Cider Apple Compositional Data

Introduction


When the Long Ashton Research Station was founded to work on cider in 1903, its first director was Professor BTP Barker.  To try and impose some order on the then-prevailing chaos of nomenclature, he rapidly established a simple analytical classification of cider apples as follows:
 
 

Barker's Classification of Cider Apples (LARS 1903)
Classification
Acid (%)
Tannin (%)
Sharp
> 0.45
< 0.2
Bittersharp
> 0.45
> 0.2
Bittersweet
< 0.45
> 0.2
Sweet
< 0.45
< 0.2

This nomenclature is still the basis of classification nearly a century later.
 

Long Ashton, North Somerset, UK

This table is from composite data obtained at the Long Ashton Research Station, near Bristol, over many years from 1905 to 1975.  The cultivars shown in red are those which are generally regarded as having that elusive and hard-to-define character of  'vintage quality'.  The acid figures were obtained by straightforward titration with alkali, and the 'tannin' figures by permanganate titration (the Lowenthal method).
 
Composite Cider Apple Data from Long Ashton Research Station

Cultivar

Type

Flavour Category

Malic Acid %

Tannin %

Breakwell's Seedling Early Bittersharp 0.64 0.23
Bulmers / Broxwood Foxwhelp Early Bittersharp 1.91 0.22
Court Royal Early Sweet 0.21 0.11
Ellis Bitter Early Bittersweet 0.20 0.24
Frederick Early Sharp 1.02 0.09
Major Early Bittersweet 0.18 0.41
Nehou Early Bittersweet 0.17 0.60
Reine des Hatives Early Sweet 0.11 0.17
Bulmers Norman Early/mid Bittersweet 0.24 0.27
Lavignee Early/mid Bittersweet 0.21 0.27
Perthyre Early/mid Bittersweet 0.33 0.18
Somerset Redstreak Early/mid Bittersweet 0.19 0.28
Taylors Sweet Early/mid Sweet 0.18 0.14
Tremletts Bitter Early/mid Bittersweet 0.27 0.34
White Jersey Early/mid Bittersweet 0.14 0.20
Balls Bittersweet Mid Bittersweet 0.28 0.28
Browns Apple Mid Sharp 0.72 0.13
Collington Big Bitters Mid Bittersweet 0.21 0.21
Reinette Obry Mid Sharp 0.63 0.13
Michelin Mid Bittersweet 0.25 0.23
Sweet Alford Mid Sweet 0.22 0.15
Sweet Coppin Mid Sweet 0.20 0.14
Ashton Brown Jersey Late Bittersweet 0.14 0.23
Binet Rouge Late Bittersweet 0.15 0.21
Brown Snout Late Bittersweet 0.24 0.24
Brown Thorn Late Bittersweet 0.19 0.24
Chisel Jersey Late Bittersweet 0.22 0.40
Cimetiere Late Bittersweet 0.16 0.28
Dabinett Late Bittersweet 0.18 0.29
Harry Masters Jersey Late Bittersweet 0.20 0.32
Sandford Jersey Late Bittersweet 0.23 0.62
Medaille d'Or Late Bittersweet 0.27 0.64
Reine des Pommes Late Bittersweet 0.24 0.47
Vilberie Late Bittersweet 0.22 0.52
Yarlington Mill Late Bittersweet 0.22 0.32
Kingston Black Late Bittersharp 0.58 0.19
Stoke Red Late Bittersharp 0.64 0.31
Tom Putt Late Sharp 0.68 0.14
Bramley's Seedling Culinary Sharp 0.85 0.08
Cox's Orange Pippin Dessert Sharp 0.60 0.07
Worcester Pearmain Dessert Mild Sharp 0.50 0.12
Golden Delicious Dessert Mild Sharp 0.45 0.06
         

Data Sources - Bulmer's Pomona (Fourth Estate, London, 1987), Beech and Carr (1977)
 
 

Geneva, NY, USA

The following table comes from a chapter on 'Apple Cider' by Don Downing in 'Processed Apple Products' which was edited by Don Downing, published by AVI Van Nostrand in 1989 (ISBN 0-442-22117-7).

