We have found that only approximately half of the producers actually try to achieve a 'chapeau brun' -the 'brown hat' that forms at the top of a juice tank and results in an over-clarified must essential for a keeved cider. We found both large and small producers using the chapeau brun method as well as the alternative method of 'sedimentation'. Only larger producers are pasteurizing their final product in bottle, however many of the smaller producers have issues with over carbonated cider, undercarbonated cider, or cider that is slightly off of the ending target gravity.
In general, we have seen chapeau brun achieved by harvesting mature fruit from the orchard floor. Most growers are letting fruit naturally fall off the tree, and making up to three harvests under each tree. Sometimes the tree receives a shake if needed...Read More