Sunday, October 07, 2012

Cider making

One of the great things about growing your own is...well, frankly...eating your own and turning your own into something particularly yummy.

Throughout the year we've happily made chutney and jams and jellies, however, our huge supply of apples this year had us a little stumped for over wintering until I had a brainwave for Mr Beehive's early birthday present...

A cider press!

It's a little gem that will squeeze the juice out of our apples so we can either store it as the most delicious juice we've ever tasted, or...better still...cider.

So Mr Beehive has doned his lumberjack shirt, not trimmed his beard and embraced the local knowledge in a neighbouring village as to the skills required to make 'zyder'. He quickly came to the conclusion, having noted the swift and happy consumption of last year's cider, commencing at 10am in the morning, that you're likely be pretty hammered whilst making cider, thus it can't be 'that hard' a task.

Having presented the 'apple day gang' with 20lbs of our own apples for a nominal fee (which probably would have been waived as the day progressed and the cider flowed), we came back home with 6 gallons of juice!

So he has spent much of the weekend turning my kitchen into a scrumping and scratting zone. We now have 3 demi johns fermenting away for next spring and a gallon and a half of juice, half is in the freezer and quarter in the fridge and the remaining quarter...well, let's just say, I always choose the job of 'quality control' I swear it's a freakin' steal!

As one of the jolly cider gang said - it's always a nice day on cider making day and belive you and's been beautifully sunny. Let's hope next year yields a good quality 'Thornhill Scrumpy'.

Start with your chopped apples

Use your Black and Decker Drill to scrat the apples!
Scratting! Creates a pulp that makes the press happy!

Juicing the scratted apples and in the bucket on the left is the remaining Pomace.

Pomace leftover skin
Cider in the making - yeast to go in two and one we're experimenting to see if our apples are good for natural yeast. 

As for the rest of the weekend;

I have been on an adventure of my own up to Leicester to discover The Fabric Guild - say no more.
Master Beehive the elder and I went to Chippy to the Autumn fayre and learned how to weave...and bought a small loom...say even less
Then we went to A & E as Master Beehive hurt his finger playing in goal on Thursday and it got progressively more swollen over Friday, so by Saturday afternoon we decided to just get it checked out. I didn't think it was broken due to the fact he could move it, but a hairline fracture could have been on the cards. So, four hours later *yawn* and we went home with the same bruised finger as we went in with but my conscience duly clear.
Finally the Little Miss wanted to go to Canal Day, so we took a swift visit there over lunchtime today.
Now we could do with a weekend to recover lol! I love weekends like this!

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