How do I get started?
It couldn’t be easier!
Cider used to be made from the apples available in the local orchards.
Nowadays we have a greater understanding of the role of bitter sweets and bitter sharps to provide the balance of acidity and tannins, but a flavourful brew can be produced from most apples and we can help you source additional cider apples should you need to complement your own fruit.
Your apples need to be clean before they are milled. Where possible and practical pick your apples by hand rather than collect the wind-falls. We rinse them in a water bath before milling, but check as you collect and discard any rotten apples.
After washing, the apples are milled to a fine pulp using the “scratter”.
Our rack and cloth press is based on the same principles as the early presses. The apple pulp is placed in cloths (the hairs) and wrapped to form a layer, known as a “cheese”. The cheeses are stacked 5 high before we start to tighten the screw on the press to extract the juice. We collect this as we press and decant into 25L containers.
How Much Fruit do I need?
For a 25L container you need about 50Kg fruit. This is 2 sack-full of potatoes or 3-4 supermarket home delivery boxes.
We typically have some extra apples “spare” if we need to top up the container, likewise, bring a spare demijohn in case you have extra. We hate seeing juice go to waste!
Important Do’s and Don’ts !
Just bring common sense.
We encourage people to get involved but very young children are best involved by observing from a safe distance.
Please remember basic hygiene as though we are outside this is still a food handling process. It is important you wash your hands before and after you eat and after visiting the rest-rooms.
We recommend you wear layers of clothes to keep you warm, and waterproofs in case of rain (don’t forget a hat). A PVC apron, hair ties, clean Wellington boots and rubber gloves are recommended, though we have spare gloves if needed.
Please don’t drink the juice! A toxin called patulin is produced by a mold that can grow on apples. It is made safe by the fermentation process, but could be present in the fresh juice.