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Crabapples?

Anyone ever used them in a beer? My parents have a tree that is yielding a ton of them, and they are ripening up nicely. Extremely tart a month ago, a touch sweeter now, will probably be perfect by mid sept.

I made a cranberry saison last year that was simply awesome. A nice tart crisp beer, with some nuance/phenolics/esters from the yeast and the cranberries. Might try to do the same thing with the crabapples since we have a ton of them.

I don’t know much about their composition, but I would guess there is a ton of pectins in them. I just drop these out using a pectic enzyme? I plan on harvesting, freezing, maybe coarsely chopping, then doing a 2nd ferment with them submerged in the beer in a paint bag for easy removal (after a “learning experience” with the cranberries last year).

Any experiences/thought appreciated-

Not sure about using them in beer…but they’d probably make the best traditional cider you’ll ever taste.

Hmmmm…might have to try to figure out my grandfather’s old wine press…also maybe I should bust out the refractometer on them? Not sure how fermentable they are without some serious sugar additions.

Apple cider generally produces a beverage thats around 5-6% ABV, so thats about 1.050. You don’t generally make cider from crabapples alone but they are great for adding tartness, tannin and character to a cider.

I’d crush them and press, then maybe hit that with kmeta and pectic enzyme for a day, then freeze it and use in beer in secondary or towards the end of primary. You can press simply by putting them in a nylon paint strainer bag and mashing them between a couple of cutting boards. And beware, it takes a lot of apples to make a gallon of cider. I think it is around 15lb/gal.

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