, the diffusion takes a
finite time. But sadly there is plenty of evidence that CO2 blanketing
in a tank with restricted air access *is* a real effect. There are many
reported deaths of workers in breweries, wineries and cideries, who have
climbed into empty tanks to clean them after fermentation, and who have
been asphyxiated by the CO2 inside which had not been properly vented.
In practice, the air does not easily displace the CO2 by simple
diffusion unless forcibly encouraged to do so.

Andrew Lea

- --
Wittenham Hill Cider Page


Subject: UV and wild yeast.
From: Andrew Lea <>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 10:26:38 +0100

Charles wrote:

> I did a less-than-scientific test last year when our new UV treatment
> unit was added to the cidermill. The test was a wild fermentation on
> samples that were and weren't UV treated. Common apples. SO2 added to
> ~0.5ppm active based on pH. Temp was about 65F. DAP added sparingly
> based on odor during fermentation. Fermentation was much slower than
> all commercial yeasts except the ProElif. The UV treated ran about 25%
> behind in brix reduction - or a day or two.

That is interesting and substantiates what I'd read in the literature.
In a nutshell, UV sterilization doesn't work against yeasts.
> (Both wild ferments were very sulfery compared to the commercial yeasts,
> with a lot of acetates in the nose. Both aged to straight vinegar. So
> much for using the native yeast in our orchard.)

I am sorry to hear that. I have been lucky to obtain good results using
wild yeasts with partial sulphiting just as you did. And so did my Long
Ashton colleagues in the 1950's and 60's long before I started working
there. However, some of my friends in the UK tell me I've been banging
on about it far too much and I now have a reputation as the "wild-yeast
bore". So I'll say no more on the subject! (Oh except to add that
people were making (good?) wine and cider for centuries before the
introduction of cultured yeasts which have only become widespread in the
last 50 years!).


- --
Wittenham Hill Cider Page


Subject: Cider Day is nigh!
From: Benjamin Watson <>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 08:38:16 -0400

Hello fellow Digesters,

Cider Day 2007 is coming up very quickly. This is, I believe, the 14th
year of the event, which is always held the first weekend of November
(Nov. 3-4), in scenic and rural Franklin County, Mass., a lovely area
of old hill towns west of the small city of Greenfield.

This year we are expecting a particularly good event, with many cider
producers (both new and long-standing) in attendance, including Mike
Beck (Uncle John's Cider Mill), Diane Flynt (Foggy Ridge Cider), Drew
Zimmerman (Red Barn Cider), John Brett (Tideview Vintage Cider), and
Charles Crawford (Domaine Pinnacle) planning to come, along with old
friends Steve Wood from Farnum Hill and Terry Maloney from West County.

The Cider Salon is the largest and most comprehensive open cider
tasting event that I am aware of in North America. This year we have
17 producers represented at the Salon, with ciders from Nova Scotia to
Michigan, Virginia to Washington State. I'm particularly happy that we
have some Canadian participation this year, as we would like to make
Cider Day a truly international event.

A full weekend of orchard tours, tastings, and workshops will be
offered. Gary Awdey will reprise his excellent workshop on sensory
evaluation from last year. Paul Correnty and Charlie Olchowski offer
courses on basic home cidermaking, troubleshooting, and more. On
Sunday afternoon, I will be leading a heritage variety apple tasting
and an artisan cheese and cider tasting with Laura Simon of Rubiner's
Cheesemongers that will showcase some of the best farmstead cheeses
of the US and a range of complementary ciders.

The cidermaker's panel this year will discuss the idea of regional
cider and what that suggests -- what "locality" contributes to cider,
from traditional varieties to market preferences and tastes.

Once again, we will be following the example of CAMRA in the UK and
selling commemorative tasting glasses for $10 as the "ticket" for most
of the cider tasting events (though many of the workshops are free of
charge). Since we have a limited number of glasses, it is wise to
purchase these in advance, or to reserve for the Cider Dinner on
Saturday evening if you plan to attend the Salon/Dinner. Advance
tickets are also available for the apple and cider/cheese tastings.
The full schedule and details can be found online at

As always, we look forward to seeing many old and new friends from the
Cider Digest e-universe. Please come if you can!

Ben Watson
Francestown, NH


Subject: Fermenting Kingston Blacks
From: Donald Davenport <>
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 08:04:05 -0600

> I've been able to acquire a load of kingston black apples which I intend
> to press as a single variety cider this week. I was wondering if anybody
> had a suggestion as to what yeast to use (I basically use lalvin 1118 for
> everything) and any other tips for working with this apple.

