Bulk aging country wine newbie question

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Rice_Guy

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The apple leaf is fairly easy to identify/ related families as rose or june berry are also edible. There is as much variation in crab apples as in table apples, crabs are “small size apples”. (under 1.5”) About 20% of the named selections at the university arborateum have interesting/ useful tasting tannin. The neighborhood ones I “found“ are prairie fire which have low juice/ high solids and a gravity of 1.095, a pink color, pH mid 3s, in late august a tannin that is astringent/ September a nice bitter and by November/ frost they are fairly mild.
There is another group out there which consists of the variable genetics when domestic apple seeds self seed, these “apple crabs“ are a pot luck of sharps, sweets, bitters, aromatics, pink flesh, russets.
You can graft crabs on apple and apple on crab, sooo if you find interesting apples in fall mark them and in spring graft them on apples in the yard so their easier to get to. Apple bears on second year old wood like grapes.
I've never known a crab apple to be sweet, either. Maybe it's a regular apple with problems. Either way, I have multiple crab apples and never thought much about them. This year will be different, though.
 

BigDaveK

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The apple leaf is fairly easy to identify/ related families as rose or june berry are also edible. There is as much variation in crab apples as in table apples, crabs are “small size apples”. (under 1.5”) About 20% of the named selections at the university arborateum have interesting/ useful tasting tannin. The neighborhood ones I “found“ are prairie fire which have low juice/ high solids and a gravity of 1.095, a pink color, pH mid 3s, in late august a tannin that is astringent/ September a nice bitter and by November/ frost they are fairly mild.

Holey moley, just did a quick google. There are over 700 varieties of crab apple!! I'll make an attempt at identifying what I have but it's going to be a daunting task for sure.
 

Rice_Guy

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Holey moley, just did a quick google. There are over 700 varieties of crab apple!! I'll make an attempt at identifying what I have but it's going to be a daunting task for sure.
There are millions of crab apples. Crabs do not breed true, therefore if you have ones that birds have planted they are a new variety. Crabs are in the landscaping at church and I dig out seedlings to use as root stock for grafting scion wood of known varieties. Every root stock I have makes a new variety.

To your question if you identify that it is an apple, you know that it is not poisonous. Next if it has a bitter flavor it has tannin. At this point you could/ should collect the crabs for use. You could also mark the tree so you can identify it when dormant if you want scion wood for grafting like I do. Apples are a five or ten year project for fruit if you start at seedling size. If you have apple stock growing you could graft onto an adult tree and have fruit from that scion in two years. Finally if you want dwarfed trees there are root stocks available through orchards and we are in the order for spring planting season/ if you search for geneva root stock you may find someone in your region. RenaisanceOrchards.com has a good selection of apple scion wood, some of which have good levels of tannin.
 

BigDaveK

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There are millions of crab apples. Crabs do not breed true, therefore if you have ones that birds have planted they are a new variety. Crabs are in the landscaping at church and I dig out seedlings to use as root stock for grafting scion wood of known varieties. Every root stock I have makes a new variety.

To your question if you identify that it is an apple, you know that it is not poisonous. Next if it has a bitter flavor it has tannin. At this point you could/ should collect the crabs for use. You could also mark the tree so you can identify it when dormant if you want scion wood for grafting like I do. Apples are a five or ten year project for fruit if you start at seedling size. If you have apple stock growing you could graft onto an adult tree and have fruit from that scion in two years. Finally if you want dwarfed trees there are root stocks available through orchards and we are in the order for spring planting season/ if you search for geneva root stock you may find someone in your region. RenaisanceOrchards.com has a good selection of apple scion wood, some of which have good levels of tannin.

Birds. Where would we be without them? Each spring before Mother Nature turns parts of my property into jungle I walk around just to see what's new. I'm never disappointed. Birds are great for the small stuff - I went from no mullberry trees 15 years ago to 6 producing trees. And I have asparagus popping up everywhere. I also found a new paw paw patch that was probably deer or raccoon.

Lot of GREAT apple info from you. Thanks. Why "Rice_Guy"? You could be "Apple_Guy".
 

Rojoguio

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Thanks so much everybody!! Great ideas and suggestions!

I was without power for 2 days, no internet or cell service, and couldn't respond sooner.

This being my first time making wine I did a bunch of 1 gallon batches (13) to see what I liked. Yeah, 2 gallons of apple so I can play a little. I also have 2 gallons of pear, 1 with raisins and 1 with tannin. I'm having too much fun. I'm a little concerned that maybe my 13 1-gallon batches will become 13 5-gallon batches. I'll drive off that bridge when I get to it.

And I'm at the age where forgetting about a bottle(s) for a year or so will not be a problem.
I'm on board with you here, I made a bunch of 1 gallon batches as a newbie but have some 3 gallon batches too. It looks like I'm going to do all 3 gallon going forward.
 

BigDaveK

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I'm on board with you here, I made a bunch of 1 gallon batches as a newbie but have some 3 gallon batches too. It looks like I'm going to do all 3 gallon going forward.
I was very happy with my 1 gallon batches. 3 gallons of tomato blew me away! And after a recent experiment I have fallen in love with hot pepper. I'm a pepperhead and the back end heat was wonderful. I'll probably ramp up to 3 gallon batches only because 5 gallon is a PITA to move. And thinking about the year ahead, everything I want to do again and those I want to try for the first time, I may have to sleep in the barn.
 

Rojoguio

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I'm shying away from the 5 gallon batches for the same reason. I like glass, can't see using plastic to cut the weight. The pepper sounds very interesting. Being from New Orleans originally I like a little bite on the tongue.
 

BigDaveK

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I'm shying away from the 5 gallon batches for the same reason. I like glass, can't see using plastic to cut the weight. The pepper sounds very interesting. Being from New Orleans originally I like a little bite on the tongue.
I made 5 gallon batches of skeeter pee and dragon blood and "Jesus H Christ!" was the LEAST colorful phrase out of my mouth.
 

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