Author Topic: the cider was a success  (Read 3581 times)

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
the cider was a success
« on: March 03, 2012, 07:43:52 am »
When we bought the house it already had a small, established (tho somewhat neglected) orchard. We knew that several of the trees were incredibly productive, so I thought I'd try my hand at cider making. We treated ourselves to a press and crusher from a local maker and I spent quite a bit of the autumn picking, washing and crushing apples. The resulting juice all started bubbling away quite nicely and I was quite optimistic but when I tried it just before Xmas is was undrinkable. I almost poured it away in disgust but got distracted, kept forgetting about it and got lazy and never did. Boy, am I glad I didn't. On a whim I thought I'd try some last night; it's absolutely corking, as good as a lot of cider I've bought at country fairs and the like. And strong to boot, I could feel my lips going numb after the 1st glass. I now have approx 120 or so pints to get through.
However, as a consequence, I am feeling a tad delicate this morning...
I may look into expanding my operation and maybe selling it.

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 08:26:14 am »
The old saying was "Don't taste your cider until you hear the first cuckoo"

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 08:30:07 am »

Fantastic! Well done!  :thumbsup:

We planted some cider apple trees this winter, so I'll definitely be coming to you for tips in a few years time.
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MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 08:41:18 am »
The old saying was "Don't taste your cider until you hear the first cuckoo"

heh, I have never heard that but it's true. Guess I will have to hold off a bit longer drinking it.

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 10:29:37 am »
Excellent, congratulations.  :thumbsup:

We're planting an orchard just now and intend to make cider, so might be back for some advice in a couple of years.  :)

Did you get the press and crusher from someone who might have more to sell?

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2012, 10:38:12 am »
oh Dan what is wrong with making your own press by the time you have apples your work load will have diminished :thumbsup: :farmer:

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 11:07:50 am »
Excellent, congratulations.  :thumbsup:

We're planting an orchard just now and intend to make cider, so might be back for some advice in a couple of years.  :)

Did you get the press and crusher from someone who might have more to sell?


we got them from these people:

http://www.vigopresses.co.uk/store/index.php?cPath=63_78

I did intend to make my own but things got on top of us and we just didn't have time, the apples were dropping and we had to do something. Their stuff isn't cheap, but it seems well made. With care etc it should last us a lifetime.

Blinkers

  • Joined Jan 2008
  • Carmarthenshire
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Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 02:10:22 pm »
Weyhey - all round to yours this evening then  ;D :thumbsup: ;D :thumbsup:
Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again !!
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Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2012, 02:27:00 pm »
Fantastic, the rest of this year will be a blur then  :yum:
Reminds me of a camping hol in Devon 20 hrs ago. Visited atraditional cider farm, tasted,bought, cannot remember much of the rest of the Hols.  ;D

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 04:35:32 pm »
I've got a Vigo press (and a bucket apple crusher that fits onto a drill), but it is a tad small for my needs (we have quite a large mature orchard) so have never really got to grips with it.

Interested in your 'fermenting' process did you bottle up or place it into barrels first?

 :notwell:  hic!

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 05:45:53 pm »
What a coincidence - we started ours last night. Cracking colour and taste - my sister in law often buys "artisan cider" and said ours was great. She asked us lots of questions about methodology and what apples.

The truth is we do not have any apple trees and we had just collected fallen apples from a neighbours field so that his cows did not eat them. 

Given the number of apples we used and the corresponding cider yield I would have thought that anyone planting an orchard can expect to spend the next 10 years building a barn for the cider press, fermenting vats and bottle store so that they can manage the crop when the trees reach their full potential. One mature tree must surely produce enough apples to make cider production a commercial task. An orchard must mean employing people to pick and operate machines and then ship the product to retail outlets.
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deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 05:49:49 pm »
im a time served, fully qualified, cider taster, i would be more than happy to advise on the quality of samples sent to me. nothing below 5% tho, cos its not worth the postage. thanks. :thumbsup:

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 07:19:43 pm »

Interested in your 'fermenting' process did you bottle up or place it into barrels first?

 :notwell:  hic!

it was very scientific. I washed the apples, crushed em, pressed em, poured the juice into some 5 gallon, plastic fermenting vessels, fitted an airlock and left em.  :farmer:
The fermenting vessels have taps fitted as I'm hoping this will save money on not needing barrels as well. I have a couple, but I use these for beer. I'd need to get a lot for the cider as well. I'll see how it turns out, if it doesn't work in the long term then I'll buy some barrels as well. As it is, I reckon I left to rot about another 2 or 3 barrels worth as I didn't have any more storage for them, though last year was a good year for top fruit, what this year will be like remains to be seen.
All I need to do now is find someone who has pigs so they can take the crushings off me.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 07:25:15 pm »
just get some of your own you wont regret it as i tuck into gammon steaks :farmer:

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: the cider was a success
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 07:34:06 pm »
........... One mature tree must surely produce enough apples to make cider production a commercial task. An orchard must mean employing people to pick and operate machines and then ship the product to retail outlets.


Commercial, no, but one of our mature trees certainly does give more than enough apples to keep us in cider for a year (and some). That said, we still do mix the apple varieties. I once toured the 'Merrydown' cider factory, and if it's good enough for them, it's certainly good enough for me.....

-------

Thanks mike m, interesting to know how others do it. With us, the apples are picked then left under the trees to soften, then they are crushed and pressed and the juice pumped directly into the wooden barrels.

As for bottling. I keep the high pressure 'fizz' bottles, but we initially have to go with putting the juice directly into barrels (the Vigo press is totally wasted as it's way too small).

Pigs get the 'cake'.

 :notwell: hic!

 

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