Can't offer much in terms of results, since this is the few year I
was able to press a couple gallon's worth of my own KBs, but I will
say that we're on similar tracks. I'm also using EC-1118 and have
had a nice fermentation going for several weeks. I plan to bottle
condition half and bottle the other half still (thanks to some advice
from Steve Woods who thinks KB's flavor profile is far too
interesting to obfuscate with a silly bunch of bubbles [Hope that's a
fair paraphrase, Steve]).

At any rate, I certainly share your excitement about having some real
"gold standard" cider apples to work with.

Donald Davenport
Santa Fe, NM


Subject: Speidel plastic tanks in US??
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 01:00:51 -0600

Regarding intermediate-size fermentation vessels, one of the off-line
suggestions I got (which I'd already been hoping for) is that the German
wine-equipment-maker Speidel has polyethylene tanks with efficient shape and
useful fittings--top lid large enough for access, fitted with fermentation
lock, bottom tap. They make these in 100/200/300/500 liter sizes at least.

They're available from Vigo Ltd in the UK, but no closer than that as far
as I can find out. Anybody know better?

I'm sure that Vigo would arrange to ship me some tanks if I were so daft
as to ask them to do so, and would be as fair about it as they could...but
I'm not keen to pay for the shipping of 2 x 100 liters of Devonshire air,
which would probably be lots of the cost as the tanks are light but bulky.

Suggestions along this line? US sources for these tanks?
- --
Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA


Subject: Freezing cider for topping off
From: Bradley Hunter <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2007 11:17:16 -0400

I just pressed 40 gal. of cider at my local orchard yesterday. Mostly a
nice mix of unknown, but reliable,
varieties from trees along the edges of fields around my neighborhood.
In addition were 3 bushels of
Chestnut , 2 bushels of my own Jonathon and some Liberty from my 5 year
old, home grafted trees on Antonovka rootstock that are finally
starting to produce in a big way!

I filled 6 five gallon fermenters, leaving some head space, and
sulphited, as I always do, at a rate of
150 ppm. Upon inspection this morning I decided I would like a bit more
head space before I pitch my
Cote des Blanc yeast. Using a sanitized wine thief I drew off a total
of 1 1/2 gal from the combined 6 fermenters and put that cider into 2
sanitized plastic gallon jugs.

My question is, could I freeze those sealed jugs of sulphited cider and
after initial vigorous fermentation has settled down, defrost them
still sealed and use those to top off my actively fermenting cider
without fear of contamination?




Subject: Apple grinders
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 20:19:37 EDT

For several years I have been using a garbage disposal unit to grind my
apples. It has worked very well. A few suggestions. If you are going to get
one, get the biggest one you can. I haunt house demolition sales to get mine.
They need to be carefully cleaned and sterilised., but they are cheap. These
all come with a shroud which is presumably for noise, but it also holds the
heat. Take it off. If apples are large I cut them into quarters. If they
are cut in half the apples sometimes jam into the side and stall the machine.
The thermal shut off is annoying if it happens often. If it is just
occassionally then it is a good excuse to have a cider! To stop or decrease
this problem, get that small fan you just put away for the winter and have
it blow over the motor. Hard apples are worse, so let them sweat for a week
or so. A couple of weeks ago we crushed about 250 pounds of apples without
stopping and didn't have one thermal shutdown.(darn)

Good luck,
Bob Clark, West Vancouver, B.C.


Subject: (more) More on film yeasts
From: Michael Arighi <>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 21:26:20 -0700

Subject: Re: More on film yeasts etc
From: Claude Jolicoeur <>

Claude gave us an interesting discussion on his experience with film yeasts
under various conditions. I've had only very occasional trouble with film
yeasts (I'll keep my fingers crossed). Seems like the one variable that
might be relevant in the difference between Claude's friend's basement,
his apartment, and his current home might be humidity. Most often, what I
find in my home is that humidity and temperature track inversely. Logical,
since, as temperature falls, the same air mass should increase in %
humidity. Otherwise, we'd never have rain or snow (what do I know from snow,
I live in the temperate San Francisco Bay region?).

Anyway, if Claude's friend's basement was significantly higher in humidity,
growth of the film yeast (someone else may know--wouldn't these be a "flor"
yeast, as in what yields sherry?) would be encouraged, as most of them
require moisture. So, would dehumidification retard or prevent formation &
growth? I don't know, but it seems like it would follow logically.

Michael Arighi
Oakland CA


End of Cider Digest #1415

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