To be finished later …
Time For Cider
I’ve got a good cider recipe somewhere, to which I will be adding the following tips gleaned from Xanthe Clay’s interview with cider makers William Sitwell and Jasper Galloway in Teleg. Weekend 7.9.13:
“You just juice the apples and leave to ferment. It takes about 25 apples to fill a bottle …
“First vintage … Apples were left to soften for a few days, then put through a wood chipper to make a pulp,or pomace, which is poured into mesh sacks. The sacks are then squidged between the boards of the press with a car jack and the juice is poured into demijohns with air locks. That is it for two or three weeks. There is enough natural yeast on the skin of the fruit for the juice to ferment. When it comes to bottling, a spoonful of sugar in each of the spring-clip bottles ensures that the cider has fizz.”
PS: For a discussion on the kind of bags to use to hold the pulp, see
from Elspeth Thompson, Sun Tel, 14/10/07
“I have joined forces with a friend with a similar surfeit of apples to invest in our own basket press (between £65 and £400, depending on size, from http://www.art-of-brewing.co.uk).
The great thing about cider making when compared to wine is that there seems to be no subtle science or snobbery involved: all you need is apples. And as my garden falls firmly on the East of the country, I don’t even need special varieties: my Bramleys, Cox’s and James Grieves should be fine, though I might need to plant a sweeter one such as ‘Alfriston’ or ‘Sunset’ (The Apple Source Book has a useful gazetteer of local varieties) to counteract a tendency to sharpness.
The recipe I’m following (from the new Self-Sufficiency Handbook by Alan and Gill Bridgewater, New Holland £12.99) seems astonishingly simple: gather windfalls (even washing is frowned upon as it removes the natural yeasts that aid fermentation), crush to a pulp, pass through the press, ferment for a few days, decant to a barrel with an airlock and leave for six months to two years before drinking.”