Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Apples and cider

Apple season is upon us. We have four trees in our garden but we don't eat many apples. Some will be bottled as apple sauce but the majority of them will be juiced to make scrumpy.

Press J made last year.
The first year we tried making cider we borrowed an apple press from a friend, it was okay but we were concerned about not overstraining it. We considered getting our own but they are quite pricey even for small models and J thought that he could do better. Last year he made his own from leftover wood and ply in the workshop, this sits within his hydraulic bench press. Why reinvent the wheel? We are using the same set up this year but there are metal bands around it as the wooden ones were not up to the job.

Scrumpy, bubbling away

Scrumpy is cider that is made using the natural yeasts from the apple skin. We dump the apple juice into a bucket and leave it for a few days for the fermenting to begin. Eventually this will be poured into demijohns with an airlock and we'll leave them until the sugars have been turned to alcohol.
We don't have cider apples in our garden, there are three eating apple trees and one cooking. Two years ago this mix made us some delicious scrumpy, far nicer than the cider we also made using bought cider yeast. Unfortunately last year's was a disaster due to the very wet summer. I wonder what it will be like this year, so far things are looking good.

What is this primrose doing flowering in autumn?

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