In other Realms; where-e'er the British spread
Triumphant Banners, or their Fame has reach'd
Diffusive, to the utmost Bounds of this
Wide Universe, Silurian Cyder borne
Shall please all Tasts, and triumph o'er the Vine.
- from Cyder, an epic poem in two volumes by John Philips 1676-1709
Time for a new thread? Steve Ellison, one of the farmers I spoke to has e-mailed me: apples available in November, £50 for half a ton. I shall try and find out what varieties are on offer. There are one or two more farms for me to call in the South-East, but I'm off to Stanley Towers on the weekend. I shall call farms in the West from there and see if I can get hold of some cider apples.
I was only joking, Jan. (I'll try anything to get you into cidermaking).
(From the very little I know after snatching the odd 5 mins here and there to read my fool's guide to cidermaking) you can use any apples at a pinch, but most eating types don't have the requisite bitterness to make interesting cider - apparently (which, I'm guessing, is what Thermales is referring to above).
Having said that, there's a lovely Thatchers' cider that's made from Cox's apples, and apparently you can always add some crab apples into the mix if you have predominantly eating/dessert varieties (or so my book tells me).
There are traditional cider apples, but apart from a handful of varieties (Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Dabinett are ones I can remember off hand) people usually make cider with a mix of types, even when they only use "cider" apples.
But (here's the pressgang coming), the only real way to learn is to COME AND JOIN US and make some cider. Thermales, do you realise that (if we could twist your arm into joining us) you could hold the dubious honour of being the only one to have actually made cider before? That would give us some (much needed) ability to talk the talk.
I'll try to find some photos, there used to be a small vine yard that is now over run...my friends brother in law was the one who made the cider ( with the dreaded fruit fly tale, as described earlier) There must be over a hundred trees. bramley,cox,gala,and ones we've forgotten.
theres a north orchard,and two small orchards...its in willow lane paddock wood, we all eat straight from the trees...no need to wash....the apples i mean...not us!
Approximately one tonne of apples yields 148 gallons of juice.
Come along to our Cidermaking Festival on 16th and 17th October and talk to a Master Cidermaker who will be demonstrating the traditional way of making cider.
Groups of 15 or more = a 50p discount on admission prices.