Benefits? and how long to age/mature the cider (or Perry)?

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thepgr...@gmail.com

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May 26, 2022, 12:34:33 AMMay 26
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I'm wondering about other folks experience with maturing cider? Does it really get that much better? How long to people wait to drink after pressing? How long is best to wait? How long is too long? If I have a bland cider or perry, should I just wait a year and see if it gets better?

In 2020 I pressed a number of different desert apples and pears. Overall, out of 50 gallons, only 3 gallons had some sort of off flavors. While 47 gallons were "fine", they certainly weren't amazing....except for one gallon of Star Crimson Perry. It was pressed on August 14 2020. I had tasted it numerous times, during the fermentation and racking process and it was always "fine" but nothing special. I hopped some, I carbonated some and shared (forced it on) friends and family - people were kind, but we all knew it was nothing special. I left one gallon alone, sitting in a glass jug, with no intervention from first racking until March 17, 2022. Shared it with a few folks and we were all AMAZED. Huge nose and sort of caramel deliciousness. There wasn't enough to go around as folks were going back for seconds. What happened? Maturation? Is this what happens when you wait 580 days? Thoughts? Insights?

I of course am now going to try to replicate this - hopefully I will be able to - of course I'm over 600 days away from being able to report back


Johan

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May 27, 2022, 4:49:28 AMMay 27
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It depends what kind of cider you are making. I do bottle ferment (with method champenoise or natural petnat -style) almost everything and I do prefer very(!) long maturation in bottle with lees. Currently I enjoy drinking 2018 (apple) cider which I think is in great phase right now with some toasty & creamy elements but is still so fresh it will even get better in a couple of years I think. Note that I have not yet disgorged bottles and I have always liked the vintage. I don't think that you can magically transform bad cider to good or great with age.  Elements needs to be there but aging potential of good cider is still very underrated!

Johan

luis.ga...@gmail.com

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May 27, 2022, 11:06:14 PMMay 27
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Personnaly, I tend to let cider fermet/mature 6 month to one year in a carboy. I like the cider to sit a year in bottle too. I am now drinking my 2019 pressings.

After three years in bottles, I find that some ciders tend to fade a bit. The more tannins, the more the cider tends to age well and benefit from a longer maturation period.

Louis

Claude Jolicoeur

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May 27, 2022, 11:34:37 PMMay 27
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I was just looking at the GLINTCAP results (just published) and noticed that Louis earned a Best in class first award... How long was it aged?
Félicitations Louis!

Gloria Bell

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May 28, 2022, 1:21:35 AMMay 28
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Yes!!!  He did.  Was super excited to see the results.  

Last year I got a BIC for a Perry and it was 3 years old - lots of tannin and fair amount of acidity.  Interested to see if Luis had aged his significantly.

luis.ga...@gmail.com

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May 29, 2022, 9:05:58 PMMay 29
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Thank you very much! It was a surprise to obtain such a reward!

This cider aged about three years in bottles (from 2018 pressings). I think the cider was slightly better one year ago, but it is still delightful. 

Louis

Love Lindholm

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May 30, 2022, 6:31:18 PMMay 30
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Just a naive question: Have you used enough sulfites to prevent malolactic fermentation? This is otherwise, obviously, likely to have a significant effect on the cider if it occurs (which could be in the bottles or before bottling).

thepgr...@gmail.com

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May 31, 2022, 6:59:36 PMMay 31
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Thanks, all for the responses. Sounds like maturation can have a big impact. That will now be my aim. As for a possible MLF - it is possible that it happened because it was my first batch ever, and I did NOT sulphite it at all. I've re-read everything about MLF in both my trusty cider books, but honestly, the testing might be beyond my ability. There were "creamy, buttery, toffee-ish" notes, so maybe. 

Again, thanks for your thoughts.

gareth chapman

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Jun 1, 2022, 1:44:54 PMJun 1
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There isn't any hard or fast rules and definitely no definitive answer, it really depends what you are starting with and what you might end up with or want to end up with.
For example a bright fresh early season pressing might lose some of that vibrancy after a period in the bottle, whereas something that be be high in acidity or tannin , might need or be able to stand a considerable maturation period and result in a more rounded complete flavour.
One thing that is for sure if you start with a lifeless, insipid brew without any body, no amount of time in the  bottle will improve it.

Love Lindholm

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Jun 3, 2022, 5:49:18 PMJun 3
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The clearest change after alolactic fermentation is lower acidity, which can make the cider much softer, especially if it was a bit sharp to begin with.
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