Cider making underway

Well it’s been a while since I posted anything on Sow the Seed, despite lots going on. Summer has been and gone, with all the growing and harvesting that the summer season entails, and we’re now well into autumn and the harvesting continues, with apples taking centre stage. Our fruit trees are now in full production, with most of the trees producing well. One aspect of having plenty of apples is that we can make apple juice and cider, and today was ear marked as cider making day.

This year we have got our first big crop of apples from our cider tree – “Yarlington Mill”. In retrospect we might not have planted this variety, which can only really be used for cider making. Other varieties have multiple uses – the variety “Tom Putt”, which we also planted, can be used for juicing, cider making or cooking. Never mind though, it’s a good excuse to try making some farmhouse cider. You are meant to only use the juice from cider apples for a proportion of the cider, so we juiced Tom Putt and Golden Delicious alongside the Yarlington Mill to give us a cider that will hopefully be tasty, and not too dry.

The whole process is a bit time consuming. The apples have to picked and washed, and then cut up, crushed and pressed. All the demijohns and equipment have to be sterilised, and the kitchen starts to look like a chemistry lab! It’s a good job for a wet weekend, which we seem to be having plenty of.

The cider is now undergoing its initial ferment, and once that has finished there is the process of racking off for a second ferment and then bottling. It’s best to keep it bottled for a few months before consuming, so it’s really not a quick process. The problem then is that if it really tastes awful at the end of it all, you’ve had to wait so long and invest a lot of time before finding out.

Roll on next year when we get to try it!

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