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Cider disappointment - are sweeteners normal?
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Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:06 pm    Post subject: Cider disappointment - are sweeteners normal?  Reply with quote    

I am rather fond of the odd drop of cider...but recently two of our purchases have turned out to be sweetened with something. One was a bottle of "Autumn Scrumpy" which we noticed, only too late, that it said it contains "sweetener" - very vague. It's put me completely off drinking it to be honest.

And I now have a bottle of "Single Orchard" cider from A Major Retailer Whom You Won't Like which turns out to contain Invert Sugar Syrup (that's like golden syrup, right?).

Naively I always thought cider was cider...apple juice made alcoholic. Obviously I am going to be a lot more careful with labels in the future but am I being completely old fashioned or is this a nasty new trend.

(Recommendations for nice ciders, on the dry side, most welcome. Purely for research purposes you understand).

chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35928
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Your best bet is to sample local farm gate ones. PM me a slightly less vague location and I'll see if I can recommend anyone.

We use Sheppy's, near Wellington and Pixford, near Bishop's Lydeard. With both of those, you turn up with your own container and they draw it off on tap for you.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ooh, we had a very nice bottle from Sheppys a few weeks ago. I may have to see if we can combine that with our journeys back to un-Civilisation or other explorations. Thanks!

Still a bit perplexed by the idea of sweeteners though

12Bore



Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 9088
Location: Paddling in the Mersey
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bulk ciders are often quite nasty, supermarkets will buy in from these factories and label as their own. Try craft ciders from small producers, using carefully selected apples. Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff

12Bore



Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 9088
Location: Paddling in the Mersey
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Or Aspalls Suffolk Draught Cyder (in bottles).
All of the above are even better when you find them on draught.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Trouble is that the one with the vague "Sweetener" is actually, to my knowledge, meant to be a reputable local supplier.

I'm not all that surprised at the supermarket one but just generally at the whole concept; I thought cider was cider, a bit like beer, generally, is beer

I do like Aspalls. Not so keen on Westons in general. It may be back to patronising Mr Majestic at this rate!

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34079
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You'll be expecting strongbow to contain apples next.

chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35928
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:
Still a bit perplexed by the idea of sweeteners though


I think, as 12bore says, it's a commercial thing. They ferment out to dryness and then re-sweeten. Probably to avoid explosions.

It is worth keeping a couple of half-gallon containers in the back of your car and stopping at any farm gates you go past locally to see what they are like.

Sheppy's is really easy to get to whilst travelling, though - you come off the M5 at J26 and (going north) go left towards Wellington. Go right at the next roundabout, towards Taunton, and you will pass it on the right in a couple of miles - it's signed. There's easy parking.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

12Bore wrote:
Bulk ciders are often quite nasty, supermarkets will buy in from these factories and label as their own. Try craft ciders from small producers, using carefully selected apples. Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff


Old Rosie. How I miss her.

jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 35007
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pop over to see this lot. You can try them all before you buy and they will blend you you own mix from the barrels.

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
You'll be expecting strongbow to contain apples next.


I resent the accusation that I have ever drunk Strongbow. Well, not since I was last in a student union bar anyway.

Old Rosie was also a bit disappointing, it sounded so nice; it sounds as though I will just have to do a lot more practical research, for the good of the folk of Downsizer. I'm all heart, me.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6517
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As jamanda suggested...try Winkleigh Cider.

We like it so much that we bought £80 in a trip 2 months ago...and you can watch them making it (well, we watched them washing and pressing the apples!)

We make our own here.....

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes, making your own is the way to go.

Having a bit of a google it appears adding a sweetener of some sort is very common in sweet ciders, not essential but much easier to produce and not just done by large companies.

What I'm a little curious about is the labelling, I'm not sure if legally people need to list what's in their brew.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18392

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No, you don't need to list ingredients in alcoholic drinks, all the way from beer and cider, to spirits.

I think that every time it was suggested, the big drinks manufacturers refused.

There is a legal requirement to state whether or not the drink contains sulphites. (in the 'may contain nuts', for allergy purposes sense)

You will find that some brewers do list their ingredients, as a marketing point, to prove that they're not adding nasties. e.g. our regional brewery, Sulwath, does this.

@ Bugs : I didn;t look at the ingredients, but have you tried the Appalling Place That Shall Not Be Named's organic pear cider ? It was quite dry. I wonder now if it had sweetener in ?

There's deffo an issue with fermenting out to dryness, and then needing to sugar up with potential bottle bursts. However, I thought the preferred method was sulphite. They must have switched to sugar-free sweetener.

gardening-girl



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 6024
Location: Somerset.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 11 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff [/quote].




You are my husband, and I claim £5.

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