Halfway cultured, halfway wild
…we’re talking yeasts here. At the beginning, the plan had been simple – the main, 600 litre tank would be used for the master-blend of cultured fermentations, the lesser, 400 litre tank would be used to blend the wild fermentations into. However, when we got to the blending table it just didn’t stack up. Simply mixing all the wild fermentations together produced a cider which was thin and jagged and challenging in a way which wasn’t particularly encouraging, and there were some peardrop-like aromatics which, although nice, were truly off the scale, so a hasty rethink was required. Thankfully there were still a couple of hundred litres of the remaining cultured-yeast ciders left to play with, so we got to mixing and measuring and tasting on a repeat cycle. After some hours a point of balance was reached where the cider seemed much more comfortable in it’s own skin. After reviewing and deciphering the scribbled notes we did a spot of maths and it transpired that we’d landed on a damn-near exact 50/50 split between the wild ciders and their more cultured cousins – the Halfway Wild!
The apples used were around 80% locally sourced fruit, with the remaining 20% being the Somerset Dabinett. The wild ciders impart soft, rounded and gently flowing top-notes whilst the cultured yeasts bring structure and depth to proceedings. The complexity of the cider is best experienced at a good-going room temperature, when the flavours really open up and work together . One for by the fire!
Freshly pressed Apple Juice
Yeasts – Lalvin QA23, Lalvin 71b, Wild Yeasts
Yeast Nutrients – Lallemand Go-Ferm Protect, Lallemand Fermaid “O”
Priming sugar @ 8g per litre to provide a light in-bottle carbonation