Author Topic: crabapples  (Read 804 times)

Offline goschman

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crabapples
« on: July 22, 2014, 01:37:10 PM »
Planning to do a crabapple saison at some point. I just picked about 5 lbs of crabapples from my tree. My plan is to clean them, quarter them, freeze them, and add after a week into fermentation.

Is 5 lbs a good starting point?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 01:39:19 PM by goschman »
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Offline goschman

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 01:39:45 PM »
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 02:14:07 PM »
Crabapples are widely variable with respect to sweetness, acidity and astringency.  However most often they are very tart and astringent.  You might want to cut back to like 1 lb to limit these effects.  I wouldn't use more than about 2 lb unless these are very sweet and tasty crabapples, which is entirely possible.  Can you eat these?  Or are they unpalatable?  If not good eaters, I'd cut back to 1 lb, or maybe 1.5 lb max.

My 2 cents.
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Offline goschman

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 02:32:40 PM »
I have tasted a couple. I would say they are slightly more tart than a Granny Smith but are definitely edible.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 06:53:49 PM »
Well that's good news.  Use as many as you want then.
Dave

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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 09:01:27 AM »
Every year I brew a Belgian beer of some sort with my crabapples, they are pretty much inedible but are great in beer.  I use about 6 pounds per 5 gallons.  Mine are small so cutting them is pointless, I just wash them, freeze them and when fermentation starts to slow down I add them to primary.  A couple of years ago I did a brett blonde with them that was really excellent, last year I left out the brett and just did a crabapple blonde.  It makes a very dry beer with a hint of apple aroma and flavor.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 09:01:47 AM »
Every year I brew a Belgian beer of some sort with my crabapples, they are pretty much inedible but are great in beer.  I use about 6 pounds per 5 gallons.  Mine are small so cutting them is pointless, I just wash them, freeze them and when fermentation starts to slow down I add them to primary.  A couple of years ago I did a brett blonde with them that was really excellent, last year I left out the brett and just did a crabapple blonde.  It makes a very dry beer with a hint of apple aroma and flavor.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline goschman

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 09:34:01 AM »
Good to know. The ones I picked are about the size I golf balls and green. I assumed I should wait until fall to pick them but they seem good to go and didn't want to risk birds and bugs getting to them. I didn't even know it was a crabapple tree until I was told. I didn't produce fruit last year because of a late freeze. I kind of feel like they aren't normal crabapples?

I guess I will plan to use 4-5 lbs and see what happens.
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Offline goschman

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 09:38:22 AM »
Wow. I guess there are quite a lot of varieties of crabapple trees. I did not know. Looks like there are only a couple which produce green fruit.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 12:21:16 PM »
Mine was supposed to be a grannysmith tree, 3 years after I planted it it produced what I call crabapples-1 inch diameter, hard, yellow/red balls of extreme tartness even the birds won't eat.  When my neighbors had several apple trees I would get all the apples, including my crabapples and make excellent dry cider every fall.  The drought pretty much wiped out most of the apple trees in our neighborhood but my crabapples are indestructible.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: crabapples
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 01:21:58 PM »
It depends on how tannic they are. I used 4lbs of crabapples once and it took 5 years for the tannins to mellow. Bite one. If it sucks all of the moisture out of your mouth then go really easy or just skip them. Tannins aren't really prized in beer. Not at medium to high levels anyway.
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