The table represents analytical data on cider cultivars grown and processed at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY.  The credit is to unpublished data (1980) by Bob LaBelle , who was once a staff member at NYSAES.  It looks as if all the data was obtained in just one season sometime in the late 70's.

Figures in italics represent European cider cultivars growing at Geneva. [The figures in red for acidity and pH in Tremblett's Bitter (sic - the normal spelling is Tremlett's) are frankly unbelievable. I now understand (from Dick Dunn pers comm) that the material distributed in the US as Tremlett's Bitter is not the same as the UK original and there is a known problem of mistaken identity. This 'false Tremlett's' is more of  a bittersharp than the true variety which is a heavy bittersweet.]  Concerning apple weight, Downing makes the point that a 'typical' NY apple weighs 140 g.  Many of these fruits are therefore very small, but of course that is typical of cider apples.

Downing also points out (and I agree) that the tannin data is generally much lower than the relevant composite Long Ashton data (see above) -  the NYSAES figures are about half the LARS ones.  This may reflect the particular season or the growing conditions at Geneva compared to NW Europe, or may reflect a different analytical technique for tannin measurement.  The method of measurement is not quoted by Downing.  All the LARS data was obtained by the Lowenthal permanganate titration, and it is known that different methods of tannin 'measurement' can give wildly different figures on the same sample.  As a comparative  series of data, however, this table is probably reliable.
 
 
 

Cider Apple Data from Fruit grown at Geneva NY

Cultivar

Brix

Acid (%)

pH

Tannin (%)

Apple wt (g)

           
           
Chestnut 14.9 0.51 3.53   74
Mollies Delicious 10.7 0.15 3.82   114
Tremblett's Bitter 11.8 1.31 3.15 0.122 91
Vagnon Flocher 10.4 0.5 3.26 0.043 92
Yarlington Mill 10.3 0.16 4.14 0.102 60
Twistbody Jersey 10.0 0.12 4.24 0.058 73
Nehou 13.8 0.31 3.92 0.106 64
Kingston Black 12.6 0.58 3.56 0.062 43
Amere de Berthecourt 15.0 0.23 4.08 0.169 82
Alnarp 13.4 0.82 3.37 0.037 194
Queen Cox 12.5 0.59 3.44 0.043 105
Souv. de Cognet 13.9 0.21 4.24 0.16 86
Crow Egg 11.4 0.31 3.68 0.044 74
Marechal 11.4 0.19 3.86 0.228 32
Dabinett 12.7 0.20 4.33 0.112 42
Golden Russet 17.0 0.55 3.75 0.042 138
Muscadet de Bernay 12.1 0.20 4.34 0.092 67
Roxbury Russet 15.2 0.71 3.48 0.064 136
Red Spitzenberg 16.0 0.77 3.50 0.052 186
Baldwin 15.3 0.74 3.32 0.059 161
Bedan des Partes 11.4 0.20 4.26 0.172 29
Democrat 10.6 0.37 3.63 0.044 116
Jonathan 13.0 0.58 3.41 0.046 107
Muscadet de Lense 12.5 0.19 4.10 0.088 60
Belle sans Pippin 12.6 0.35 3.76 0.058 103
Delicious (Groth) 12.5 0.23 3.91 0.036 166
Northern Spy 13.2 0.70 3.38 0.048 215
Wagener 11.0 0.47 3.47 0.038 178
Merton Russet 13.6 0.82 3.38 0.034 88
Melrose 12.0 0.41 3.55 0.037 156
Yellow Newtown 11.0 0.56 3.49 0.04 92
Golden Delicious 10.3 0.21 3.72 0.043 105
Stark 287 16.9 0.63 3.53 0.048 130
Winter Banana 12.9 0.41 3.49 0.076 155
Starksplendor 12.0 0.29 3.61 0.045 139
Black Crofton 10.8 0.40 3.67 0.037 65
Red Stayman 15.1 0.51 3.47 0.06 130
Winesap 12.7 0.51 3.55 0.054 95
Idared 10.2 0.41 3.58 0.041 115
Rome (Frimley) 11.5 0.35 3.79 0.038 157

 
 


 

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Last Updated on 5th March 2000
By Andrew Lea