I know I’m meant to be talking about Kiwi cider but let’s take a little side step over to Belgium. That’s where The Cider Factorie took inspiration for The Tripel, a bottle conditioned – triple fermented apple cider. You read that right, this is a triple fermented cider. The term Tripel is normally used to describe strong Belgian beers. Going with a bit of wordplay The Cider Factorie has decided to make a strong cider and ferment it 3 times.
Most ciders are single fermented or double fermented. The first ferment is simple, that is the fresh juice from Cox’s Orange Pippin bubbling away as the yeast does its job. Traditionally to achieve the second ferment add a little sugar or fresh juice to feed the yeast. This is normally done as the cider is bottled. The secondary ferment adds a little more alcohol and the CO2 is trapped in the bottle making it nice and fizzy.
So how is The Cider Factorie squeezing in an extra ferment? So first, I need to explain what cryo-concentration is. If you begin to freeze fresh apple juice, in this case, Pacific Queen apples, an interesting thing happens. It doesn’t all freeze at the same time. The sugars and apple goodness freeze slower than the naturally occurring water. The ice crystal can be scooped out leaving behind a concentrated juice.
After the primary ferment, a little of the cryo-concentrate is added to the mix boosting the flavour and alcohol. This is ferment number 2. It’s left to mature for 3 months. Once all the sugar has been consumed by the yeast it is bottled and just before the bottle is capped a dash more cryo-concentrate is added. With the cap added to the bottle, the yeast will do what is normally known as the secondary ferment.
When I first cracked open the bottle I thought I was opening a jar full of choc chip biscuits (cookies). But pouring it into the pint shows off more earthy mushrooms tones with highlights of heavily ripe apples.
It’s a little bit like a desert, hot and dry. With the alcohol coming in at 8% the heat is very noticeable. With an ABV that high you know there is no sugar left in The Tripel cider. There are some elements of a chocolate and apple dessert coming from the cox’s but the nuances of the apples get a little bit overshadowed by the heat. I have to say I have a soft spot for Cox’s Orange Pippin it’s just so moreish.
Final Thoughts on The Tripel
I think I’m thinking about The Cider Factories’ The Tripel all wrong. I read the side of the bottle and it said it’s inspired by a beer. So I put it into a pint and went to town on it… it hit me like a freight train. I should have realised that The Tripel has been inspired by a Belgium beer and of course, they are served in smaller snifter glasses. That way it would trap in, the fleeting aromas while letting you split it with a mate.
|The Cider Factorie
|Country of Origin
|Tauranga, North Island